Goodbye, Don Draper
After years of playing the most elegant womanizer on television, this actor is sadly saying goodbye to the role that made him a star. All ego aside, he admits that for now, he doesn’t want to do anything: “I’m gainfully unemployed.”
Texto: ERWIN VAN STEEDE
It’s over. No more Old Fashioneds at noon. No more affairs or sudden, brilliant ideas or existential drama on his office couch. It’s the end of the nostalgia. After seven seasons, Mad Men – the series centered around an advertising agency in the 1960s – and its lead, Don Draper, are saying good-bye to television audiences. The final season will premiere on April 5.
A modern answer to film icons like Cary Grant and Gregory Peck, Jon Hamm opens up about the show that put him on Hollywood’s map at age 36, after years of tending bar in Los Angeles and taking small roles like “Gorgeous Guy at Bar” in a 1997 episode of Ally McBeal. All that changed when he got his hands on the script for a pilot on the AMC cable network. In 2007, Jon became Don Draper, the irresistible Lothario of Mad Men. The rest is history.
Mad Men is starting its last season. Does that make you sad?
“Yes, very sad. It’s almost painful for me that this show is coming to an end because all the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with have been the single constant in my creative life for the last decade. So that’s kind of tough.”
You already know how the show ends, but I assume you can’t really share anything, can you?
“I will be happy when the shows air, and I won’t have to fake like I don’t know how it ends or make up some ridiculous story about robots or zombies or something. But I will never be able to have this again, and that’s a drag.”
Are you happy with how the show ends?
“I got misty just watching a recent retrospective of our work. It was pleasing to have a good ending. If you don’t have an ending of a story, you can’t go to bed. And we have a good ending, so I can go to bed.”
People say that you look like one of the old Hollywood stars. You’ve been compared to Cary Grant and Rock Hudson. How does that make you feel?
“It’s an absolute honor. And the funny thing is that a lot of times, I feel like an old Hollywood actor. I like to watch films that are not being made anymore today. I am not one for flying superheroes. That’s not my world.”
Would you ever do another series or a spin off?
“Of course, if the story makes sense. I wouldn’t do it just to make more money. I don’t want to exploit the fans. I want to give them honest work. But right now I am just tired. I need a vacation and a very long nap to recharge the batteries.”
(Referring to Mad Men) At what point did you realize, “Hey, I’m involved in something historically great here”?
“I certainly in 2006 would not have expected to be sitting here having had the experience over the last ten years. It’s become – for better and worse but mostly better – just a part of my life and a significant part of my life. There are not a lot of jobs you can point to – at least in our world – that have that impact. It also really felt great because, at the end of the day, this experience has been unequivocally wonderful, and I’ll miss it tremendously.”
What will you be doing next?
“Car detailing. I’ve started a little business.”
You are joking, obviously?
“Yes, I am. But to be honest, I’m gainfully unemployed. I have nothing to do, literally nothing, but I will enjoy that for a bit.” in