Well, you can’t really because of how you put together a live character. If you’re moving your lips, and you can’t talk through the puppet, then what’s the point of having him move his mouth? But, if you’re actually just talking through the puppet, you do feel the puppet move his lips to convey information to the viewer. And what you do is what we like to call the “honey trap” – you move your mouth when you’re trying to get something to happen but you’re not trying to change the situation. Now, you can’t talk through these puppets, so we have to find something else to talk about.
There is a great quote from an episode of the late great Stephen Colbert called “‘I’m so glad we got Trump!’ I mean, that’s what I wanted!”
Do you think it was an intentional decision to talk as if we were talking to the character?
Yes. Colbert was really funny to watch, so I think that was intentional.
Is it the same with the character you created on Mad Men?
Oh yes. Yes. You can really tell his character and the motivations and the character and the journey all come together. But the “honey trap” is what we like to call it. We talk a lot about the human nature of the character and of our characters. I remember when he came on The Sopranos, and I was sitting there with a character and talking to him about the show, and I couldn’t understand where he was coming from. And I said to him when we were doing those pilot scenes, “Why are you doing your head?” Well, because the person is not necessarily where his head is, he said. In that case, “I’m trying to talk through you” is a honey trap and we know that.
There have been some references to your character. In the pilot, the boss asks you to write your own lines.
Do you like directing it because that’s where the “honey trap” came from?
No. I don’t like directing. I like to write. I like doing a bit of everything. That’s why it’s so nice. I get to do all kinds of stuff and do a lot of it while I’m doing it. It’s nice to be able to be in front of the camera, and to get to read the camera and work with all the directors on set and get the scripts back
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