The actress explained, "It was always an inch at a time and never knowing if the door was gonna close that moment." https://t.co/Iu3uO6gOOI— Shadow and Act (@shadowandact) May 20, 2021
As you might recall Teyonah Parris had a recurring role on AMC's Mad Men, but she revealed in an interview with Collider how she was never aware of where she stood in the cast hierarchy.
She talked about being a part of the groundbreaking show as Dawn, the first Black secretary at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. In her interview, she said how she felt like she was always holding her breath, waiting to be let go from the series because she was never specifically told she was a recurring character.
“I was a recurring [cast member]. That did happen. I was really excited. But I never knew I was a recurring [cast member] because they never told me, ‘You’re a recurring cast member]!’ It was literally for the entire time I was there, I would say it was like three years, one episode at a time," she said. "They never said, ‘Hey, this season you’ll be in five episodes so I could be like, ‘Yes! Okay! This is great!’ It was always, ‘We’re checking your availability for tomorrow.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I didn’t die. They didn’t fire me or kick me out of the office,’ so I always felt like I was holding my breath with that show because they never actually were like, ‘Hey, this is the future we have for you,’ etc. So it was always an inch at a time and never knowing if the door was gonna close that moment.”
In all, she had a great experience with her cast members. She said "“As I think back on the experience, I’m so grateful for it. I learned a lot on that show," she said. "I loved watching Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks as they [performed.] [I]t was a very special piece and the time period and all that, so they were wonderful to work with and to watch. But personally, I just always felt like I was on eggshells. I just never knew.”
Her comments make so much sense - glad to finally get her thoughts on it after all this time, I remember while it was airing a lot of us black viewers being frustrated with how her character was being used to make some characters seem more liberal/open-minded and how her storyline/perspective was under-told.