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