As you may recall, Vincent Kartheiser’s character Pete Campbell on Mad Men got punched in the face on the last season of Mad Men, but in a new interview with Vulture, Kartheiser reveals that he has also been punched in the face a lot as a real human being in unscripted real life. Like, a lot:
I got punched tons in my teen years. You know, just beaten up at school and stuff. When I was an adult, I flipped this guy off in my car and he ran me off the road and jumped out of his car and ran over and punched me through my open window. It was a good lesson to me. You never know who you’re fucking with on the road and you shouldn’t really mess with anyone. You never know what that person’s gone through in their life or who they are.
I think the human body can take a lot more than we think. I got beat up in Vancouver once by two dudes, and they were, like, kicking me. I was laying on the ground getting my ass whooped and I never really had much happen. I guess a little soreness the next day.”
I vowed to ask my male friends if they’d ever been punched, to confirm whether this was in fact a universal male ritual and not just Kartheiser and his particular face. “Well,” he said, “lots of them probably fight back and lots of them probably have good stories of where they kicked other people’s asses. But I just can never bring myself to do it. I always think of, like, the repercussions I could face. I’ve gotten into yelling brawls with dudes before and come close to maybe drunkenly hitting a dude, but I’m, like, What if something was to happen where I knocked his tooth out and he sues me? Or the police see it and I have to go to county for three nights? I’d much rather just get my ass kicked.”
In the interview, Kartheiser proposes that most men have been punched in the face and that it is a sort of masculine rite of passage, which, OK, you know what, fair enough. I have been punched in the face for sure. But also just because everyone gets punched in the face because we are MEN, I am not quite convinced that everyone also gets RUN OFF THE ROAD AND PUNCHED THROUGH A DRIVER’S SIDE CAR WINDOW or that everyone gets KICKED TO DEATH ON THE GROUND BY TWO DUDES OUTSIDE OF A BAR IN VANCOUVER. Like, at a certain point, Vincent Kartheiser, you might want to examine your own role in all of this. Seems like a lot. Time to start asking yourself some tough questions and getting out the pen and paper to make some lists. Have you guys been punched in the face? Please share your being punched in the face stories in the comments!