Oct. 19, 2009 -- January Jones spent years in Hollywood smiling through role after role as Babe #4 before landing a part on ""Mad Men" as Betty Draper, the most complex, mysterious woman on television today.
To understand where America's sexiest housewife comes from, GQ interviewed January Jones over a few too many beers. Here are some of the highlights from the article which appears in the November issue of the magazine.
On what ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher thought of her desire to be an actress:
"The guy I was dating when I first got to L.A. was not supportive of my acting," Jones said. "He was like, I don't think you're going to be good at this. So -- f*** you! He only has nice things to say now—if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can't do something, that's when I'm most motivated."
"I don't have a lot in common with Betty," Jones said. "but I'm very protective of her. I just feel like she's trying really hard to make her life good, and make her marriage work, and it just seems hypocritical that when she slips up, people get mad. Because Don does it all the f***ing time."
On high school:
"I hung out with dudes in high school," Jones said. "We were the hippies—into the Dead, Zeppelin, Phish. I was a lifeguard at the water park, and I remember the day Jerry died. Over the loudspeaker, it said: 'Jerry Garcia has died. Everybody meet in the parking lot.' I probably shouldn't say that—we were saving lives! But that was definitely a sit-in-the-chair-with-sunglasses afternoon."
On ex-boyfriend's mother Laura Steinberg:
"Laura taught me how to hold my knife and fork and to be a lady," said Jones. "To keep my forearms on the table --never my elbows -- and place my napkin on my lap. She got me out of the models' apartment, and my Fargo accent was really strong then, so she taught me how to speak."
Of the film she's most proud of:
"It was great when it blew up at Cannes," Jones said of the film she's most proud of, "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," directed by Tommy Lee Jones (no relation). "But everyone thought it was a nepotism thing. There was one journalist who asked, 'How is it, being directed by your father?' "
On her name January:
Her parents plucked it from the lead character in Jacqueline Susann's "Once Is Not Enough," a romantic novel that climaxes with a drug-fueled, ellipsis-filled orgy. "Imagine realizing you're named after that character," Jones said.
On being a model:
"You're like an object. They move you around. And I felt like, God, I'm miserable. I hate modeling," Jones said. "When I moved back to New York, the agency said I owed them $20,000. So I left the agency and then—very quickly—decided to go to L.A. and try acting. Without any training."
On her favorite holiday, Halloween, and the time she went to the Playboy Mansion as Michael Jackson:
"It didn't really go over so well," Jones said. "I went all out: mask, gloves, face powdered, everything. And all the rest of the girls were just painted." This year, she's planning to dress up as Troy Polamalu. "I'll get the wig. Put on some bronzer. And I'll just cross myself all night," she said, mulling it over. "Or maybe I'll be Houshmandzadeh."
On the kind of guy she wants:
"What I want is James Brolin in 'Amityville Horror,' minus the horror. A guy with a beard who can swing an ax," she said.