Ray LaHood, former Congressman from Illinois’ 18th Congressional District and former Secretary of Transportation, will kick off a new stage in his distinguished career, as an actor, joining the final season of the popular AMC show Mad Men.
The script for the final season includes a character modeled on an archetype common in the 1960s, when the show is set, but which might be completely unfamiliar to anyone who grew up in the current political climate—the federal official capable of bipartisan agreement on transportation spending.
“With LaHood, a type of politician most consider extinct will become extant,” says Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men. “Just, you know, not in real life.”
The show’s creators said LaHood was the perfect fit for the part—and even if they’d wanted to hire someone else, they weren’t sure they’d be able to find anyone who could pull off the portrayal of the archetype so thoroughly extinct, other than LaHood himself.
During a recent interview, LaHood said he hadn’t thought about the possibility of being typecast, given his unique pedigree. “There’s got to be more people out there who can play this part, right? asked LaHood. “How could there not be one other person capable of even pretending to work together to make the investments our nation needs?”