Jon Hamm on Don Draper: “I’m not that guy. I don’t really look like that.”


These photos aren’t doing Jon Hamm justice. But to be fair, a bad photo of The Hamm is still one of the most awesome things you’ll ever behold. Plus, I think The Hamm/Don Draper is supposed to look like hell in these photos – Draper is going through hell on the show, and he’s supposed to be looking his age (and beyond) because of all of the hard living, drinking and whoring. But… when The Hamm puts on that suit and slicks back his hair and especially when he leans back in a chair and puts his arm back…like the iconic image from the posters, etc – well, there’s really nothing better. Don is such an “American” character. That’s what I always think. This is such a quintessentially American show, and the Draper character is our American darkness, while still being one of the best things about America. Sorry to go off on that tangent. My bad.

My mom and I were discussing Mad Men a few days ago, and talking about The Hamm and how good he looks in a suit, and she mentioned the infamous last episodes in Season 3, where we saw Draper in casual wear and he looked like a f-cking model. He was wearing chinos and a dark brown v-neck sweater, and it was pornographic in its sexiness. My mom said, “They should find a way to bring back that brown V-neck.”

Anyway, just a few more excerpts from Mad Men’s Rolling Stone cover story… The Hamm on Draper:

“I don’t really have that much in comparison to the way Don holds himself,” Jon Hamm, 39, tells the mag. “I’m not that guy. I don’t really look like that.”

He added, “Part of it is the suit, but another part is a choice. This is a person who takes himself very seriously at work, a guy who’s going to walk in and command a room. I’m not that way in real life. I don’t grab the mic.”

Hamm said he had seven tests and zero jobs before landing the “Mad Men” part. He told Rolling Stone that finding work as an actor helps him relate to Don Draper. “My life at the time was trying to get a job. Talk about ruthless — being an actor in L.A. and not working is nothing but hustling. I just really responded to it on some visceral level, and that may have been what Matt [Weiner] picked up on. That may be why the character resonates coming from me.”

[From Wonderwall]

At times, The Hamm has said that he brings lightness to a character which, on the page, could go very, very dark. I can see that – because Draper is a son of a bitch, honestly. It’s only because The Hamm plays him so honestly, and because The Hamm is so gorgeous that we forgive Draper. Plus, we get to see every side of Don, which the other characters in the Mad Men universe don’t get to see.



The Hamm on the set of Mad Men on September 1, 2010. Credit: Bauer-Griffin.

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34 Responses to “Jon Hamm on Don Draper: “I’m not that guy. I don’t really look like that.””

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  1. aussieGal says:

    It’s amazing that a show watched by only like 2 million people (85% of that audience being white and rich) has garnered so much attention.

    • John says:

      White and rich? Obviously, there are no statistics to back that ridiculous claim. Way to make Aussies look stupid.

  2. meme says:

    Mad Men is a great show. THE HAMM IS THE HOTNESS!!!! So handsome.

  3. Katie says:

    The show has garnered attention because it’s a real departure from other shows currently on the air, it’s really well done, and it has a ton of talented actors in it (and the fact that they’re sexy only helps). I watch it because I heard it was good, checked it out, and saw that it was amazing. My mom watches it partly because she was a kid in the 60s and she loves to see the accurate portrayal of that time of her life. The show is great, but this post is actually about Jon Hamm, who since the show has been in other shows and is in a much buzzed about movie soon to open. Why does it seem like a lot of people have Mad Men resentment?

  4. Feebee says:

    Amazing how before Mad Men being called “the Hamm” would have been insulting. Now it’s a tag of distinction for Mr Hamm at least.

    Still whenever I see him I think SNL – Hamm and Buble… he’s right, he’s definitely not Draper in real life. This of course only adds to his appeal.

  5. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    @aussiegal- Just curious, but where did you get those stats from?

    Personally, I watch it because it is well written, takes place in the 1960’s, isn’t a hospital related or cop drama, has a bit of humor to it and is interesting.

    I may be white, but I am far from rich.

    @Katie- I know. I get that vibe too. Weird.

  6. meme says:

    Mad Men resentment? Why?

  7. Lardy Chops says:

    Great actor, great character: hard to know where one ends and the other begins.

    Don Draper reaches deep into the female psyche with his strong, silent yet sexy and slightly sad persona. We all fantasize about men like him but so rarely find them in real life. We want to rescue him, but also to bone him to death.

    Oh and FYI: The. Hamm. Is. Mine.

  8. Karen says:

    I haven’t looked up the stats but I have doubts about the claims that the audience is largely white and rich. I’m a black woman who is by no means rich but I think I do pretty well for myself (when I’m not blowing my cash on clothing and shoes). As Mad Men is set during a time where diversity was neither encouraged nor sought after, I think the writers have done a great job, especially this season, at introducing elements to show how the world is changing. Peggy’s rise from secretary to copywriter has been very believable and they are able to show that not every woman is an emotional pushover (ie: Joan telling the junior ad guy “You have feet” when he pretty much snapped a drink order during last week’s episode).

    I just love this show, love the characters and love me some Hamm!! As much as Celebitchy commenters hate on Jennifer Westfeldt, she gets to lick Hamm’s parts every night…that lucky bitch!

  9. Lady Jane says:

    That snarly first photo. Literally swooning. Love Hamm.

  10. Hautie says:

    I want to know why he is not the spokesperson for Armani fine suits/tuxedo’s. Or for Ralph Lauren…

    Seriously, how can the high end men’s line, not come running after him to be the face of a line of fine suits or tuxedo’s.

    Cause if there is one thing The Hamm can do… is look like pure sex in a great suit.

  11. Lady Jane says:

    “We want to rescue him, but also to bone him to death.” Perfect insight – soooo true.

  12. original kate says:

    i love mad men, and i think part of the reason is because of the writing. the characters are not what they seem to be on the surface, any of them. even peter, who i detested in season 1, is growing on me. i also love the fug home decor and the hilarious clothes and hairstyles. also the use of music in that show is genius.

    i also am not rich.

  13. Amy says:

    Down with rich, white people and their love of fine drama! (Seriously, what a bizarre thing to say, OP. Bitter, much?)

  14. Poopie says:

    @aussiegal : years down the road when a show portrays an era where YOU grew up, you will have people commenting on why YOU want to watch that show. what goes around ……

    it’s a GREAT show; loads of us growing up in the 60’s can really relate to the pulse of the time;

  15. cowbell says:

    Why didn’t you post a photo of him in the V-neck? It was right before the whore slapped him around. Loves it.

    I also love the “statistic” about 85% being rich and white. That’s funny!

  16. Sandy says:

    Why is it relevant if “85%” of this audience is “white and rich”? I think what you mean is educated, which makes your comment offensive.Its garnered alot of attention because it’s well written and portrays a place and time that is fascinating and untapped. I find your comment offensive and ignorant.
    You also actually typed the word like. Wow.

  17. Team Bethenny says:

    “I’m not that guy.”

    It’s okay, Jon. We know. That’s why we call it “acting.”

  18. Dawn says:

    I’m a black women, abd I’ve with Mad Men since day one. Right now, Mad Men is the only show that can make me cry.

  19. canadianchick says:

    I wish I had AMC, I have to wait for reruns on Bravo, booo. I agree Hamm Sandwich in an Armani suit would make me swoon.

  20. Feebee says:

    @ Sandy, Paris Hilton is white and rich. I don’t think aussiegal’s stats sound right but your leap that white and rich means educated is as much of a leap.

    Mad Men isn’t about white rich folks, it’s about men behaving badly in an era where it was perfectly acceptable, no?

  21. bananapanda says:

    @Hautie- I think using his face might be a bit too much but Jon Hamm is the voice of Mercedes’ TV ads, which is weird because it sounds like a SCDP pitch. (It took me a while to place him.)

  22. The Hamm is My Dream Man says:

    He so yummy and beautiful and funny. I loved Hamm and Buble!

    My mom likes the show because she grew up in the 60s too. She’ll call me or text me randomly with little anecdotes while she’s watching it-making drinks for her parents, anyone in the neighborhood could slap you around when you were a kid, that kind of thing.

    And she’s black and I’m black. I like the show because it is exceedingly well written and beautifully produced. It’s like a time warp-my mom says that its really really accurate.

  23. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    Hmm kinda of shoots Aussiegal’s theory that everyone who watches Mad Men is rich and white! Seems to me several people of color have commented here, as well as those of us who are not tremendously wealthy.

  24. Anj says:

    He is nice looking but Mad Men is f-kin DREADFUL! so grossly overrated.

  25. Camille says:

    I’m in the minority here, but I don’t care 😆 , I think this guy is so over rated. Its The Clooney Syndrome all over again.

  26. Bumble says:

    My mom was 18 in 1962 and she does *not* like the show because it is so realistic.

    She said that the clothing was terribly uncomfortable, everything was indeed that chauvinistic and, yes, there was lots of sleeping around.

    My mom worked in a bank for a little while (before having children, naturally) and the benefits package allowed maternity leave for male employees’ wives, but not for female employees. It was assumed they’d retire. Not necessarily a bad thing, but very restrictive nonetheless.

    I, however, am hooked on the show. I especially love identifying things in the Draper house that I remember from my childhood (born in the early 70s).

  27. Bee says:

    @aussiegal Mad Men has garnered a lot of attention because it’s a freakin’ fantastic show! Just because it’s not watched by 30 million people does not make it irrelevant. 80% of what the masses like is usually crap anyway. The Jersey Shore anyone. Just because more people like to watch Snookie and her little tanned trolls, does that make it a more relevant and superior show? And Jon Hamm is amazing as Don Draper. Somebody give that man an Emmy ASAP.

  28. melanie says:

    I’m also black, far from wealthy and huge Mad Men fan. I also loves me some Hamm.

  29. Emily says:

    Well, of the three people who watch Mad Men in my house, only 60% are white, and 0% is rich. Just goes to prove that 87% of statistics are made up on the spot.

  30. tripmom says:

    Regarding Mad Men resentment, count me in! My husband and I regularly watched the show until we saw Breaking Bad. Now we can’t even watch Mad Men, it is so BORING in comparison. Yes, the clothes are gorgeous, but NOTHING HAPPENS. We just feel like it’s really overrated. The performances aren’t that great; the whole thing is just so bland. January Jones can not act to save her life. It’s annoying to us that it gets all this credit because people find the actors sexy. That’s so shallow. A show like Dexter or Breaking Bad deserves the attention that Mad Men gets, but they’re not full of sex, so Mad Men is on magazine covers instead. So we resent Mad Men. BTW – we are white and while not rich, we are certainly comfortable financially. So shouldn’t we like it?

  31. mojoman says:

    Mad men is great because i think some can relate to it era wise (my MIL was 29 with kids in the 60’s) and she said almost everything is accurate. Chauvinistic, Politically incorrect, racism, sexism were so blatant. It obviously hits the core on someone who grew up during that period. I personally watched it because it was so amusing to discover those attitudes (I am 80’s child) and even though it ingrates me a little but it gives an open perspective on how life was then. But Dexter is still the best show in my book!

  32. Bumble says:

    Dexter does nothing for me. My aunt, who is smart and interesting, loves it but I just didn’t get into it.

    Haven’t seen Breaking Bad, but I just love the Mad Men characters. They’re all struggling with the mores of their time and they’re complicated and interesting.

    It’s also such an interesting era in terms of gender politics and I find the resulting tension fascinating.

  33. Jason says:

    he looks like he has been drinking way too much coffee.