Jon Hamm on ‘Mad Men’

The star of AMC's critically aclaimed series loosens up about Don Draper, closure for the series and doing comedy.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

When the cast of "Mad Men" met the Television Critics Association earlier this year, Jon Hamm was swarmed by tape recorders. It was harder to jump into that mob than others, but the questions I got in were juicy, and it’s not like he was giving away season five details.

 

Crave Online: I’ve been admiring Don Draper’s posture. How much work goes into how you stand?

Jon Hamm: Well, I think Don recognizes that he represents a very professional aspect, I’ll put it that way. And also, Don, and this goes back to season one, is playing a part. He’s not who he says he is in many ways and part of that is representing in a very specific way.

And as an actor I tried to definitely differentiate that behavior when he was out in California talking with Anna and that whole life out there when all of that artifice was kind of washed away. And then the way he behaves in New York City, in Manhattan and upstate with his wife and kids, all that stuff was very presentational.

Part of it is that our pants are hitched up to my belly button and everything’s two sizes too small so you’re kind of like all right, here we go. I’m very happy that I’m wearing my modern suit today.

CraveOnline: How would you have coped if you had not gotten season five or had closure with Don Draper?

Jon Hamm: I think it would’ve been a drag. I would’ve been bummed out. I’ve been a fan of a lot of lot of television shows that haven’t, "Arrested Development" immediately springs to mind, that haven’t had a chance to land the plane the way they really wanted. Or go out on their terms I guess is the way to say it. I feel like it’s a missed opportunity so I’m very glad that we do have more.

CraveOnline: Has it been a nice side effect of "Mad Men" that you’ve gotten to do more comedy?

Jon Hamm: It’s been amazing. I don't know, I certainly wouldn’t watch the show and be like, "Let’s put that guy in a lot of comedies. I bet he’d be great." But fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to do both sides.

CraveOnline: Was shooting the two hour season premiere just two episodes, or a whole long thing?

Jon Hamm: We shot it as one so it was produced as one long thing. We jumped back and forth a lot but we shot it all.