Zou Bisou Bisou: 10 Things To Know About “Mad Men”‘s Jessica Paré

Like most “Mad Men” fans, I was not sure about Don Draper boning, then abruptly marrying, his new secretary, Megan. I wasn’t surprised he got under Megan’s skirt so quickly, of course. But given Don record of getting the golden ticket and then discarding women, I puzzled over why he saw Megan as a keeper.   

Sunday night’s episode let us see that it’s not just Megan’s beauty drawing Don in. She’s sweet with his kids. She knows how to manipulate him in his pissy moments.  They seem to share a slightly sadomasochistic sex drive. She’s upbeat and positive and unlike his ex-wife Betty, she’s a career girl. (Well, a budding one, anyway.) It’s easy to see how Megan makes him feel young again. Call us officially “Team Megan.”

It seems like Megan will be sticking around — at least for awhile, Don is still Don after all — so let’s take a closer look at Jessica Paré, the 29-year-old (ukelele-playing!) French-Canadian actress who plays her onscreen.

  1. Jessica Paré’s sexy performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou” — the amorous ditty she sang for Don and his guests at his 40th birthday party — has been released on iTunes and will soon be available as a limited edition, seven-inch vinyl for sale on Amazon.
  2. Jessica is originally from a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, called Notre-Dame-de-Grace and attended the Catholic high school Villa Maria, acted in community theater. Duh, she speaks both French and English.
  3. Jessica’s dad is the head of the education department at McGill University and her mother is a translator. Both parents have acting pasts.
  4. She dropped out of college to pursue acting and got her big break in 2000 in a comedy called “Stardom” alongside Dan Ackroyd. 
  5. Jessica told the Canadian magazine Maclean’s  that she once tried modeling but was told she is “too fat.” That’s a totally reasonable assessment, obviously.
  6. For three years Jessica was married to the writer/producer Joe Smith, although they are currently separated. Now she lives with two other actresses in Santa Monica. “We do a lot of crafts,” she said. “We drink wine and I play the ukulele.”
  7. Jessica Paré is well-prepared to fend off lurid looks — both on and off TV — after starring in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Classic film, that one. You also might recognize Jessica as Josh Hartnett’s fiancée in “Wicker Park,” the vampire flick “Suck,” or “Lost And Delirious,” where she has a steamy hookup with Piper Perabo.  
  8. Fun fact: Jessica Paré also starred on the TV show “Jack & Bobby” alongside Matt Long, the hottie freelance artist Joey whom Peggy fired from Sterling Cooper for sexual harassment. 
  9. Jessica Paré was in exactly one episode of “The Babysitters Club” TV show back in the ’90s. 
  10. She had no idea she was auditioning for the role of Mrs. Don Draper: the casting call asked for a “female brunette” and she read scenes from previous seasons over the course of three auditions for the Megan role.  

Be gentle with her, Don.

[Vanity Fair]
[Wall Street Journal]
[Made Man]
[Toronto Life]
[Toronto Sun]

Contact the author of this post at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.