Christina Hendricks on scotch, ‘Mad Men’ and where she’d put her Emmy
Maybe one day, if you are very lucky, actress and noted hostess Christina Hendricks will invite you over for a party at her Los Angeles home. But, in all likelihood, she won’t (sorry, dreams). So it was up to us to ask the “Mad Men” actress how she earned such a good reputation as a hostess — so in the know, she doesn’t fear last-minute hosting duty. In fact, she embraces it.“We entertain quite often,” she says of life with husband, actor Geoffrey Arend, whom she married in 2009. “I like to have things always ready to go on our bar — nice cocktail napkins, nice glassware, straws and my backup supply of whatever,” she says of her Boy Scout “always be prepared” style of hostessing. “I’ll run down to the corner market and see what’s in season so we can whip up a few hors d’oeuvres super fast or maybe use in a special cocktail we’ll create for that evening. I’ll have a full bar set up and put on some good music and hope it will be a good party.”
Hendricks admits she likes treating her friends, so she doesn’t always ask them to bring a bottle or a dish (reason No. 345 we should all be friends with her). “I think it’s important to have a little gesture of one little dish or appetizer or drink you’ve made especially for the evening for your guests.”
Hendricks knows her cocktails — the actress has been the brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker for three years. And now she is helping to promote the brand’s Platinum Label, an 18-year-old blended scotch whisky, which she always has on hand. “It’s my new favorite,” she says of the blend. “It’s so unique and it’s sort of creamy and vanilla-y.” And if you are ever so lucky as to have a glass of it with Hendricks, know that she takes her scotch neat. “The suggested serve is to have it with still water to open up the flavor, and I like it that way. But I like mine neat. I think it is beautiful simply straight up.”When Hendricks isn’t throwing perfect last-minute cocktail parties or drinking scotch straight up, she is, of course, the fiery Joan Holloway on the AMC period drama “Mad Men,” a role for which she is up for an Emmy this Sunday. It is her fourth nomination. “These characters are so well-written that there isn’t one side to them. When we first saw Joan in Season 1, she was very different than now,” says Hendricks on her secretary-turned-junior partner alter ego.
“There are so many sides to her: She’s a working woman, a working mother. She’s had a lot of trials and has bounced back. I think she’s quite resilient. She’s a fighter and she’s a protector. I think those are qualities that women relate to. I think they want to back her up, and maybe she represents how they sometimes feel.”
Hendricks has her fingers crossed for Sunday night; she’s even figured out where she might put her Emmy. “Were I lucky enough [to win], it would go on the mantle and go around the house. It would journey around,” she says on her possible statuette. When asked if it would make an appearance on her always-stocked bar, she laughed. “I haven’t thought about that. Maybe I can put little cocktail olives on it or something.”