Jon Hamm on branching out from Mad Men, how one exec said hed never be a TV star


As part of its annual Drama Actor Emmy Roundtable, The Hollywood Reporter gathered actors Jon Hamm, Clive Owen, David Oyelowo, Matt Bomer, Callum Turner and Nicholas Galitzine to talk about their industry, their careers and some of their early challenges.

For Mad Men Emmy winner Hamm, one of those challenges apparently came in the form of a now-former network TV head. “I had a head of this television network tell my representatives, actually, that Jon Hamm will never be a television star.”

Bomer responded with, “Name names,” and Galzitine, “Spill the tea,” but Hamm didn’t budge. However, he did get the last laugh — and not only in trophy form. “He’s no longer at the head of that network,” the actor said.

He called the pushback just “one of those things” that was out of his control.

Hamm also explored how the success of Mad Men could have pigeonholed him as suave ad man Don Draper — if he let it. “Oh, every script I got was a cigarette and a hat and a cocktail or something,” he told his colleagues.

“You go, ‘OK, I get it. That’s my day job,"” Hamm said. “That’s why, for me, it was a very conscious decision to lean into the comedic stuff that I wanted to do, whether it was 30 Rock or SNL or fill in the blank, because I knew I had [the dramatic stuff] going. That train had left the station very successfully.”


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