The Story Behind Robert Morse’s ‘Mad Men’ Very best Things Dance

Ora Sawyers

For 7 seasons, Robert Morse tenderly portrayed the eccentric advertisement honcho Bertram “Bert” Cooper on Mad Guys. In mid-period episode “Waterloo,” his character dies immediately after witnessing the moon landing, and inspite of his off-digital camera death, Bert returns to the Sterling Cooper workplaces one particular last time at the episode’s finish in an ethereal sequence, singing and dancing “The Most effective Matters in Lifetime Are Free” to an awestruck Don Draper. Was it a hallucination? An acid vacation? A desire? Who cares. It is lovely. Marisa Area, an actor and dancer, was a person of 5 girls who performed the range along with Morse. (She’s wearing the purple dress.) In this article, she displays on what it was like to give Morse, a veteran of the theater, this sort of a poignant sendoff. “What an absolute beautiful way to go,” he beforehand told us in 2014.

Mainly because of Mad Men’s crazy nondisclosure agreements, it was not spelled out what I was executing when I went into the audition. A buddy who’s a choreographer was doing the job with Mary Ann Kellogg, who choreographed the piece. He was like, We’re workshopping this interval piece, I simply cannot convey to you certainly something else, but trust me, you want this role. Be below at this time. I confirmed up and when I walked out of the elevator, I was like, Oh my God, I just cannot believe it, this is for Mad Adult men. I was a huge supporter of the display. Through the audition approach, no person told us what was going on. I later on discovered out that it was a nod to Robert’s role in How to Thrive in Company Without Truly Seeking, but much more especially, A Secretary Is Not a Toy.” The audition was pretty large. I want to say there ended up about 50 people just before us five ended up picked.

In the workshop, they introduced us with what the scene was about and they had a recording of Robert singing the tune. We played close to with different ideas of what our movements would glance like. Matthew Weiner arrived in a couple of moments and was incredibly collaborative: I like this section, but can we do some thing listed here extra, for the reason that Robert likes transferring his feet this way. I was stunned — well, not stunned, but thrilled — to see that Matthew was nevertheless so involved in the course of action. It did not matter that the display was in the seventh time. He was pretty invested in the choreography and required it to be perfect for Robert.

We experienced a rehearsal with Robert the day ahead of. It was delightful. He was so very pleased and psyched to do the number. He brought in old CDs for us to pay attention to — Sugar was one particular of them. And pictures of previous exhibits he experienced done. It was actually charming. You could convey to he was so thrilled to be accomplishing this dance and possessing this part of his previous recognized on Mad Adult men. The filming working day ought to have been 12 hrs, it’s possible far more. They had to shoot our facet and then also shoot the reactions for Jon Hamm. He was there almost the complete time we were being. When we had been shooting the dance portion of the scene, Jon was considerably less reacting in the minute and experienced far more of his producer-ial hat on using notes and watching and choosing how to respond. We did it as greatest as we could for him to give his response pictures. Since it was Robert’s previous episode, and every person in the forged and crew was so fond of him, everyone was in the boardroom viewing us movie it. Pretty much the full forged. They presented a cake for Robert just after.

Robert was extremely humble about his dancing. He informed me in among takes, “I was by no means a dancer. I recall when Gwen Verdon was striving to teach me choreography and I generally felt like these an idiot.” He was a correct showman and understood what to do. To this working day, it was the most unique thing I have ever worked on. The point that he lived up to the legend and was also this humble, sweet, and variety person, who was so very pleased of all of the do the job that he did — and not in a braggadocios way — was surreal. It was obviously very unique to him. I was in a dreamlike point out the entire time.

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