Double take: Celebrities take mistaken identity in stride

NEW YORK (AP) — “Hey, aren’t you …” Well, no. As famous as they are, celebrities sometimes get misidentified as another A-list face, but many told The Associated Press that they take it in stride.

“I get (mistaken for) everyone, anyone who has red hair,” laughed “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks, who has been confused with Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain. The culprits include a department store worker who wrongly identified her as the “Zero Dark Thirty” actress.

“Chastain’s epic,” Hendricks said.

For Chastain, the redhead double take usually involves Bryce Dallas Howard : “I remember one time being on the subway and I was looking at a magazine and there was a picture of her in it, like a small picture, and I was like ‘What am I doing in this magazine?’ I actually had that thought,” Chastain recalled.

Even Howard’s dad — director Ron Howard — was once fooled, Chastain said. “I was walking by and I was like ‘Oh, that’s Ron Howard.’ And then my friend who was with me said he turned to someone and goes ‘I think I just saw Bryce.’”

When the 2011 film “The Help” came along and the two actresses got to work together, they ran to a mirror. “We looked at each other, at our faces, and we were like ‘Yeah we look exactly alike,’” Chastain said.

It’s not just about the redheads.

Sienna Miller is often mistaken for a certain fellow blonde: “Me and Naomi Watts are friends, but we often get sent each other’s headshots to sign, which I’ll take happily.”

As for Watts, she gets mixed up with friend and fellow Australian Nicole Kidman, but she doesn’t really see it. “We sometimes look at each other and go, ‘It’s not the nose, is it the lips? No it’s not that. Is it the eyes?’ I don’t know what it is.”

And it’s not just women.

Jake Gyllenhaal , thinks it’s just good hair in general. “I think as actors we like to think that we’re special, but most of the time people really can’t differentiate any of us. We’re all sort of the same, with no real special skill besides the fact that you know our hair looks nice ’cause somebody else did it.”

If you mistake Samuel L. Jackson for another actor, don’t expect him to correct you . “I just sign what they want me to sign for whoever they think I am,” he said. There’s one actor he’s consistently confused with: Laurence Fishburne.

Gabrielle Union said she gets mistaken for “every black person you’ve ever met in life, famous or not.” Among her supposed lookalikes are singers Brandy and Ashanti and actresses Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall and Halle Berry. Union blames the identity mix-ups on laziness.

“Last night I was walking out of a restaurant and the paparazzi was, he might have been the laziest paparazzi I’ve ever encountered. He was like ‘Are you a singer?’ I was like, ‘Yes, I’m Ashanti.’”

Pakistani-American comedian Kumail Nanjiani cites Kunal Nayyar, Aziz Ansari and Hasan Minhaj as his celebrity lookalikes, and it works both ways. “It happens to them with me,” he said. “And so, I feel at least we all have this weird thing in common in that we get mistaken for each other, even though we don’t really look alike.”

In a more unusual identity goof, Mindy Kaling said she’s been mistaken for Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai : “I was once mistaken at a New Yorker party for Malala. And I said, ‘I’ll take it. She’s 19. That’s fine.’”

When it comes to some British male celebs, “Dark Phoenix” stars Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy said they’ve both been mistaken for Ewan McGregor, while Michael Sheen has been mistaken for a host of other celebrities. The latest is his “Good Omens” co-star David Tennant. “Someone thought that David was playing both parts as well.”

On occasion, comparisons rise above gender. Who is “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner’s famous doppelganger?

“I haven’t got mistaken for them, but a lot of people say that I do look like Boy George,” she said. “It’s true. I see it too. I’ll show you pictures. It’s kind of crazy.”

When ‘Mad Men’ first debuted in 2007, everyone was talking about Christina Hendricks—specifically, her vibrant red hair and hourglass figure. In a sea of generic celebs, she was a breath of fresh air!

Okay, I think we all realized that her hair colour comes from a bottle, not nature. And whether her curves are actually real, I’ll leave for you to decide.

But what about the rest? Could she have changed her facial features, like so many of her peers, along the road to fame?

Let’s take a look at her dramatic beauty transformation over the years.

Christina in the 1990s

Christina Hendricks in the 1990s.

As a ’90s high school student, Christina was a full-fledged Goth girl! It’s actually kind of adorable. She has said she grew up “feeling ugly, awkward and horrible” and began dyeing her hair red, then purple, starting at age 10.

It was after high school that she started experimenting with wigs. She wore one to enter a Seventeen cover model contest (and lost), but it was then that she realized she could actually “feel pretty.” Keep that in mind as we look through these photos!

Christina in 2004

Christina Hendricks at the UPN TCA Press Tour in 2004.

By age 29, Christina was still looking for her big acting break, and didn’t have all the top stylists on speed-dial like she does now. As you can see, her dyed red hair is a bit rooty and certainly not as shiny and voluminous as we’re used to seeing it now. Her face looks exactly the same, though.

Christina in 2005

Christina Hendricks at the 2005 premiere of ‘Serenity.’

I think this is also her real hair, in 2005. It’s naturally fine and flat (maybe more so from all the colour).

Christina in 2007

Christina Hendricks at the 2007 American Cinematheque Award.

Two years later, Christina was right on the cusp on fame. Already, the styling has improved thanks to ‘Mad Men.’ Look closely at the hairstyle, though. You can see her scalp around the part, and there are both straight and curly pieces through the lengths. I’m guessing that she used a hairpiece (called a fall) that sits on the crown to add the appearance of fullness. But it’s not as high quality as the ones she wears later on.

Christina in 2008

Christina Hendricks at the 2008 SAG Awards.

For this event, Christina wore her hair up and very textured, in a more vibrant, event red. It’s much more uniform—I’d never guess it was not her own!

Christina Hendricks at the 2008 premiere of ‘Breaking Bad.’

I think this is her real hair again, just blown out for a bit more fullness. She looks adorable here—very fresh and natural. The lip stain is especially pretty!

Christina Hendricks at PaleyFest 2008.

And this one looks like her real hair without any styling, and in need of a root touch-up! It’s just a little surprising since we never seen Christina looking anything less than perfectly groomed these days.

Christina in 2009

Christina Hendricks at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards.

The beauty upgrades continued alongside the success of ‘Mad Men.’ Celebrity makeup artists have told me that the reason stars seem to get better-dressed and better-looking is because it’s all paid for by the studios. When they’re on a hit series, they get to work with the best hair and makeup artists for any red carpet events. And it really shows! From now on, we won’t see Christina without a wig or hairpiece.

Christina in 2010

Christina Hendricks at the Directors Guild of America Awards in 2010.

In this one, a careful observer can detect the hairpiece adding volume. Her bangs are very fine, there’s a bit of visible scalp, and then an enormous bouffant! Even still, I’ve always loved this look, especially the eyeliner and lipstick.

Christina Hendricks at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.

This is one of the most famous Christina shots, which you’ll surely remember from the Golden Globes. I still love it, all these years later! I think this is a wig because the colour is so much brighter, and it’s so thick and full, with no scalp peeking through. Seeing as most fine-haired types struggle with mousses, root-lifting sprays and round brushes in hopes of achieving similar volume, I think it’s REALLY important to know this ain’t real.

Christina in 2011

Christina Hendricks at the 2011 SAG Awards.

The following year’s array of wigs were even more obvious, to those paying attention (I wasn’t, back then!). Christina was 36 here, and you can clearly see she has an extra piece of hair—resembling a combover—at the top. Her forehead is very, very smooth, so she may have started Botox by this time.

Christina Hendricks at the 2011 Emmy Awards.

Then, her hair suddenly transformed to a lighter red, in a bobbed wavy style! Looking back, how did it not cross my mind that this was not her hair? Truly, it does look amazing, especially how it’s matchy with the lipstick colour. I wonder how she can stand wearing wigs all the time though—my head would get so hot and itchy!

Christina in 2012

Christina Hendricks at the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Now we’re back to a longer, curlier style. I really love this one, too. Her skin looks so fresh; if she is injecting, it’s not detectable.

Christina Hendricks at the 2012 opening night of ‘The Book of Mormon.’

Notice how Christina has been able to gradually expand her wig wardrobe. This straight, side-parted style might be my favourite. They’re so realistic, I can’t imagine how much they cost to have made! I also love her red lipstick, black liner and blush.

Christina in 2013

Christina Hendricks at the 2013 AFI Awards.

Alright, the first really bad wig showed up in 2013. It’s way too bright, and kinda cheap-looking, I think. Also wondering if she did something to her mouth? I’m not sure if it’s just her expression here or if she got a few jabs that made it difficult to move that area.

Christina Hendricks at the 2013 Emmy Awards.

Now, see how she went from that bright red and bangs to this short, thick, wavy strawberry blonde. I don’t think I need to convince anybody at this point, right?

Christina Hendricks at the 2013 Season 6 premiere of ‘Mad Men.’

Another wig in her collection is this wavy long bob style. I think the darker reds like this are the most beautiful with her complexion.

Christina in 2014

Christina Hendricks at the 2014 Season 7 premiere of ‘Mad Men.’

Here’s the photo that inspired this Before & After in the first place. I had been marvelling at her miraculous ability to never have roots… then I realized why!

Update: Christina in 2015

Christina Hendricks at the 2015 Skin Cancer Foundation Gala.

In 2015, Christina continued to defy the aging process (or else has a REALLY good doctor), as her skin still looks in great condition. She was 40 here. While this wig is pretty bright, the texture and length make it look close to natural.

Update: Christina in 2016

Christina Hendricks at the 2016 premiere of ‘The Neon Demon.’

It looks like Christina is moving away from her signature fire engine hue and opting for a lighter, softer red. The bangs make the wig look like her own hair.

Update: Christina in 2017

Christina Hendricks at the 2017 premiere of ‘Fist Fight.’

And that brings us to 2017. Christina looks to be aging very naturally, with no major procedures to her face (so far). Her wig game has also come a long way since she first started walking the red carpet!


Christina Hendricks in 2008 (left) and in 2012 (right).

I don’t know about you, but looking at Christina, I don’t see any evidence of surgical enhancement (at least from the neck up!).

If she has tried injections, they were extremely conservative and well done. So it seems the only real “enhancement” going on here is the hair!

She readily admits to using fake hair, by the way. In 2008, Christina told the New York Post, “I wear little wiglet pieces , and then they blend my hair in. There’s just so much teasing and construction, my hair would just be breaking off. The just try to preserve our hair, little helpful things.”

It only makes sense that she’d wear them on the red carpet as well. So if you’ve had hair envy, it’s VERY helpful to know that—and realize that celebs aren’t these genetic freaks born with more hair than anyone else.

As any hairdresser will tell you, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Hairpieces, wigs and extensions are ubiquitous in Hollywood—and you do need bags of money to afford the highest-quality, believable-looking ones.

So that, my friend, is how they make the celebrity sausage. Let me know what you think!

How do you feel about Christina’s beauty evolution?
Which of these looks is your favourite?
What “beauty work” do you think she’s had done?

Does Christina Hendricks have a body women should aspire to?

Image caption Series 4 has just begun in the US

Christina Hendricks, who plays sassy secretary Joan Harris in television drama Mad Men, has been identified as the woman with a body others should healthily aspire to. But how realistic is it for women to look like her ?

She’s the unlikely star of Mad Men, the foxy secretary who sashays through the offices of advertising agency Sterling Cooper as if she runs it.

And if it was today, and not the 1960s, then maybe she would.

Her hips are probably the most hypnotic on television, and now Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Harris (nee Holloway), and is reportedly a size 14, has had her body officially endorsed by the British government.

“Christina Hendricks is absolutely fabulous,” says Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, who held up Hendricks’ outline as an ideal shape for women.

Highlighting the “overexposure” of skinny models and the impact they have on body image among young people, Ms Featherstone went on: “We need more of these role models. There is such a sensation when there is a curvy role model. It shouldn’t be so unusual.”

So what makes Hendricks’ figure distinctive, and how attainable is it?

In many ways, the character revolutionised perceptions of beauty on television screens, says the Los Angeles Times television critic, Mary McNamara.

“When Joan first showed up on American TV, she turned the beauty ideal on its ear, reminding everyone that generous curves were once considered sexy, and that pre-Twiggy, women’s clothing was designed to accommodate and enhance ample breasts and hips and thighs.

“Marilyn Monroe often wore a size 12 and very thin women wore padded bras and often had to shop in the boys department to find clothes. Hendricks is, of course, gorgeous by any era’s standards and shows no signs of succumbing to the traditional pressure to slim down.”

Unlike actresses America Ferrara (who plays Ugly Betty) and Britain’s Kate Winslet, Ms Hendricks has kept her full figure, adds McNamara, who last week reviewed Mad Men Series 4.

That figure is reportedly in possession of dimensions around 36-32-36 – although some reports suggest 38-32-38 – and her breasts variously described as a C or D cup.

That kind of body requires a lot of exercise and healthy eating to maintain, says Deanne Jade, a psychologist at the National Centre for Eating Disorders.

“Usually in the real world, the bigger breast goes along with a bigger tummy, wider waist or protruding abdomen.

“So it’s unusual to have someone with these curves. Therefore to get a figure like that, you would have to work hard or be naturally well-endowed.”

While she agrees with the minister that role models need to be a fuller and more realistic shape, Ms Jade says women with eating disorders will always seek out images of the thinnest women to confirm their own distorted view of how they look. And magazines they read are full of stereotyping images that link “thin” with “success”.

“It’s an interesting soundbite but it takes more than that to change the messages that are going out.”

Image caption Corsetry: One way to an hour-glass figure

Identifying any particular body shape as the ideal one is fraught with difficulty and can just add to female anxiety, says Shade Adeoye, who is researching female perceptions of body image for a PhD at Leicester University.

She says Hendricks has a much more realistic figure than many models, but women looking to match it will end up falling short.

“I would say they will be almost 100% disappointed, because her level of upkeep will be far higher than for a normal person. The kind of money you need to spend – on the gym, cosmetics or even new breasts – is far beyond a normal person working nine to five.

“There is a possibility of getting this body by exercise and being careful what you eat – some people have ideal bodies without having surgery – but it requires a big investment in time and money. It’s a full-time job in itself.”

Given her popularity as a character, can we expect to see a proliferation of Joan-shaped women on television? There are some signs, says Ms McNamara.

“One hopes that the very obvious proof that women who weigh more than 98lbs can be sexy will translate beyond the Joan character, and I think we’re seeing a little of that with shows like Drop Dead Diva, Huge and the upcoming Mike and Molly.

“But none of those characters is treated with the same kind of bombshell reverence that Mad Men creator Matt Weiner clearly has for Joan.”

MAD Men star Christina Hendricks has revealed her anger at being turned down for acting roles because of her famous hourglass figure.

The flame-haired actress, best known for playing Joan Holloway in the award-winning drama Mad Men, has declared it’s “outrageous” there aren’t more varieties of body shape shown on screen.

8 Christina Hendricks said it’s ‘outrageous’ there isn’t more variety of body shape on TVCredit: Getty – Contributor 8 Christina is best known for playing Joan Holloway in Mad MenCredit: Handout

These days she’s praised her voluptuous figure and killer curves, but before Mad Men came along, the 42-year-old was often told her body shape was unsuitable when she auditioned for roles such as police officers or medics.

“I auditioned for things where I knew I killed the audition. I knew I did,” she told The Times.

“I would be embarrassed to even say that out loud.

“There should be a million different body types .

“It’s outrageous that there aren’t. And it’s outrageous that we’re sitting here having this conversation and it’s even a thing.”

8 The star said she would miss out on jobs because of her body shapeCredit: Getty – Contributor 8 Everything changed when Christina landed the role of Joan in period drama Mad MenCredit: Getty – Contributor

Everything changed for Christina when she landed the role of Joan in period drama Mad Men, which ran from 2007 until 2015.

“I walk a little bit defeated. But I just put on my game face and did it. And I got this role. And ever since then I get all these, like, amazing strong-a**ed, powerful women.”

8 Christina has said she gained 15lbs living in Italy as a young model and loved her curvesCredit: Corbis

Christina previously credited living in Italy as an up and coming model for helping develop her amazing figure.

She told The Sun in 2013: “I started out as a model and when I went to Italy to build my book I gained 15lb from all the pasta and cappuccinos that were part of my life over there.

“I saw my body change and I loved how it changed my appearance and how it made me look more womanly and sexy.

“I give credit to my mum, who told me to feel good about my appearance and not feel embarrassed about my body because she was never worried about looking too big or feeling fat.”

8 Her curves have been praised by both men and women around the worldCredit: Handout 8 Pictured with her Mad Men co-stars. The ad agency based drama ran from 2007 until 2015Credit: AP:Associated Press

She added: “I know I have a figure and I long ago decided that I wouldn’t starve myself and try to become one of those typically skinny actresses.

“I’m completely comfortable with my body.”

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Christina also told Health magazine that after gaining those 15lbs she felt “beautiful” and decided to never lose weight, despite pressure in Hollywood.

“I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, ‘Oh, I look like a woman!’

“And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, ’cause I loved it.”

8 Christina has said she’ll never bow to pressure to lose weightCredit: Splash News

She added that she was flattered by the attention her curves have received from men, but also those women, who aspire to achieve a similar body shape.

“It’s such a compliment, because of all those times I had agents who were like, ‘You have to lose some weight,’ and all of a sudden, people are celebrating it.” she said.

“It’s like: ‘Oh, thank you! Thank you for letting me be me.'”

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Christina Hendricks hated her high school. When she was 13, her parents moved from the small town of Twin Falls, Idaho, to Fairfax in Virginia because of her father’s job with the United States Forest Service. Hendricks felt “uprooted” and resentful. Then she had to start at a new school: Fairfax High.

She stood out from the beginning. In Twin Falls she had been part of a children’s theatre group. She wore Birkenstocks and “hippy dresses”. She was surprised when she saw the other girls her age in Fairfax “carrying purses . I was like, ‘Ooh, purses!’ To me, only moms had purses. They were much more sophisticated and they were having sex and wearing makeup – all these things that had not happened for me.”

From the start, Hendricks was bullied. “We had a locker bay, and every time I went down there to get books out of my locker people would sit on top and spit at me. So I had to have my locker moved because I couldn’t go in there… I felt scared in high school. It was like Lord of the Flies. There was always some kid getting pummelled and people cheering.”

Hendricks found refuge in the drama department. Acting provided an outlet for a feeling of impotent rage. She became a goth, dying her hair black and purple, shaving it at the back and wearing leather jackets and knee-high Doc Marten boots. Were her clothes a type of armour against what she was experiencing?

“Yeah, exactly,” she says, nodding. “My parents would say, ‘You’re just alienating everyone. You’ll never make any friends looking like that.’ And I would say, ‘I don’t want those people to be my friends. I’m never going to be friends with the people who beat up a kid while everyone is cheering them on. I hate them.'”

Christina Hendricks in God’s Pocket, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final film. Photograph: PR

Fast-forward 26 years and Christina Hendricks is now one of the most recognised, acclaimed and lusted-after women in the world. Her portrayal of Joan Harris, the sassy 60s secretary who rises to be partner of an advertising agency in the hit series Mad Men, has won her critical plaudits, Emmy nominations and the slathering admiration of a legion of borderline-obsessive fans.

At 39, Hendricks is – unusually for a female celebrity – loved in equal measure by men and women. Much has been made of her extraordinary looks that hark back to a bygone age of glamour – her curves, her auburn hair (dyed red because she loved Anne of Green Gables as a child) and her translucent skin.

A 2010 poll of female readers for Esquire magazine named her “the sexiest woman in the world”. Googling her name will throw up websites called things such as “Admiring Christina Hendricks” and a Tumblr devoted to answering the question “What Would Joan Do?”, which resolves modern etiquette dilemmas by channelling Hendricks’s character in Mad Men (on relationships: “Anyone who you have to convince to be with you isn’t worth convincing”). When I told people I was interviewing Hendricks, a female friend pleaded with me to tell her she thought Hendricks was “the ultimate woman since Eve”.

“Oh, that’s so nice,” Hendricks says, pressing her hands to her chest as if accepting a prize. “Thank you.”

Has she been shocked at the response to Joan and, by extension, to herself? I imagine it’s a lot of pressure to have to live up to being the ultimate woman since Eve. “I guess I was surprised,” Hendricks says when we meet in Joe Allen, a basement restaurant in the theatre district on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “I watched what people responded to in Joan, and she’s so many things, but I think it’s her strength, resilience and confidence.”

Has playing Joan rubbed off on Hendricks’s personality?

“I hope so… I’ve got a little sass in me.” She narrows her eyes, tilts her head and smiles in what can only be described as a demonstration of uber-sass. “I probably tend to get my feelings hurt more. I tend to take things personally. But I can only take so much and then I jump back. I have strong survival skills.”

The key to Joan is that she establishes her power using her intelligence and the limited means available to her as a woman in an era of institutionalised sexism and unequal pay. I wonder: has Hendricks ever experienced sexism in the acting industry? “Oh sure,” she says, matter of factly. “You know, it’s difficult in the arts to pinpoint it but there’s sexual harassment at work every single day, all day long. Certainly in the respect and position , you feel like, ‘Am I allowed to ask these questions or contribute in this way?’… Society has conditioned you that way. As women, we feel we can’t ask for things. There’s been a lot of research done recently and, more often than not, if a woman goes in to ask for a raise, she’ll get it. But she’s thinking, ‘Do I deserve it? I’ve got to give a list of why I deserve it.’ Whereas a man will just go in and ask for a raise. It’s so scary.”

Hendricks is promoting her new feature film, God’s Pocket, directed by her Mad Men colleague John Slattery (who plays Roger Sterling) and co-starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hendricks plays Jeanie Scarpato, a trapped housewife who never quite escaped her small town. Jeanie’s son dies in the opening scenes and she becomes convinced the town is covering up the real story of his death. Her husband (Seymour Hoffman) tries to find out what really went on. A tale of violence, betrayal and grief ensues.

She says it is difficult watching the film now, knowing that Seymour Hoffman has gone. He died in February, shortly after the film premiered at Sundance. “I was saying to my husband that sometimes when you have a friend who passes, it feels very, very final,” she says, and her eyes become filmy as she turns away and stares at the tablecloth. “But something about Philip… I keep thinking I’m going to see him again. I guess, when I watch the film now, I feel like it’s a celebration of him. I feel lucky to have gotten to work with him. I feel grateful and I feel sad.”

Was she shocked by his death?

“I mean, I was because he’d seemed so great… um… and, you know, we’d just been at Sundance with him the week before and he seemed fantastic. I knew he’d had problems in the past but I really did think it was in the past. I was so surprised.”

Hendricks readily admits she was intimidated at the prospect of working with a man widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest actors of his generation, but “he was incredibly warm and collaborative” and it helped that Slattery was directing: “It was very nice looking across the room and seeing each other’s faces,” she says. “A little bit of reassurance in a sea of uncertainty.”

Although the film opened at Sundance to mixed reviews, Hendricks’s nuanced performance has been lauded (she was “sorely under-utilised”, according to one critic). Indeed, Hendricks has such onscreen charisma that whenever she appears in a scene, it is difficult to look at anyone else. The character of Joan in Mad Men started out as little more than a feisty secretary, but as audiences began to respond to Hendricks, the writer Matt Weiner developed her role so that by the end of series seven she had become a complex, fully-rounded character and a linchpin of the entire show.

The same thing happened with Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn’s action thriller starring Ryan Gosling as a getaway driver. Hendricks has only a small part as a mysterious woman called Blanche but, according to the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw “almost steals the picture”.

Christina Hendricks steals the show as Blanche in Drive. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

In person, too, Hendricks is an arresting presence. When she arrives at Joe Allen, her trademark red hair obscured by a straw trilby, the waiters try to make a point of not staring but their mouths drop open anyway, as though their chins have been drawn towards the ground by some curious magnetic force.

Hendricks is in jeans and a black silk top, low-cut enough to reveal glimpses of bra lace. She is swathed in a black scarf, accessorised with a long gold necklace, red lipstick and black eyeliner. The whole thing makes her look like a turn-of-the-century tarot card reader or a beautiful barmaid as depicted by Manet. There is a timelessness to her, a quality of otherness – the legacy, perhaps, of those long-ago schooldays when she refused to conform.

She orders a steak tartare (“I like it spicy”) and glass of pinot grigio, and then insists I keep her company by getting a bloody mary. It’s 2pm, and I’m working, but Hendricks is impossible to resist. I order the bloody mary.

As we wait for our drinks, I suggest it must be satisfying to look back at those high-school bullies and see how far she has come. She looks at me levelly. “You know, I had so much anger about that time, that experience, for so long and I don’t know what dissipated it, but now it’s gone. I feel some sadness about it, about how cruel kids can be to each other, but that’s it.”

She is still friends with three or four people from that period of her life. “But I haven’t gone to any reunions.” She shrugs. “I’m sure, if I did, they would have no idea I went there. No idea.”

It is, you can’t help but feel, very much their loss.

When she was growing up, Hendricks never thought of acting as a proper career. She’d been appearing in local theatre productions since the age of nine, along with her older brother, Aaron, and yet, she says: “I know it sounds naive but I didn’t know it was a job. I thought it was a hobby.”

At the hair salon where she worked as a teenager in Fairfax, the customers kept saying she should be a model. Eventually her mother, Jackie, entered her daughter’s photo into a competition to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She didn’t win but she got down to the final 10. At 18, she signed with an agency and left Fairfax to live in New York.

She remembers “growing up real fast”. In some respects, Hendricks was already used to going it alone. Her parents split up when she was in her much-hated high school – “I always thought they were going to get a divorce,” she says now. “I was surprised it took them so long” – and New York gave her a chance to get out of Virginia and away from the locker bay.

She was a successful model, travelling the world and living for a year in London, in a flat just off Holloway Road. Her father, Robert, was born in Birmingham and she has dual nationality, happily describing herself as an Anglophile. “Although,” she muses, “I think the beer is stronger there than here. I have two beers in London and I’m, like, wasted.”

In her mid-20s, she moved again, this time, with her mother, to Los Angeles. Hendricks was beginning to get a lot of commercial work on television “because I wasn’t a typical model. I wasn’t 5ft 11in or a beanpole”. A manager friend of her brother’s liked what he saw and asked to represent her as an actress. Hendricks agreed, on the proviso that she could take acting classes before going up for any auditions. “He was really patient with me,” she recalls, taking small mouthfuls of her steak tartare. “So I just started studying. One year later I was watching some movie and I thought, ‘I can do that.’ So I called him up and said, ‘I’m ready.'”

Hendricks got a number of parts in television series, including ER and Without a Trace, but nothing really took off. Then the script for Mad Men came across her desk and immediately she felt it was special.

“I love the idea I have a desk,” she giggles now. “It makes me sound very professional.”

Both she and her manager wanted her to take the part of Joan. Hendricks’s agency didn’t agree. “They said, ‘It’s a period piece, it’s never going to go anywhere. We need you to make money and this isn’t going to make money.’ They ended up dropping me.”

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in Mad Men. Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex

Hendricks was unruffled.

“I had been on several shows that were meant to be the big ones, that would go on for ever, and they didn’t. So there was no sure bet and I’d already taken a chance on them and I felt, why not do the one you’re in love with and take a chance on that?”

It was a gamble that paid off spectacularly well. The first season of Mad Men aired in 2007 and was an instant success. Hendricks remembers taking her mother and her best friend to the screening of the pilot episode and being unsure whether audiences would get it. “I turned to them and said, ‘Is it good?’ And they both said, ‘Oh yeah, it’s good.’ I said, ‘Is it boring?’ and my mother said, ‘No, but I didn’t like that he was cheating on his wife at the end.'”

Hendricks laughs. “And I thought, ‘Oh no, she’s going to hate the show.'”

After eight years of Joan, Hendricks has just wrapped filming on the series finale. She has several more films in the pipeline and wants to do some theatre – “I want to do everything!” – but Mad Men has seen her through her 30s and saying goodbye has been a wrench. On the last day of filming, the cast gathered to applaud each other as they played out their final scenes and then they hung around “chatting, singing songs, drinking” until eight the following morning. “We all just stuck around,” says Hendricks. “We didn’t want to leave.”

To compound the feeling of uncertainty and change, Hendricks and her hus band have just moved back to New York from LA. “The move has been a really nice distraction,” she says. “I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet… We all know each other more than most people on Earth know each other. A lot has happened these eight years. A lot of us have gotten married, bought homes, had children.”

Hendricks met her husband in 2007, in the middle of the first season, through their mutual friend, Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Mad Men’s Pete Campbell. They married two years later. “So he has been on this journey with me, during which our lives have changed entirely,” she says. “He’s been amazing. When people are like, ‘How are you doing?’ , he’s like, ‘She’s sad… but she’s good.'”

Unlike many of her fellow cast members, Hendricks has decided she does not want children. She had “a million conversations” with Arend about it before they got married and feels very lucky that he agrees. “I mean, they are a lot of work.” Has she ever wanted to be a mother? She wrinkles her nose. “I think in my mid-20s I did because I was moving around a lot and didn’t have that sense of community, of being rooted.”

When she has spoken about this in the past, she has been surprised by the fuss. “Why? I know plenty of people who don’t have children. And I also get a lot of people who say, ‘Thank you for speaking out, my family don’t understand why I don’t want kids.'”

Hendricks as Joan with John Slattery as Roger Sterlingin Season 5 of Mad Men. Slattery directs her in God’s Pocket. Photograph: Michael Yarish/AMC

Instead, she and Arend have a dog, a beloved cockapoo called Zouzou. Hendricks takes out her phone to show me pictures. She says she had to take a mugshot of Zouzou recently “because she’s a service dog and they needed it for her ID”.

A what?

“Service dog,” Hendricks says again. “So she can travel with me on aeroplanes.”

Like a guide dog for the blind?

And the air authorities are OK with that?

“You know, they’re not legally allowed to ask the reasons,” she replies, and then she shows me another photo of Zouzou in a smart green bib that they bought specifically to make her look “more formal”.

It’s clear that, with Arend and her anti-anxiety dog, Hendricks now has that rootedness she lacked in her 20s, helped also by the firm friendships she established through Mad Men. “I think, with the exception of Robert Morse and John Slattery, none of us were very well known . We’ve watched our anonymity being taken away. That’s where we are a protective family unit.”

The fame is still a strange thing. Hendricks compares the sometimes nerdish preoccupation of Mad Men fans – not unkindly – to the sci-fi community. “They’re incredibly passionate,” she says, knocking back the last of her wine. “So they always say really kind and nice things.”

But she has an issue with the hullabaloo that goes along with being a modern-day celebrity. She dislikes “the lack of respect for someone’s privacy” and the way people will suddenly shove a cameraphone in her face without warning. It happened the other night, when she was eating a bowl of spaghetti in a restaurant in London.

“So now – great – there’s some horrible pictures of me chewing on meatballs. I’ve had more people come and say, ‘Do you mind if I take a picture because my friend will never believe it.’ Really?” she says, exasperated. “Why? Are you just a big liar? That’s always the justification or excuse for it because it’s not just a picture for them and their friend, it’s a picture they’re going to put on Facebook for their thousands of friends to look at.”

She has a thin skin and hates the constant carping over fashion faux pas or what she perceives as the non-issue of her weight. “I am too emotional,” she admits. “I do take things personally because someone is always wanting to criticise or say something negative. I don’t know why it is. I’m sure there’s tons of blogs out there about how horrible Meryl Streep is.” She guffaws at the thought. “And we all know that’s not true.”

She’s right that her physical attributes come up again and again whenever she is interviewed or written about. On one level you can understand why – in a world where wraith-like thinness in actresses is revered, Hendricks is full-blooded proof that gorgeousness can exist, and be embraced, in a different construct. Her costumes in Mad Men – fitted dresses with nipped-in waists and knee-length pencil skirts worn over uncomfortable girdles and underwired long-line bras – only served to accentuate her hourglass figure and have influenced a host of fashion designers.

On another level you can also see why Hendricks is fed up with talking about it, because it is demeaning to suggest that the success of any woman’s work depends on her vital statistics rather than her talent.

I’ve been asked by Hendricks’s PR not to ask any questions about her body in the interview. But, obviously, I try to bring it up anyway. Hendricks spots the approach from a mile off. “Don’t do it,” she says firmly, before I even get to the end of the sentence. She smiles but it’s quite clear she means it. She finishes her raw steak and then places her knife and fork together on the plate. Just like Joan, there’s a steely underwiring beneath that pale-skinned, blush-cheeked exterior.

Hendricks can more than look after herself. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not sure she needs an anti-anxiety dog after all.

God’s Pocket is released on 8 August. The final seven episodes of Mad Men will be shown in 2015

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How Mad Men Star Christina Hendricks Stays So Beautifully Curvy

With so many airbrushed and stick-thin models on the covers of tabloid and fashion magazines these days, it sure is refreshing to see someone like Christina Hendricks who looks like a real healthy woman. Best known for her voluptuous curves and role on the popular TV series Mad Men, this red-headed bombshell has many wondering, “How do I get a body like that?” We found out!

Christina Hendricks’ Workout and Diet Secrets

1. Try lifting weights on a Bosu. Hendricks knows that lifting weights helps build muscle and improve tone, but she does them while standing on a Bosu to better engage her core and work her body more functionally. Try this Bosu workout for a full-body toner!

2. Do cardio for your health. Hendricks regularly hops on the treadmill to boost her heart health and keep her feeling and looking energized. But it doesn’t take hours to see results – short interval workouts get you fit in a hurry!

3. Enjoy the foods you love in moderation. We all have cravings – even celebs! Hendricks regularly sips on cappuccino and noshes on chips and French onion dip. She believes that a healthy lifestyle isn’t about deprivation but rather indulging every now and again!

And perhaps Hendricks’ biggest secret of all? Love and embrace your body and natural curves – no matter what size you are!

Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites and A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

  • By Jennipher Walters

Christina Hendricks has some pretty thin skin when it comes to social media, and that’s why she doesn’t use it.

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

While appearing on “Busy Tonight,” the “Good Girls” star said she’s certain that trolls would get the best of her.

“I have a reaction to it. I think I’m very sensitive and I think I might get my feelings hurt,” she said.

The “Mad Men” alum also said she fears she’d go down the Instagram rabbit hole too often.

“I think I might get obsessed and just go through people’s lives all day long,” she said.

David Buchan/REX/

Busy, who is very active on social media, made a valid attempt to change Christina’s mind, reading her positive tweets about her.

“I think Christina Hendricks might be the most beautiful person alive. I’m going to need to see her in person next to Idris Elba to be sure,” one person said.

Another wrote, “Christina Hendricks in @nbcgoodgirls is so good and we are not talking about this enough.”

Still, despite all the admiration, Christina said the chances of her joining the social media world are slim.

Christina hendricks weight loss

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