Why Teyonah Parris Felt Like She Was Always Holding Her Breath While On 'Mad Men'
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Television

Why Teyonah Parris Felt Like She Was Always Holding Her Breath While On 'Mad Men'

Teyonah Parris might have had a recurring role on AMC’s Mad Men, but she revealed how she was never aware of where she stood in the cast hierarchy.

Collider reports that in an upcoming episode of Collider Ladies Night, Parris talked about being a part of the groundbreaking show as Dawn, the first Black secretary at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. In her interview, she said how she felt like she was always holding her breath, waiting to be let go from the series because she was never specifically told she was a recurring character.

“I was a recurring [cast member]. That did happen. I was really excited. But I never knew I was a recurring [cast member] because they never told me, ‘You’re a recurring cast member]!’ It was literally for the entire time I was there, I would say it was like three years, one episode at a time,” she said. “They never said, ‘Hey, this season you’ll be in five episodes so I could be like, ‘Yes! Okay! This is great!’ It was always, ‘We’re checking your availability for tomorrow.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I didn’t die. They didn’t fire me or kick me out of the office,’ so I always felt like I was holding my breath with that show because they never actually were like, ‘Hey, this is the future we have for you,’ etc. So it was always an inch at a time and never knowing if the door was gonna close that moment.”

Parris also added that despite never knowing if she was actually a recurring actor in the series, she was happy for the experiences she had with her cast members.

“As I think back on the experience, I’m so grateful for it. I learned a lot on that show,” she said. “I loved watching Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks as they [performed.] [I]t was a very special piece and the time period and all that, so they were wonderful to work with and to watch. But personally, I just always felt like I was on eggshells. I just never knew.”

Parris has now gone onto bigger roles after playing Dawn; she’s now Monica Rambeau in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making her debut in Disney+ series WandaVision. Parris will reprise her role in the 2022 Marvel/Disney film, The Marvelsdirected by Nia DaCosta. She will also be seen in DaCosta-directed Candyman, starring YahySet featured imagea Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo and Vanessa Williams and coming to theaters Aug. 27. Parris will also star in the upcoming Netflix film They Cloned Tyrone starring opposite John Boyega and Jamie Foxx. The film is currently in post-production.

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