I forget how much I enjoy Jon Hamm’s interviews until I sit down to read one. While Hamm’s GQ cover interview (for the April issue) isn’t the shade-throwing, reality-star-takedown extravaganza that I’ve gotten used to, I still enjoyed this piece. The point isn’t the shade, the point is that Jon Hamm is a fully grown man with adult opinions, capable of a wide-ranging conversation about many things. Unfortunately, I get the impression that GQ didn’t ask for Hamm’s take on many of subjects beyond his career and Mad Men’s final season. You can read the full piece here, and here are some highlights:
Why he’s interested in comedy: “I was just kind of that weird kid that always hung around… And you know, comedians are generally pretty nice people. I have no affinity for it other than my appreciation of it. I had no desire to get up onstage and tell jokes. I prefer to stand next to really funny people. I was always good at being observationally funny—like contributing something funny to the conversation.”
Whether Don Draper dies at the end of Mad Men: “I certainly can’t confirm or deny anything.”
Hamm never sugarcoats Don Draper: “I’m the guy who lives with the guy every day, and I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no, no,’ ” he says of people who would excuse the character’s behavior. “But I also get the thing in popular culture, American culture, where you see a broken thing and go, ‘I want to fix that. I want to shape that. I want to cure that.’ ”
The difficulties of being an actor: “Whenever people want to talk about how hard it is to be an actor, I want to go, ‘Um, it’s hard to be a baby-heart surgeon.’ Being an actor is actually pretty easy, if you can memorize lines,” he says. Still, he admits that it’s been draining to follow Don on his repeated downward spirals. “You’re kind of hoping for redemption, and it’s not forthcoming…. To consistently come in and be the bummer was always like, ‘Oh, that’s not fun.’ But at the same time, it’s been like the greatest obstacle course in the world. A puzzle to figure out.”
His career future: “Look, the one constant thing I’ve had in my career is now removed. And that’s an eye-opener: Are people still going to take me seriously? Am I just going to do romantic comedies for the rest of my life? What’s next? And I don’t know, you know? I wish I was smug enough to have had a grand plan. I guess some people would say, ‘Okay, the last three years of Mad Men is going to be like this: I want to do a play. I want to do this. I want to do that.’ I was just like, ‘I want to do something that seems cool.’ ”
SPOILERS for the last half of Mad Men’s final season: now that I’ve read the full GQ article, there do seem to be some significant indications that Don Draper dies at the end. Apparently, Matthew Weiner wrote a weird, boring ending for the show and that’s the script that got sent out to everyone, then Weiner told the main core cast members the real ending privately. That kind of secrecy leads me to believe that Don will die. And there’s a hint in the GQ article too – the end is supposed to be kind of poetic and simple. Which leads me to believe that Don – like the faceless man falling through the buildings and advertisements in the opening credits – will jump to his death.
Photos courtesy of Sebastian Kim and WENN.