• Dress and ring by
    Gucci; earrings by
    Hervé Van Der Straeten

    The first thing on January Jones' mind is food. As she settles into a dimly lit corner of a fashionable Manhattan hotel, she orders a latte, quiche and smoothie in quick succession. It's hardly equivalent to Betty Draper's midnight comfort-eating in the eerie light of her open fridge, but that exact image comes to mind. Why? Because it is near impossible to separate Jones from her Mad Men alter ego. Not only because Betty is the character that made the actress famous, nor because the lauded TV series, which even Barack Obama admits to watching, has been running for an impressive six years now, but because in person, like Betty, there is a subdued reserve to this star.

    The 35-year-old is every inch the ice-cool blond. That's not to say she is unfriendly, but Jones is certainly not an open book. She could be from another era, a time before Twitter and reality TV. A time before celebrity meant every detail of your life was up for grabs. Jones is of the old Hollywood mold, where actresses retained an aura of mystery and said little about their

    personal lives. It's refreshing, alluring even, though somewhat of a challenge for an interviewer.

    “As an actor, if people know too many things about you they won't believe you in a certain character,” she defends and deflects. “You don't want people to have a preconceived idea of who you are.”

    As Mrs Don Draper, Jones played the perfect trophy wife. But past her beautifully manicured exterior you sensed this woman, brought up to be seen and not heard, was screaming inside. Likewise, Jones' studied reticence to keep the public at a distance is palpable.

    When the actress gave birth to her son, Xander, 20 months ago, for example, she quite reasonably refused to reveal the identity of the baby's father. This led to rampant speculation, but also demonstrates an admirable strength of character.

    “As an ACTOR, you don't want PEOPLE to have a preconceived IDEA of who you are”

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