Bryan Batt Press - TV Guide
After Emmy: the TV Guide Party
September 22, 2008

Interview with Bryan Batt
By Jen Smith,

Bryan Batt
Bryan Batt is definitely what we'd call old school. That's not a bad thing, though. Playing Salvatore Romano, the art director at Sterling Cooper, on the most recent winner for Outstanding Drama Series, definitely has its perks. One of those perks is living vicariously through his character, in the day where cigarettes and scotch were the height of sophistication. Not to mention the fashion! Bryan was the only cast member of Mad Men to stop by the TV Guide after-party, but that didn't stop me from hounding him about being on the most critically acclaimed show of the year, playing a closeted gay man, and crossing his fingers for more viewers in the future.

Who are you wearing?
Brooks Brothers.

You look very dapper, might I add.
Well, I try!

You're keeping up the reputation that Mad Men has already received for having the best costume design, the most beautiful people.
It brings back, I think, a sense of style, a sense of elegance that people dressed. You know, when you're going to an event, you dress up! When it says black tie, don't wear jeans. What the hell is that about? It's called black tie!

I was recently in Manhattan attending a Broadway show... my friend and I got dressed up but then I was there sitting next to this tourist who had the smallest pair of cutoff shorts I've ever seen in my life!
No, you were at Xanadu... that was one of the cast members (laughs). I'm kidding. Although, human behavior hasn't changed. Everybody's still screwing around, drinking and smoking and being bad. At least then there was this guise of elegance.

One thing that has changed is the acceptance of gay men, and your character is a little closeted.
I think he is. A lot of people ask me when he's coming out, and I say, "To what?" Really, in 1962, what could he come out to? There was no community. There was no life for him. This was what unfortunately gay people at the time had to deal with, and he's doing the best he can. And he's not even sure.

He has a wife.
Yeah, Kitty. Who's very much in love with him.

Her husband keeps inviting all these men over...
And he pays her no attention! We like to call that the "man crush."

Well, how did it feel to walk up onto that stage tonight and finally get recognition? Because it's really the best show that nobody watches.
Isn't that true. I hope now our numbers go even higher. We've doubled from last year. It's just a testament to when a great writer and a great creator of a show like Matt Weiner has a vision, and the network says do it, and be true to your vision. Basically he says, "Here's the show, do you like it?" It's not sent to some guy with a six pack and a cigar who's going, "I don't like it! I don't understand!" They're true to their vision and people got it. So it's saying that there is an intelligent audience out there that wants good television.

As a TV fan, I was so happy when this show came along. TV needed to go there.
Have you seen the Emmys tonight?

No, I've been here!
I will not say anything except that I don't think that will be happening again.

I just wanted to say thank you for the fans. Did you want to say thank you to anybody?
I want to say thank you to my mother. My mom is one of the most wonderful people that ever graced this planet. She's going through chemo right now so she couldn't be here. She's going to be fine because she is a steel magnolia.

You have a fantastic night.
Thank you!