LIFE CAN BE MAD

Jon Hamm re­flects on the se­ries that changed his for­tunes and made him a house­hold name and what the fu­ture may bring now it’s all over

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - HOLLY BYRNES

Don Draper on the re­ject list? Jon Hamm on the un­em­ploy­ment line? For fans of the hand­some and tal­ented ac­tor – the sun around whom the Mad Men uni­verse has or­bited for the past seven sea­sons – it seems in­ex­pli­ca­ble that it’s all over for one of tele­vi­sion’s great char­ac­ters and the small screen’s most popular lead­ing men.

But true to his sur­name, Hamm is the first to make light of the show’s sad farewell and his sta­tus up­date at a fi­nal cast call staged ear­lier this year.

“I’m so look­ing for­ward to be­ing un­em­ployed. I’m so happy not to see any of th­ese peo­ple ever again. All of that is re­ally great. Hash­tag sar­casm,” he told an au­di­ence of TV crit­ics at Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia’s Lang­ham Ho­tel in Jan­uary.

LOLs aside and in a qui­eter mo­ment, Hamm was more sin­cere when shar­ing his mixed emo­tions over the end of the show which changed his life.

He re­mem­bers his au­di­tion like it was yes­ter­day, beat­ing his way through Los An­ge­les’ fa­mous traf­fic maze – and in the rain – he would even­tu­ally beat out 80 other ac­tors and sur­vive seven call­backs to score the part.

Now, with the end near, as sat­is­fac­tory as he said he found the end­ing – writ­ten by the show’s cre­ator Matthew Weiner – he ad­mit­ted the pro­duc­tion’s ab­sence would leave a void in his life, both per­sonal and pro­fes­sional.

“( Mad Men) means so much to me and th­ese peo­ple mean so much to me and th­ese char­ac­ters mean so much to me. It was pleas­ing to have a sat­is­fy­ing end­ing and to have an end­ing (be­cause) it’s a story, it needs to end. If there’s no end to the story you never get to bed ... and it’s nice to go to bed,” he says, wink im­plied.

Of course, it was the sex­ual mag­netism of Hamm as Draper that most peo­ple will re­mem­ber about this se­ries, which took au­di­ences on raunchy ride back to the testos­terone-fu­elled world of a 1960s ad­ver­tis­ing agency.

Com­ing back to what Hamm plans to do next, he says he’s open to sug­ges­tion now that he’s had some time since film­ing ended to ex­hale.

Af­ter the last scenes were wrapped, he spent two weeks in Martha’s Vine­yard with his part­ner of 17 years, Friends With Kids ac­tor Jen­nifer West­feldt, “to de­com­press.”

Sigh­ing, he says: “and it was re­ally, re­ally nice.”

It was good for us too, Mr Draper.

Pic­ture: FRANK OCKENFELS/SHOW­CASE

Mad Men's

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olsen (El­iz­a­beth Moss).

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