Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Real Life Peggy Olson

Photo by Pop Culture Passionistas

We have to admit that we’ve walked a day or two in Peggy Olson’s shoes. As the young, go-getting copywriter on Mad Men sacrificed her 26th birthday dinner (and relationship) for the love of the job this past weekend, we couldn’t help but remember a few lost evenings (and boyfriends) of our own.

Sure, we’ve chosen to strike out on our own and not answer to the man anymore. But we have to admit that while we watched “The Suitcase” on Sunday, a little piece of our workaholic hearts skipped a beat for the adrenaline rush of high-pressure deadlines of years gone by.

Yes, we’ve seen a grown man or two cry. We’ve joined in on a sporting event or two for the sake of networking. We’ve even slept on our office couch. Now granted, we never had a boss lay his head in our lap and pass out—thank God. But we’ve helped one or two wobble drunkenly through a hotel lobby to the elevator on an international business trip before gratefully slinking off to our own room.

Still, while we can identify with Peggy, there’s actually someone out there who can call herself the Real Life Peggy Olson. Her name is Erin Levy and just a few days ago she won an Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Emmy for the “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” episode of the show.

Similar to the way that up and coming Olson once was to Don Draper, Levy was Matt Weiner’s writer’s assistant on Mad Men. Eventually, her boss put his trust in her, too, and gave her a big-break. In Erin’s case, that shot was co-writing last season’s finale. The result, Emmy gold.

Erin was asked how she felt about being compared to Don Draper’s protégé backstage at the award show. Here’s what she had to say in a video we shot on behalf of the Archive of American Television:

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