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  • It is the beginning of the end. After eight glorious, influential years, Mad Men, the TV show that has dominated column inches, awards seasons and runways, debuts the first half of its seventh and final season next month. And Christina Hendricks, aka Joan Holloway – its breakout female star – is just as apprehensive about its demise as its devoted viewers are.

    “I am incredibly nervous about it,” says Hendricks, 38. Legs curled up on the couch, relaxed now after the long day’s shoot, she is dressed like a pneumatic version of Katharine Hepburn in chic, loosely tailored pieces that serve to heighten, rather than disguise, her feminine appeal. “I think I will miss it more than I can fathom right now,” she admits with a small smile.

    The actress, it seems, is a true fan. It often happens that stars of

    “I am INCREDIBLY nervous. I think I’ll miss [Mad Men] more than I can FATHOM right now”

    such shows come to have a bittersweet relationship with the roles that launch them. Grateful, yet trapped, hemmed in by the structure of a heavy filming schedule, resisting the typecasting that can occur with such mainstream recognition. But Hendricks has no such qualms. “I feel like I have my cake and eat it too,” she smiles, lips to eyes.

    It helps that Mad Men has challenged the apparent rule that the quality of hit shows diminishes with every new season. “I am a TV addict. But so often I find a show that I get really excited about, and then by the second season I’m like, ‘I don’t care anymore’,” nods Hendricks. “The consistency [in Mad Men] really is something to be proud of. And that is down to Matthew Weiner [the show’s creator] and his writing.”

    In the porcelain, hauntingly beautiful flesh (when she stares into the distance for our photographer, Yelena Yemchuk, the mood in the room suddenly echoes the gathering clouds of the unusually ominous LA weather), Hendricks is somehow more

    Cardigan by Miu Miu; skirt and shoes by Dolce & Gabbana; earrings by Halleh; ring by Maria Black Fine Jewelry; (right hand) ring by Maria Black Fine Jewelry; (left hand) rings Christina’s own

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