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Jon Hamm has become iconic for his characterization of Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men. At the time Hamm secured the role, he was a little known, small-time TV actor. However, the Mad Men gig has opened up doors, from appearances on 30 Rock to roles in films like Bridesmaids and Sucker Punch, and even the director’s chair. While Season 5 of Mad Men is gearing up for a 2012 premiere, with Jon Hamm at the helm for the season opener, it is interesting to note it almost never happened for Jon Hamm.
In an interview with Mark Maron on the WTF podcast Hamm spoke out about Mad Men, his acting career, and a plethora of random stuff, including hanging out with comedians in Hollywood before being ‘found’ as an actor. Most importantly, perhaps, was what Hamm had to say about getting the AMC gig:
“I started, literally, on the very, very bottom - I couldn't have had less heat on me. Nobody knew who I was. The casting directors didn't know who I was. I wasn't on anybody's lists. The funny thing was, I think they went to Thomas Jane for it, and they were told that Thomas Jane does not do television."
Like two years later, Thomas Jane took less of a cocksucker attitude toward TV, and secured the lead on HBO’s Hung. It’s as hard to imagine the blue-eyed, blonde-haired Jane as our beloved Don Draper as it is to imagine someone else playing Ray Drecker on Hung. All’s well that ends in Golden Globe nominations, I guess.
On a sidenote, Mark Maron’s podcast, while full of f-bombs, is a really good interview. Maron was sort of on an AMC kick this week, interviewing Hamm on Monday and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston on Thursday, so check it out.