Christina Hendricks says people have “tried to take advantage” of her on movie sets.
The Mad Men star has insisted she was never treated inappropriately on the set of the acclaimed AMC period drama series — where she played secretary-turned-ad exec Joan Holloway — but has said people have tried to “persuade”, “coerce” and even “professionally shame” her in other projects.
Speaking to The Guardian to promote the latest season of her crime caper series, Good Girls, Hendricks, 46, explained: “Boy, do you think anyone in the entertainment industry comes out unscathed and not objectified? I don’t know one musician or one model or one actor who has escaped that. I have had moments — not on Mad Men; on other things — where people have tried to take advantage of me, use my body in a way I wasn’t comfortable with, persuade me or coerce me or professionally shame me: ‘If you took your work seriously, you would do this …’
“Maybe it was my modelling background, but I knew to immediately get on the phone and go: ‘Uh oh, trouble.’ That’s where it’s very much a job. We need to talk to the producers and handle this professionally.”
And although Hendricks has experienced misconduct in the workplace, she defended Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner after one of the writers on the show, Kate Gordon, accused him of sexual harassment, and consulting producer Marti Noxon said he created a toxic environment on set.
Hendricks said she doesn’t “discount anyone’s experience” with Weiner, but insisted he was “in no way toxic” toward her.
She added: “My relationship with Matt was in no way toxic. I don’t discount anyone’s experience if I wasn’t there to see it, but that wasn’t my experience. Was he a perfectionist, was he tough, did he expect a lot? Yes. And he would say that in a second. We were hard on each other.”
That said, she wasn’t too thrilled about how she was treated by media during her time on the show, especially when it to questions about Joan’s underwear.
“There certainly was a time when we were very critically acclaimed, and getting a lot of attention for our very good work, and everyone just wanted to as me about my bra again,” said Hendricks who received six Emmy nominations for her role. “There are only two sentences to say about a bra.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hendricks also defended Hollywood as a whole after hundreds of people came forward at the height of the #MeToo movement to accuse several executives and stars of sexual harassment and misconduct.
She believes Hollywood is no worse than any other career path when it comes to inappropriate behaviour, but said the industry is more heavily scrutinised because of the fame of those involved.
She said: “It gets a lot of attention because people know who we are. I’m sure there’s a casting couch at the bank down the street, I’m sure the same thing happens in management consultancy, but people don’t know who the management consultants are.”
The Good Girls is now streaming on Netflix.
— BANG SHOWBIZ