Going from playing the hot bridesmaid in raunchy teencomedy flick "American Wedding" to the cold and unhappy '60shousewife in the acclaimed TV drama "Mad Men" was a pretty bigtransition for actress January Jones, but she's managed to pull off both roleswith ease, and even land a couple of award noms for the latter. Her nextswitch-up comes in June, when the 33-year-old portrays "one of the most powerful mutants"(her words!) in thenext installment of the "X-Men" big-screen action series,"X-Men: First Class." And, shesays in the May issue of W, she's ready to infiltrate thewild world of Comic-Con ... where she'll surely field a few marriage proposals.
"Comic-Con is mostly male, and I don't really havethat audience. And, I'm really like a guy in a lot of ways," she admits inthe interview. "My screen saver is a picture of me with Eli and PeytonManning taken at the Kentucky Derby. The most starstruck I get is aroundfootball players. I like the Pittsburgh Steelers -- I was going to be Tory Polamalufor Halloween."
She may think she doesn't have "that audience,"but with her looks, we're sure there are plenty of men paying attention. In aquintessential Hollywood story, Jones actually started out as a model, leavingsmall-town South Dakota for New York at age 18. "I was excited to beindependent, but I was also naïve -- I wanted to be rich and famous. [Laughs] Ilived in an apartment near the Empire State Building. There were a billiongirls in New York City who wanted to be models," she recalls. "Aftera while, I was immune to rejection, which helped when I went out to L.A. tobecome an actress."
After her "American Wedding" role and a fewother smaller parts, she eventually found her way to what would be alife-changing audition for a new basic cable show called "Mad Men."Surprisingly, she initially tried out for the role of average-looking secretaryPeggy, not knock-out trophy wife Betty. That's because, at the time, Bettydidn't even exist.
"I read for Peggy two times -- it was between me andElizabeth Moss who eventually got the part. At the end of the scene, there wasa casual mention that [her character's husband, womanizing ad exec] Don wasmarried. [Show creator] Matt [Weiner] went home that night and wrote two scenesthat featured Betty," Jones explains. "I auditioned a couple of dayslater, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I tookthe part on faith -- there was no script or fleshed-out character or Bettyplotline."
While Betty dons a glamorous array of '60s fashions,Jones says her new "X-Men" character, villain Emma Frost, a.k.a.Diamond Girl, has a pretty cool wardrobe, too. "I'm telepathic, and I canturn into a diamond, which means I'm very, very cold. I always wear white: lotsof iridescent stretch leather, lots of sparkle, and ass-kicking whiteboots."
But in real life, Jones tends to be dressed a lot more casuallywhen photographers catch her -- over and over again. "The paparazzi arelining my street, waiting for me to come out of the house. And I'm always doingthe same thing: walking the dog," she insists. "My poor dog isgetting to know all the photographers. I say to him, 'Why aren't you barking?!These aren't your friends.'"
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