Rich Sommer, Quick ’n Dirty

In which we put the screws to the Mad Men star, now on Broadway in Harvey.

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You’ve played Harry Crane on Mad Men since the first season and have two young children. What do you do to make ends meet?
You’re right. Kids are expensive, and I’m on basic cable, so you do what you can. I heard there’s a lot of money in plays, in doing the stage, so I thought I would come here and try that. I may have to try and squeeze in another play before Mad Men starts up again—the ends are still a good several inches apart.

Harry is the media buyer at Sterling Cooper. What’s your most hated TV ad campaign that you secretly love?
Those Sonic ads. I think on paper I should hate them, but the actors in them are so funny. I sort of roll my eyes when they come on, but I always laugh.

Ever do any ads yourself?
It’s been a long time, but that was truly how we made ends meet when we lived in New York. There was a Bud Light ad out there for awhile, a couple Sprint ads, Cingular, when that existed. And I did one for Stop & Shop.

You’re starring in Harvey on Broadway. Have you ever had an imaginary friend who was a Bunny, and was she a blonde, brunette or redhead?
Um, brunette.

By the way, how do they make Jessica Paré so lifelike?
[Laughs] She takes care of a lot of that on her own. I really like her.

Harry Crane almost joined the Hare Krishnas a few weeks ago. What cult would you join, and why?
I don’t know where the line between cult and religion lies. I knew somebody who was a new member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I was asking them what it was about. And I remember him telling me, ‘Some people are just evil, you can see it when you look at them. Like Stephen King, you don’t have to read his books to know he’s evil. Just look at a picture of him.’ I’m not sure if this person was such a good representative of the faith.

Personal question: Do you ever blame yourself for Lane’s death?
I would have to imagine Harry could have done something to stop it. He seemed pretty happy to vamoose when all the partners stuck around. I imagine he was like, ‘Office emergency—I’ll just go…’ I’m sure if Harry had done a better job as a media buyer Lane would still be alive. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to believe when your parents get a divorce?

Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban large drinks. What seemingly innocuous thing would you like to ban and why?
I would like to ban people being allowed to text while in a crosswalk. Because we usually live in LA, and certainly you can’t text when you drive, and since walking is the main transportation here in New York and you get two or three folks shooting a quick text as they slowly amble across the street. It is a very frustrating endeavor to get around them. Also, let’s ban being allowed to look above a 50 degree angle as you’re walking walking. Peoples’ speed tends to go down with each degree above 50. Keep your eyes on the prize, people!

Rich Sommer, Quick ’n Dirty