Having a role in a popular television series can be a double-edged sword when it comes to an actor’s future career. On the one hand, there’s certainly a boost to popularity — not to mention salary — from playing a part in a critically-acclaimed show.
At the same time, television series are often long-term commitment that keep actors from being able to take on other projects, and it can have a kind of “eggs in one basket” effect. If the show’s eventual ratings tank or if the actor becomes too closely associated with a particular character, it can make the transition out into other work more difficult.
Mad Men was an incredibly popular show, and it ran for seven seasons, which means it took up a good chunk of time for the actors playing primary characters in the ensemble cast. John Slattery portrayed the complex character of Roger Sterling.
What has he been up to since the series ended in 2015?
‘Mad Men’ was a force in dramatic TV
In 2007, the rise of the antihero in dramatic television was in full force, and Mad Men‘s Don Draper became one of the prime examples of the trope. Complex and charismatic, it was hard to hate Don Draper. Conniving and manipulative, it was also hard to like him. In this way, fans were engaged with the ups and downs of Don’s life as an advertising expert working on Madison Avenue in the 1960s.
The show captures the nostalgic charm of an era when well-to-do men schmoozed clients in smoke-filled office while also laying bare its sexist and otherwise problematic core. At the same time, it gave viewers a whole cast of characters who were each battling their own personal demons. Power and money weren’t enough to protect these privileged “mad men” from their own foibles.
Roger Sterling was one of the most complex characters on ‘Mad Men’
Jon Hamm’s portrayal of Don Draper (rightly) gets most of the attention and analysis in the aftermath of the show’s success, but Roger Sterling is also a complex character who walks in a gray area and keeps fans frustrated over how they should feel about him.
He’s an adulterer who fathers a baby with Joan, a woman who is trying to navigate the sexist world of employment while also navigating an unhappy marriage. He is frequently shown to be savvy, intelligent, and witty, but he is also often unscrupulous and cutthroat.
John Slattery played Roger Sterling on ‘Mad Men’
This complex character was portrayed by John Slattery, an actor who had decades of experience before appearing in the role. Previous series for Slattery included Homefront, Maggie, and Ed. While Roger Sterling may have become one of his most recognizable roles, he has certainly stayed busy since Mad Men came to an end as well.
As Esquire reports, Slattery has gone on to many successful roles. These include a recurring part on Veep, portraying Dwight Eisenhower in Churchill, and playing Fred Schlafly in the series Mrs. America. Perhaps some of his most notable appearances since Mad Men have been on the big screen. He has portrayed Howard Stark — Iron Man’s dad — multiple times in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This role has put Slattery into some of the decade’s most popular and widely-watched films including Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: End Game.
It’s safe to say that Slattery, who has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards, had no trouble finding his footing after the conclusion of the much-watched series Mad Men.
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