'Mad Men's' Christina Hendricks wins out over high-school bullies, shortsighted agents

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christina-hendricks-gods-pocket-gi.jpgToday, Christina Hendricks is an Emmy-nominated actress widely admired for her on-screen charisma and her old-school glamour. That was hardly the case, though, when she was growing up.

When the "Mad Men" star moved with her family from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Fairfax, Va. (a Washington, D.C. suburb), as a teenager, she didn't fit in with the cool crowd and was bullied as a result. 

"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," she tells The Guardian in an interview. "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 pummeled and people cheering."

Now, Hendricks says she still has a tendency to "take things personally," but she's let the anger she felt toward her classmates go. "I don't know what dissipated it, but now it's gone," she says. "I feel some sadness about it, about how cruel kids can be to each other, but that's it."

Hendricks can next be seen in "God's Pocket," directed by her "Mad Men" co-star John Slattery and featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman in the final role he filmed before his death in February. She plays a woman in a working-class town whose son is killed, setting her husband (Hoffman) on a quest to figure out what happened.

"I was saying to my husband [actor Geoffrey Arend] that sometimes when you have a friend who passes, it feels very, very final. But something about Philip ... I keep thinking I'm going to see him again," Hendricks says. "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."

Hendricks and her "Mad Men" castmates recently wrapped filming on the series, whose final episodes will air in the spring of 2015. She tells The Guardian that after filming ended, the cast hung around on set till the next morning, not quite ready yet to let go. It's a long way from her agents telling her not to take the part of Joan back in 2007.

"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,'" she recalls. "They ended up dropping me." Whoops.

"God's Pocket" opens in limited release Friday (Aug. 8).
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images