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On the Set of “Mad Men”

Jul 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Celebrity Sightings


This past Tuesday, I received an email from one of my fellow stalkers alerting me to the fact that the hit AMC television series Mad Men was going to be shooting on location in Pasadena the following day at Don and Betty Draper’s house, which I blogged about last June.  And even though I don’t really watch the show, I just had to venture out to stalk the set – with my camera in hand, of course!  🙂  Unfortunately though, not a whole lot was going on while I was there and the filming only lasted a few short hours.  The scene being shot was a very short little driving scene involving actor Jon Hamm, who plays advertising executive Don Draper on the show.  And sadly, the crew, while nice, made it very clear that they did NOT want photographs being taken of anything – the set, the filming, the actors, etc., etc., etc.  And while I was in no way going to let that stop me ;), the only pictures I could take were on the down low, so I didn’t get very many good ones.  I did manage to snap the above photograph of Jon as he was leaving the set after shooting had wrapped, though, and let me tell you, I was completely floored about that!  🙂


Jon seemed super friendly and waved to me and another stalker who I was hanging out with from his van as he was being driven away from the set.  I so would have LOVED to have gotten a photograph with him, but unfortunately he was shuttled away from the premises rather quickly as he was due in Downtown L.A., where more Mad Men filming was taking place.

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After Jon Hamm was driven away, I stuck around for a bit to watch the crew members strike the set, a process which I find incredibly interesting.  I always love to see what aspects of a property are changed for a filming and which are left the same.  One altered aspect of the Draper house that I knew about prior to my set visit yesterday was the color of their front door.  As you can see in the above photograph, which I took when I stalked the property last June, in real life the home’s front door is painted blue.


But on the show, the Draper’s front door is painted a bright red color, and, let me tell you, when I set out to stalk the set yesterday, I was most excited over the prospect of seeing that red door in person – even more so than I was about the prospect of seeing Jon Hamm.  😉  And I was even more excited when I was able to snap the above photograph of it!  YAY!  I found out from a crew member that the home’s real life front door is actually painted red each and every time they film at the property!  I had mistakenly assumed that set dressers had a special door that they installed during each filming, but in reality, someone is actually brought in the day before shooting to paint the real life door red and then, after shooting wraps, he or she paints it back to its original blue color . . . every single time they film!  Isn’t that incredible?  I mean, I realize doors are expensive and all, but it seems to me that it would be a whole lot more cost effective and a whole lot more timely to simply switch out the real door for a red one.  Not to mention the fact that there now must be over a dozen layers of paint on that door!  I swear, I’ll never understand Hollywood sometimes!

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Set dressers also install a fake light post (which you can see laying on the ground in the above photograph) each time filming takes place, which was incredible to see.  They actually dig up a part of the home’s front lawn in order to bury the base of the light each and every time they film!  With all the filming that takes place at the property that poor lawn probably never has time to grow back!  They also bring in a slew of potted plants (which you can also see in the above photograph) which are placed on the front porch for each filming.


The coolest thing for me to see, though, was the fake street sign that was put up for the scene.  The signs above which read “Shady Lane” and “Bullet Park Road” normally spell out “El Molino Avenue” and “Arden Road”.  So darn cool!  According to one of the crew members I talked to, the fake sign was so realistic that it caused a bit of confusion for a passerby who was driving around, trying unsuccessfully to find Arden Road.  LOL


Set dressers also covered up the above-pictured stop sign with a fake 50’s style stop sign, but unfortunately I didn’t get a photograph of it.  In fact, I didn’t even notice it was a fake sign until one of the set dressers removed it after filming had wrapped.  I SO wish I had gotten a picture of it!  UGH!  I am SO blonde sometimes.

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Ironically enough, my fiancé and I were watching the 1995 movie Outbreak a couple of weeks ago and I was floored to discover that the house belonging to Robby Keough (aka Rene Russo) in the flick was none other than the Mad Men house!  So cool!  You can see some great interior photographs of the home here.  And, according to one of the crew members I talked to, some Mad Men filming does actually take place inside of the home.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Don and Betty Draper’s house from Mad Men is located at 675 Arden Road in Pasadena.



Leave a comment »

  1. Rich Niccum says:

    If you were to turn left off Arden” The father of the bride house” is at 843 s. El Molino .

  2. Dave says:

    Crews can be funny. I saw “CSI: Miami” shoot many times and they were always cool about things. Some shows really don’t care too much while others will get bent out of shape over taking pictures. One of the “Parenthood” crew sternly warned me not to take a shot as I was about to snap it–a real no-no as an background actor but everybody does it anyhow (I have quite a few albums of the shows I’ve done ;)) It really is hit-or-miss.

  3. Ashley says:

    This was a really interesting post! The thing about the door is so mind-bogglingly weird!

  4. janeen says:

    Why couldn’t you grab him as my date for your wedding??? I can toss my BFF…there’s still time!

  5. John (Bay Area) says:

    I passed by the Draper house just last Thursday during my trip through Pasadena. Nothing going on then. Too bad… I missed the filming by less than a week. I then spent the next hour driving around the neighboring streets just to look at all the amazing architecture. Very impressive.. no wonder Hollywood uses homes in that area so much. I also went to Caseys downtown as well based on your recent coverage and enjoyed that. I got there during the last 20 minutes of a World Cup game and everybody was going crazy. While driving around looking for a place to park, I passed the Monte Carlo Resturant too. The place was full of people.

  6. Davidete says:

    It’s sort of strange that sometimes the crew in a set let you make anything (talk with actors, take pictures, go there, etc), and sometimes, like this, they don’t alow you neither a simple snapshot. I wonder what make so different their politics in that way…

    Thanks for today’s post, Lindsay! 😀

    • Lindsay says:

      I know – I always wonder the same thing! One of the crew members told me that they don’t want pictures taken because they are worried about spoilers getting out, which seems like such a lame reason to me. It’s not like fans are going to stop watching the show simply because they heard a spoiler. I don’t get it. It’s also very odd how different things are at the studios themselves. Warner Brothers does not allow any photographs to be taken inside of soundstages on their tours, but Paramount lets people take all the pictures they want. Very, very strange.

  7. Lavonna says:

    I remember you drove us past this house on last visit! Bonus that the house was used in Outbreak – great movie!

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