April 13th, 2011
01:38 PM ET
Can you imagine the world of "Mad Men" without Betty Draper? According to January Jones, who plays the character on the hit AMC show, the role didn't even exist before she came along.
"Matthew Weiner, the creator of the show, had no intention of showing Don Draper's home life," Jones says in the May issue of W magazine. "I read for Peggy two times—it was between me and Elisabeth Moss, who eventually got the part."
But apparently, Weiner couldn't get Jones out of his mind.
"At the end of the scene, there was a casual mention that Don was married. Matt went home that night and wrote two scenes that featured Betty," says Jones. "I auditioned a couple of days later, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I took the part on faith-there was no script or fleshed-out character or Betty plotline."
While Jones admits, "I don’t judge Betty or necessarily understand her," she does acknowledge that the show's fans are passionate about the character. "After season one they wanted her to speak out against Don and his infidelities. Then in season two, when she did, there was a huge reaction against Betty," she says. "They want her to talk—just not too much. "
For her part, Jones's favorite thing about Betty is her clothes.
"It’s strange, but when the season ends I miss wearing all Betty’s underpinnings," she says. "I love long-line bras and girdles. There’s a sexiness about girdles—on 'Mad Men' I wear them four months out of the year, and I see my body changing. When you wear a girdle, you can’t bend in the usual way. Your thighs are cinched together, which makes your stride shorter. You automatically get a wiggle in your walk. It’s sexy."
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