Jessica Paré

The much-envied actress (she plays Don Draper’s wife on Mad Men) talks werewolves, hoarding, and competitive yoga

Celebrity, The Entertainment Industry Comments

Photograph courtesy Eric Ray Davidson

My first acting jobs were in Canada, where I’m from—first a miniseries and then one episode of a Canadian TV series called Big Wolf on Campus. I know you’re jealous. Rein it in. A few years ago I was shopping for a Christmas tree in the Valley and I saw the guy who played the lead in that—a werewolf. I was staring at him like, “Where do I know that guy from?” And he looked at me like, “All right, honey, I see you checking me out.” At the same moment I realized, “Oh, Big Wolf on Campus” and “Oh, you think I like you.” But werewolves aren’t my type.

I moved to L.A. in 2004, and for the first two years I didn’t drive. I had some great friends who would pick me up, and I was dating a guy who drove me around. I would carpool to work with other actors who were kind enough, and I took a lot of taxis. I learned to drive at 25, and it was scary. Drivers are kind of aggressive here and can be pretty rude, but at least they are consistent—you know to anticipate it. I’ve learned that two cars turn left on a red. That’s the rule.

For years I also didn’t have a television, though I do have one now. It’s one of those things like sugar or alcohol: When you have a little bit, you want more. I try to keep it to the good shows—Breaking Bad and Homeland—but I have also been known to sit through a three-hour Ice Loves Coco marathon. And I like Hoarders. You should see how clean my house is after I watch a couple hours of Hoarders. I’m whatever the opposite of a hoarder is: a purger.

I was never athletic. I did ballet in elementary school, but I didn’t have much of an affinity for it. And then I started doing yoga in L.A. and I was competitive, like, “My Downward Dog is better than that crap!” It was the antithesis of yoga—I was ruining it. Only Bikram gets me out of my head, so I’m not challenging the girl two towels over in the stupid purple leotard.

Moving here was a big change for me. In Canada you are raised to think you’re responsible for the people around you. That goes for your words, your actions, and your taxes. But while I miss a lot of things in Montreal, I love L.A. I started off living in West Hollywood, then Laurel Canyon and Santa Monica. Then Silver Lake for a couple months, then Atwater Village, and now I’ve moved to a place in Los Feliz.

The Eastside of L.A. is so multicultural, with so much amazing food and great comedy and music. As strong as the celebrity and beauty culture is—I once heard about a studio executive who just hated my teeth, to which I could only think, “I know! What was I thinking? I’m so sorry!”—there is an equally strong counterculture, especially where I live now. All my Eastside places have sort of cemented my happiness. Los Angeles is my home. I don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere else.

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  • mpetale

    Jessica Pare is not a bad actress BUT she is the most annoying actress on tv at the moment. Her demeanor is like nails on a chalkboard. I really hope that her character is supposed to be a brat because I cannot stand her! Please kill off her character!

    • Jan

      Somehow I don’t think we need to worry about Megan Draper being around too long. The magic will soon be gone — for both of them — she and Don will move on to someone else. Anyone for a pool to see how long it takes??

  • @brownie90066

    Don’t worry, eventually, Don will either divorce her or the writers will kill her off or send her back to France.

  • Jim

    She is such a bitch but she’s also soooo Hot! I’m so conflicted about her.