Christina Hendricks's May Cover Story
Yes, in his invention of office queen bee Joan Harris, Mad Men's creator, Matthew Weiner, developed an unusually multi-faceted female role. But it's Christina Hendricks's preternatural, absolute inhabiting of Joanie that has made her one of television's most fascinating and heart-rending heroines of all time. Her arched, wry smile adds depth to her every-woman-for-herself bitchiness: "Peggy, this isn't China, there's no money in virginity." And the way she deploys that crazy body, alternately as supplicant, sex toy and tank, keeps Mad Men's essential question for its female viewers—whether they're dependent on men, or they're dependent on us—alive as an endless source of delicious, painful tension.
Now into the award-winning show’s sixth season, both Hendricks and Harris—who was made partner last season—find themselves mastering ever greater career challenges. But Hendricks, at 38, is in what Californians would call a good place. Recently, she and her husband of three years, fellow actor Geoffrey Arend, purchased a house in a low-key bohemian Los Angeles neighbourhood, and from this perch of domestic tranquility she’s making the transition from television to film with the same ease that she moved from teenage modelling to acting.
Of her work with Elle Fanning (Hendricks plays her mother) in Sally Potter’s haunting Ginger & Rosa, San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle wrote that they “go to some bleak and wrenching places and return with the best work of their lives.” But it’s her upcoming projects that are positioning Hendricks to become the silver screen’s next big breakout star. In March, it was announced that she would be starring in the movie adaptation of Joan Didion's A Book of Common Prayer. And she'll be assuming the lead role in How to Catch a Monster, her Drive co-star Ryan Gosling's directorial debut.