'Mad Men': Kiernan Shipka grows up on screen

kiernan-shipka2-mad-men-320.jpgThe strict no-spoilers policy on the "Mad Men" set apparently applies to Don and Betty Draper's children as well.

Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper on AMC's Emmy-winning show, answers a question from Zap2it about the new season with, "I'm not really allowed to tell you a lot."

But Kiernan, who's 10 years old and, as of this season, a series regular on the show, does give us a little information on how Sally and Betty ( January Jones) -- who left Don ( Jon Hamm) at the end of last season, are getting along when things pick back up in Sunday's (July 25) premiere.

"Betty's her mom, and she loves her," Kiernan says of Sally. "But she just wishes things -- she doesn't know why things had to change. I don't think Betty's actually capable of helping Sally cope with the effects of the separation and the divorce. ... So it's a tough relationship. But she loves her mom."

We mentioned she's only 10, right?

Because she is still a kid, she doesn't always get to watch all of "Mad Men." "My mom initially watches it -- she records it on the DVR," Kiernan says. "The she shows me the scenes she thinks I would enjoy and fast-forwards through a lot of stuff."

In addition to her acting and her schoolwork -- she's studied the period in which "Mad Men" takes place and finds the '60s "really fascinating" -- Kiernan also likes singing, songwriting and playing the piano and says she would love to pursue a music career in the future.

She even makes time to watch "American Idol" occasionally. "I love Ellen [DeGeneres] on it," she says. "I love all the judges."

She's not sure, though, about who should take Simon Cowell's place next year: "I don't think anyone really can replace Simon," Kiernan says. "He's so awesome, and he brings a lot to the show."

"Mad Men" begins its fourth season at 10 p.m. ET Sunday on AMC.

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Photo credit: AMC