How Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner Faked Out His Cast with an Alternate Ending

March 23, 2015 8:35 PM

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In today’s age of cell-phone cameras, Twitter spoilers, and studio hacking sagas, it takes C.I.A.-quality covert operations for a showrunner to keep his/her next episode a secret. As such, we must pay Mad Men mastermind Matthew Weiner appropriate respect for being able to keep the grand finale of his Emmy-winning AMC drama tightly guarded, even though his cast and crew filmed that closer almost a year ago. And just how was Weiner able to pull off this feat in spoiler subversion? By creating a false ending to his series.

John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling on the show, received his script for the final episode before shooting began, and read excitedly to the end. What he found there was strangely underwhelming. "I thought, 'Wait, what?' It wasn't as . . eventful as you would expect." That was the feeling at the ...

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