Thanks to Mad Men and Avengers, Actress Linda Cardellini Knows How to Keep a Secret

Bloodline star didn't even tell her publicist about one recent appearance


Age 39

Claim to fame Stars in Netflix's Bloodline; appears in The Avengers and Welcome to Me (both in theaters now); plays Sylvia Rosen on AMC's Mad Men

Base Los Angeles

Twitter @LindaCardellini

What's the first information you consume in the morning?

Well, I look and make sure that no one has called, that there have been no emergencies, and then I look at whatever comes up on my phone.

Tell us about your social media habits. What are your go-to platforms?

I don't have any really. I should get some. I have a Twitter handle. That's the only thing that's actually me. Most of it is not actually me.

Are there fake profiles?


Is that amazing? Scary?

A little of both, yeah.

What's your favorite app?

I have so many pictures of my daughter on my phone that it's jammed up, so I can't have very many apps. But a good one is HotelTonight because you can find a hotel at the last minute.

What TV shows do you watch?

I watch Downton Abbey and Transparent. I also loved Boardwalk Empire but that just ended. And I watch Mad Men.

Will we see you again on Mad Men before the finale?

I can't answer that, but I'm excited to see how the show ends. You just saw me [in the Season 7 episode "New Business"]. I couldn't talk about being on that episode. I was keeping, like, four different secrets at the same time and none of them leaked.

Your role in The Avengers was also a secret, so you don't have to do the insane press tour, either.

Being a secret is fun, I have to say. There are so few things you can surprise people with anymore because of the Internet and spoilers, so to be able to be part of a secret is exciting. I didn't even tell my publicist that I was going to be on Mad Men again. [Laughs] She was surprised when she saw me on there.

You're on Bloodline right now. How is working on a show for Netflix different from doing a regular TV show?

It feels like working on a long film, with the exception of the script. You don't have one script from page one to the end. With a show like Freaks and Geeks [on which Cardellini starred from 1999 to 2000], there was a pilot, and then the pilot went through. If you watch that pilot alone, it's almost like a little movie; that could've been the only thing that ever existed if we didn't get the go-ahead. But with something like Netflix, you know you have 13 episodes, and there's this longer format that the creators are aware of. It's almost like investing yourself in a novel.

What's on your reading list?

I read Sissy Spacek's book because I'm working with her [on Bloodline] and I loved it. She's a really warm, generous and kind person, and she wrote this memoir called My Extraordinary Ordinary Life. Knowing her work and loving her work, and then knowing her as a person and loving her as a person—it was really fun to read. I love to read National Geographic magazine, the one that costs $12. Once in a while I'll splurge.