I think one of my biggest influences is Bette Davis. I've seen almost every one of her films, and she's been very inspiring to me.
To go from Girl, Interrupted, where I had to cry every day, to a TV show like West Wing where I get to laugh and joke around every day, has been a welcome relief.
I think every day there is some new actress comes out and inspires me to do something else... like Hilary Swank. After she did Boys Don't Cry, I felt this yearning to go out and be even half as good as she was.
I wish I was super-serious, anguished. I see those actors, and I am like, 'Oh God, they are so cool, and they seem so interesting.' I don't take acting that seriously.
There's nothing like getting yourself into character and seeing a different person. It really wears on your vanity.
The great thing about Pete and Peggy's storyline is that you barely have to do anything. There's so much there, so much history, that you can have them exchange a look and it's so loaded. So you honestly don't have to do anything.
I heard that people were really interested in the new haircut, which I think is so funny. Great haircut, I really like it. It goes great with the time period. And I was super, super, super-happy to have my bangs swept to the side rather than straight in front of me, which I dealt with for three seasons. I'm very, very much done with that.
I think my guideline has been to find things that inspire me. And as long as I stick to that, I don't think I'll have any problems crossing over to becoming an adult actress.
Women know that we're not just strong. We're not just vulnerable. We are not just attractive or not attractive. We are many things at once, and we're able to see into that complexity.
It's a great dynamic. The dynamic between men and women in the workplace is really interesting.
Why a musician loves playing jazz or classical music or what makes them happy, and why an artist likes to paint - it's so hard to actually put into words what that feeling is of joy that we get, but that is what I get: a feeling of joy when the camera is rolling, even if I'm doing something that is not joyous.
I spent seven seasons on 'Mad Men,' playing what became considered a very feminist character.
Ever since I was 15, when I did my first movie by myself, where my mom wasn't there and I had a guardian, I got to know the crew, and I got to be part of a group and a family. I love that part of it, the friendships that you make.
I think it's very important to do things the way you want to do them and be true to yourself, your own goals, and your own ideals.
Why an artist loves what they do is often so hard to describe.
I don't feel I was ever a 'famous' child actor. I was just a working actor who happened to be a kid. I was never really in a hit show until I was a teenager with West Wing playing First Daughter Zoey Bartlet. In a way, that was my saving grace - not being a star on a hit show. It kept me working and kept me grounded.
Obviously, my life and my job in 2010 is very different from Peggy's experience in the 1960s. I exist in a world that enjoys more equality between men and women. But I don't take any of that into my performance. I just want to play the character as who she is as an individual - scene to scene.
I love working with male actors, and I think there's a tendency to write really interesting characters that would work solely alongside men where they would be in a man's world and have to deal with that, and it creates a lot of interesting storylines. For me, it's kind of circumstantial, but I definitely enjoy it.
Men and women are both humans, so, for me, that makes my characters and the work that I do human stories.
I don't think any of us could have possibly anticipated how successful Mad Men has been. When we were working on the pilot, we loved it. We thought it was special. We hoped and prayed it'd be a success. But, we didn't count on it.
I think that people should absolutely be allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies and to live the life they want to lead.
I like characters who have two different things going on, whether it is Robin from 'Top Of The Lake' having that strength juxtaposed with the vulnerability and being in pain, or whether it is Peggy from 'Mad Men' with her naivety and her sort of idiocy at times, combined with her intelligence and courage really to do what she did at that time.
We grew up with musicians coming over jamming. We had tons of instruments. So holidays were always like, 50 people would come over, and there would be a jam session with everyone playing jazz.
I love my work, but I do not think that I am saving the world... I am a Valley Girl.
I just think that good stories are stories that reflect ourselves back at us and each other.
I was raised with a lot of classical music. I loved ballet. I was a bun head for 10 years.
When I was 12, I didn't know about Nirvana or Oasis or any of those people. I was listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Gershwin.
I've had to consciously try not to do all television and try to do films.
My earliest memories are at the Blue Note here in New York or backstage at different theatres or different clubs, dressing rooms.
I do think that there is something about an intelligent, strong woman who also needs to be taken care of that will attract a certain kind of man sometimes. And that relationship is interesting on screen. Bad relationships are more interesting than good relationships to watch.
I fundamentally believe in freedom and human rights.
I've always considered myself a feminist. But, like a lot of women of my generation, I didn't think we had to fight for it. I thought it was all done. I took so much for granted.
I do want to be a mother. I like the idea of passing on what my mother passed on to me.
I auditioned for 'Mad Men.' I auditioned for 'Top of the Lake.' I obviously auditioned for 'West Wing,' so I still get excited when I get offered stuff. Like, a part of me thinks, 'They think I can do it! That's awesome!' And that's a part of me I have to squash; otherwise, I would do everything just because people gave it to me.
Women need to be able to speak out if they are uncomfortable or something happened in the past that they were not comfortable with.
I'm so afraid of confrontation.
There's this whole feeling that women should be small and quiet and polite, and I don't think that's really gotten us anywhere.