The long awaited series five of Mad Men, starring Jon Hamm, arrives on our screens on March 27 on Sky Atlantic, and the charming and stylish actor joined broadcaster Jo Whiley for a Q&A session last night, at Mayfair's Curzon theatre.
We learnt more about heartthrob Hamm, and of course what it's like to play the womanising philanderer that is, Donald Draper...
Hamm's rise to A-list actor status wasn't easy. After three years of being turned down for parts, Hamm was dropped by his agent William Morris in 1998. He set a deadline to make his break by his thirtieth birthday, and along came Mad Men...
Hamm on the low times:
"I was relieved of my car by the city of L.A due to unpaid parking tickets...rolling blading became de-facto. I was dropped by my agent's right around the time I was dressing the sets of soft core porn movies...I had to move furniture around sweaty naked people."
Hamm on acting:
"Part of being an actor is being rejected repeatedly...it was hard and no fun. I had auditioned for, and not got, seven other projects that year. I read the Mad Men script, which I thought was the best script I had ever read...even auditions later I got the part."
"[Acting] the emotional stuff is hard. The emotional stuff is difficult because it's difficult to go to that place and be that person."
Hamm on the constant in-script smoking and drinking:
"We drink water and smoke non-addictive leaves, which is essentially like lighting a fire and inhaling it, which I wouldn't recommend."
Hamm on January Jones:
"We have a natural, violent chemistry together...January can put forward a lot of power without doing much."
Hamm on Donald Draper:
"A man un-moored.I'm diametrically opposed to Don Draper. It's a character, not me. I love playing the guy, I'm glad I don't have to be him...He's a coward, when presented with difficulty he runs away."
Hamm on 1950s sexism:
"We try to portray it as realistically as possible, there attitudes were around. It was part of culture. As surprising as it is, I don't know if the fundamental attitude has changed...I think it's hidden better and not as widely seen [today]."
Hamm on being pigeon holed:
"If you're going to be pigeon holed, a handsome, womaniser is not bad."
*The questions from the audience flooded in, with one woman asking Hamm to 'say her name' to which he charmingly obliged.
As the audience filed out of the cinema one woman was overheard saying, "they are like, the same person, but Jon Hamm would marry you, and Don Draper wouldn't. But I wouldn't mind that, I 'd do whatever he wanted really."
You said it sister.