As Maggie, the head flight attendant on ABC’s new mile-high drama, Pan Am, Christina Ricci takes us up into the sex-filled skies of the 1960s. But, as the actress points out, this in-flight entertainment isn’t just about warm nuts.

Out: What’s it like to be Christina Ricci at the airport?
Ricci: I don’t have to disguise myself—I just tend to roll with it. On the plane it’s not really a problem, although sometimes people will come up and say hi. But that’s rare.

What do you think the Pan Am flight attendants represented for women in the ’60s?
The job itself gave women a chance to have careers that gave them freedom and the ability to see places that most Americans, even most men, never got to see. These women didn’t have to live by the rules that were set up for them by a male-dominated culture. They didn’t have to get married and stay home and have kids and take care of a man. They could go out and make their own money and live their own lives. Even though it was during a time when it wasn’t touted as a popular desire, there were women who were fulfilling a dream to dictate who they were going to be and how they were going to live. They found a way for that to be OK.

Are you bracing yourself for all the comparisons to Mad Men?
Of course. That is the comparison. They’ll be compared because it’s the same era, and, believe me, Mad Men is one of my favorite shows, so having it compared to that is great. But the subject matter is so different.

January Jones talks a lot about wanting to get as far away as possible from anything 1960s in her personal life. Are you worried you’ll get sick of period costumes, too?
Who knows how I’ll feel after a few months, but I love the ’60s. I’m excited to wear [these clothes] everyday. I tend to have a little bit of vintage in me.

Pan Am premieres September 25 at 10 p.m. EST on ABC. This fall, Ricci also stars in Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, in theaters September 9.