After three seasons on the retro “Mad Men,” Michael Gladis leaps back to the present day to join the cast of “Leverage.” As a PR pro specializing in damage control, Gladis — who says he doesn’t even have a publicist himself — shakes things up in this Sunday’s episode, “The 15 Minutes Job.”
You played a copywriter on “Mad Men,” and now you’re a publicist on “Leverage.” Are drawn to characters with media careers?
Not particularly, it’s just the way it’s panned out so far. I hope that I’ll get to play some other types of characters on film that’ll allow me to surprise myself and other people. That’s the whole fun of acting. But for right now, I’ll take any work I can get — so if it’s a brainy literary character, I’ll do that. I’m sure I’ll play a moron at some point.
How was it working on the “Leverage” set compared to that of “Mad Men”?
Every set is different, just because every show is different. Being a guest star is always a
very difficult thing because you’re trying to serve a preexisting vision. They’ve come up with the performance style, and there’s a writing style, and you really have to suss that out as soon as you get there and try and perform on their level, with them, in the way that they’re used to performing. It’s always a really great challenge but it’s also really fun.
How did you get ready to step into that world?
Obviously, your work as an actor is to prepare your role. Then you just have to be very, very light on your feet and respond to the director and to your fellow actors. And be observant. And be respectful. [And don’t] impose yourself or your ideas on their production, but really serve it.