"January is a very sophisticated actress," said creator Matthew Weiner Thursday night at the 92nd Street Y of the on-screen stunner who plays a former model and big-shot advertising exec Don Draper's wife, Betty.
"I think the reason people like her (Betty Draper) because she's attractive. I want to defend her because I'm very close to (Betty Draper)," Weiner said, explaining Mrs. Draper reminds him of his own mother.
Law professor and novelist Thane Rosenbaum, who was interviewing Weiner, disagreed about the blonde anti-heroine: "I find her loathsome. I know people like her. I married people like her."
Weiner, in addition to a Golden Globe nomination this season, is a happy owner of three of those trophies as well as three Emmys for his smash-hit, 60s-era drama on AMC about liqueur-sipping, skirt-chasing businessmen in the golden age of advertising. He has also won awards for his work on "The Sopranos".
"Mad Men" fans in the audience continued the passionate love-or-hate debate as they filed out of the theater. One enthusiastic fan approached Weiner after the show to thank the writer for creating the character and confided, "I like her, too."