#1: Maxwell Huckabee (7 episodes, 2007)
Quick heads up for you guys at network: Matt’s having a few problems with the kid we’ve got playing Don Draper’s son. Apparently every scene he’s in takes twice as long to film. Don’t know all the details yet, but I guess Matt wants that character to represent something specific and it’s just not happening. Sorry to be so vague, but I tried to read some of Matt’s notes for Max, and I have no idea what “Oedipal turmoil adrift in a sea of cultural upheaval” means. Don’t know what a four year old’s supposed to do with that.
Anyway, it shouldn’t be a big deal. The character is barely more than window dressing anyway. I’ll keep you posted.
PRODUCER: We can’t do any more takes, Matt. There are child labor laws.
MATTHEW WEINER: Not acceptable. That little runt is poisoning the emotional atmosphere.
PRODUCER: Man, he’s just sitting on the couch. He’s fine.
MATTHEW WEINER: But where’s the pathos?
Subject: Re: Re: Max
Okay guys, things have… escalated, a bit. Max’s parents called me this afternoon concerned that we’re putting too much pressure on their kid. They said they heard someone crying when they came to pick him up from yet another session with the acting coach. Turned out it was just Matt, who was blubbering something about anachronisms, but they’re still worried about the work environment. Can’t say I blame them. More later.
PRODUCER: Listen, you’ve got to tone it down a notch. Or like ten notches. You know all these showbiz parents love their lawyers; remember season four on The Sopranos?
MATTHEW WEINER: That was totally different. That kid couldn’t memorize his lines.
PRODUCER: They said you hid pot in his backpack so he’d get kicked out of school.
MATTHEW WEINER: It was distracting him! And it’s a waste of time anyway, if you ask me.
PRODUCER: Jesus Christ, please pretend you did not just admit that to me.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Max
So Matt brought in a hypnotist yesterday. He said the guy could literally send the kid “back to 1960 in his mind.” I’m sure you already read about it in the court filings.
I think it’s time to cut this one loose. Not like anyone’s going to notice anyway.
#2: Aaron Hart (15 episodes, 2007-2008)
I know you guys aren’t thrilled about the whole Huckabee thing, and I agree the settlement was probably bigger than it needed to be, but I think we’re all ready to put that behind us and move forward. Everyone on the set is really happy about the new kid. Matt is almost ecstatic. He says the show is ready to go to a new level. I don’t really know what he’s talking about, all we did was recast a non-speaking part, but if Matt’s finally good with the role, I’m not going to question it.
PRODUCER: Hey, not to bother you about this bean-counting shit, but do you know why someone expensed like $500 for Skittles? I asked around and we’re all stumped.
MATTHEW WEINER: Oh yeah, I ordered that. Aaron asked for it. Says it helps him stay in the flow.
PRODUCER: What? I mean, I get that the kid likes candy, but we really can’t throw money around like th…
MATTHEW WEINER: Listen to me, goddammit: I will not compromise one inch on that performance. The child is a prodigy. Anything he wants, he gets, and if that means Betty Draper has to shop at fucking Goodwill, that’s how it is. Got it?
PRODUCER: Fuck, okay. I got it. Fuck.
Subject: Re: Re: Aaron
This kid is out of control. I think he bit Jon Hamm. Jon won’t admit it, he said it was a raccoon, but he kept glancing over at Aaron’s trailer with this frightened look in his eyes. Also, I don’t think there are any raccoons around here. Oh, did I mention we’re talking about a six year old who has his own trailer this season? Yeah, he films for maybe an hour a week and spends the rest of the time terrorizing the set like a Jackson Pollock painting come to life. We had to hire someone new in wardrobe just to deal with Skittles stains. And no one wants to say anything because Matt has basically built a shrine to the little fucker.
Ugh. Sorry to bring this to you, I know you probably can’t do anything. Man, it’s gonna be a long season.
PS: Please don’t let Matt see this email. He’d probably try to use that Pollock thing in a fucking dream sequence.
PRODUCER: I’m begging you, Matt. Look at what’s happening to your show. Christina says she won’t sign for another year if we bring that kid back, and that’s just th…
MATTHEW WEINER: Expendable. The soul of the era lies in the silent, burgeoning heart of the youth, and I have found it again in Aaron Hart.
PRODUCER: What are you talking about? He’s a freaking menace! Plus, we can’t walk two feet without being harassed by paparazzi now. They say he’s dating the Lohan sister. How does this end well, Matt?
MATTHEW WEINER: The exuberance of his genius will not be smothered by your small mind.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Aaron
All I know is I’ve never been happier to hear the word “rehab.” Please make sure Matt’s on vacation before the next casting call, okay?