25 Things About ‘Mad Men’s’ Jessica Paré
Curious about the new Mrs. Draper? Here’s everything you need to know about Mad Men star Jessica Paré!
The long-awaited fifth season of AMC’s hit show Mad Men premiered just two weeks ago, but already the blogosphere is abuzz with Jessica Paré. Jessica first appeared on the show in the fourth season as Megan Calvet, Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) secretary—until a surprise proposal at the end of the season made her into the next Mrs. Draper. And we certainly have to say, Megan certainly is a keeper! But how much do you know about the actress who plays her? From her family life to her thoughts about her teeth, here’s your crash course in everything Jessica!
1. Jessica Paré was born on December 5, 1982. That makes her 29 years old.
2. She’s Canadian—and French Canadian, at that. Jessica was born in Montreal, Quebec, and she was raised in the neighborhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
3. Both of Jessica’s parents were actors, so acting is in her blood. Her father, Anthony, was a drama teacher and toured with a theatre production; meanwhile, her mother, Louise Mercier, acted in amateur productions.
4. Additionally, her father is the Chair of the Department of Educational Studies at McGill University, and her mother is a conference interpreter. Way to put those theatre skills to good use!
5. Jessica herself got interested in acting while helping her father learn his lines for a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
6. Like Megan, Jessica’s Mad Men character, the actress is bilingual: She speaks both French and English. Makes sense, since they’re both from Montreal!
7. She has three brothers.
8. Her family is Catholic.
From left to right: Director Lea Pool, Jessica, Piper Perabo, and Micha Barton on the set of 2001’s Lost and Delirious.
9. Jessica attended a private Catholic girl’s high school in Montreal called Villa Maria; she also studied drama at New York’s TheatreWorks USA. After high school, she attended Montreal’s Dawson College for a year before dropping out to pursue acting.
10. Favorite roles she played in high school productions as a teenager include Jesus in Godspell and Maid Marian in Robin Hood.
11. The year 2000 brought Jessica’s big break: A Canadian film called Stardom, about a teen girl who is plucked from obscurity of a girl’s hockey team to become a supermodel. The film was screened at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, throwing the teenaged Jessica into the limelight.
12. The story of Stardom oddly parallelsJessica’s own experiences: With only two small roles on her resume, she had initially auditioned for a bit part in the film, only to end up landing the lead. In fact, director Denys Arcand actually had to buy out a contract with a 26-year-old actress he had already signed to play the role. Awkward? A little—but excellent for Jessica’s budding career!
13. Like her character in Stardom, Jessica once tried to become a model, but the agency told her she was “too fat.” We think they’re crazy.
14. After a couple of years of indie films like 2001’s Lost and Delirious and miniseries like Random Passage and Napoleon, Jessica made her Hollywood debut in 2004’s Wicker Park. A remake of the French film L’Appartement, Jessica played Josh Hartnett’s fiancée in a tangled tale of love and desire. Unfortunately the film wasn’t very well received—but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere!