His days as Don Draper are nearly done, but actor Jon Hamm will forever be associated with the Emmy-nominated role of the hard drinking advertising exec on AMC’s flagship drama. As we say goodbye to “Mad Men” (the show’s final episodes are being filmed and will air in 2015), here are five things you may not know about Jon Hamm.
He once had a “soul-crushing” job
The 43-year-old actor definitely paid his dues before hitting it big on “Mad Men.” In addition to the obligatory waiter job as he struggled to land acting roles, Hamm took on a short-lived stint as a set dresser for soft corn porn films. Hamm told Vanity Fair he hated the sleazy Cinemax work: “It was soul-crushing,” he said.
His prom date has a famous face
Don Draper dated Bella Swan’s mother? Well, sort of. During the Hollywood Reporter’s 2012 Emmy roundtable, Hamm revealed that actress Sarah Clarke, who played Bella’s mom Renee in the “Twilight” films, was his prom date. The future stars met in their mutual hometown of St. Louis, Mo.
Check out Hamm’s prom picture here.
He shares a nickname with a baseball legend
What do you do with a name like Hamm? It turns out you get a lot of corny (er, hammy?) nicknames. The “Mad Men” star told People, “My nicknames have gone from Hammer to Ham and Cheese to Ham and Eggs.” So which of those names is the actor’s favorite? In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Hamm revealed, “Hank Aaron’s oldest son is my best friend. We went down to spring training, and this guy walked up to me; I looked up and it was Hank Aaron. He said, ‘I hear your name is Hamm. Is your nickname ‘The Hammer?” I said, ‘… Sometimes.’ ‘That’s my nickname, too.’ Whoa. That … just … happened. I was probably 16; my jaw was on the ground.”
In the ’90s, he had no game
While he’s been in a relationship with actress and filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt for 17 years, back in the day Hamm was so desperate for a date that he went on the cheesy ’90s game show “The Big Date.” The mulleted 25-year-old didn’t get the girl, but he did drop his idea for a dream date, saying, “Start off with some fabulous food, a little fabulous conversation, with a fabulous foot massage for an evening of total fabulosity.” Huh?
See a clip from Hamm’s 1996 “The Big Date” appearance here.
He’s not a bourbon drinker
While his “Mad Men” alter ego is a chain smoker whose signature drink is an old-fashioned, Hamm told late night host Conan O’Brien he doesn’t do bourbon — even when well-meaning fans send it over to him at a bar. “I get sent over bourbon… in these, sort of, tankers… which, human beings can’t drink that much bourbon,” he said. “I don’t think they really realize what I’m drinking on the show is… not bourbon. It’s tea … or water with food coloring in it.” Instead, the actor prefers “a nice, frothy Midori sour.” “I feel the real men go for any drink that’s in the neon family,” he said. As for cigarettes, Hamm quit smoking when he was 24.