NEW YORK — The 10-year-old actress who plays Don and Betty Draper's daughter Sally on "Mad Men" is getting a lot of airtime this season, but she's not allowed to see much more than her own scenes.
"I'm not allowed to watch the show," Kiernan Shipka says. "My mom will tape it and then show me the scenes she feels are appropriate."
The critically acclaimed series stars Jon Hamm, January Jones and Elisabeth Moss and centers about a 1960s-era ad agency. Episodes routinely feature topics that include alcoholism, adultery and sexism in the workplace.
Even if she follows the story lines only on a need-to-know basis, Kiernan says it's not difficult to channel Sally.
"I'm very method when I'm on set," Kiernan says. "It's just kind of thinking the thoughts of Sally, and I pretty much just become her. It's a character that I've known for a really long time, so it's pretty easy."
It's that kind of talent that has upped Kiernan to a full-time cast member on the show, which is on its fourth season. Its writers are giving her a lot to do, too: Sally's parents are now divorced and she's acting out.
Some of Sally's most recent offenses include running away to see her father in New York City, chopping off her hair and fondling herself in front of a friend's mother.
Kiernan says Sally will bring more drama to the show in future episodes.
"Believe it or not, there's a lot more coming," Kiernan teases. "You're just gonna have to wait and see what it is."
Kiernan also defends Sally's recent behavior.
"I don't think she's a bad kid at all. She's going through a rough time. Don is absent and Betty has never once catered to Sally's emotional needs, so I feel that they're not the best parents," Kiernan says.
"Mad Men" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.