January Jones is best known for her carefully calibrated portrayal of Mad Men“s Betty Draper — introduced to audiences as the seemingly perfect wife to the seemingly perfect Don Draper.
Of course, underneath her well-maintained exterior, Betty”s life is no fairytale, and January has garnered great acclaim for capturing the complex emotional state of the beautiful but unhappy 1960s housewife.
But who is the South Dakota-born star that brings Betty to life Here”s five facts you should know about January Jones.
1. She originally auditioned — twice — for the role of Peggy Olson, before creator Matthew Weiner asked her to read for Betty Draper instead.
“There was no Betty in the pilot when I auditioned, “January told W Magazine. “At the end of the scene, there was a casual mention that Don was married. Matt went home that night and wrote two scenes that featured Betty. I auditioned a couple of days later, and he made me a verbal promise that the character would grow. I took the part on faith; there was no script or fleshed-out character to Betty plot-line.”
2. On 13 September, 2011, January gave birth to her son, Xander Dane Jones — but she has never revealed the identity of his father and chose to leave his name off the birth certificate.
“I can do anything I want to do,” January told Glamour. “I work, I date, I have friends. I have time for everything I had time for before. I just have an added amazing thing in my life… I don”t think being a single mum is something I need to feel sorry about or need to go to group therapy over. It”s really a joy in my life, and that”s it.”
3. Growing up, January was no stranger to teenage shenanigans. “One night she went out the basement window. Our dog was barking, which got her caught, ” her dad Marv told People. “Next time, she tried taking the dog with her.”
4. January was not named after the month in which she was born. Her name came from a character in the Jacqueline Susann book Once Is Not Enough. “My dad liked how January went with Jones. My sisters” names are Jina and Jacey Jones,” she has said. “People think I changed my name. I could”ve been an actress, a superhero or a stripper!”
5. When she was young, January wanted to be a meteorologist, or a marine biologist — despite the fact that she grew up in South Dakota and didn”t see the ocean until she was 16.