Last night I finally got around to listening to the WTF with Marc Maron podcast from this week in which Jon Hamm was the guest and WOW was it all kinds of interesting. I kind of already knew this from seeing/hearing him being interviewed previously, but Hamm is ridiculously well-spoken, affable, funny, engaging — he just seems like such a good dude. I listen to podcasts quite a bit and I have to say that this is one of my favorites of all-time.
Above all else, Hamm was brutally honest in the interview, which last a little over an hour, and revealed some things I never knew about the man who plays Don Draper on Mad Men, namely: he was the high school acting teacher of Ellie Kemper from The Office, hates reality TV shows like Jersey Shore, is put off by a well-manicured vagina, was a vagabond who did all sorts of odd jobs to survive and didn’t shower much for many years and lived on friend’s couches, aspires to have a career like that of Jeff Bridges, turns down lead roles in movies all the time, got the role of Don Draper after Thomas Jane turned it down, and hates going to clubs. Among other things.
So I’ve transcribed some of my favorite quotes from Hamm below. Go listen to the full podcast when you have time. Trust me, it’s great.
Hamm on growing up in St. Louis: “It’s a good place to be from and it’s a good place to be a kid…but it’s very much a place where when you grow up you either work for your dad or you leave town…there’s not a lot of innovation going on in St. Louis…and for whatever reason, I always kinda wanted to get out of that place.”
Hamm on his mother dying of cancer when he was 10: “No fun. It was no good. She was single, I was living with her…she had massive, rapid abdominal cancer that back in the day, in 1980 in St. Louis…there was just no treatment…It was not fun. It was not a good time.”
Hamm on being a “vagabond” for much of his life: “I lived in a lot of basements…surfing couches for quite a bit…thank God grunge was in because there were not a lot of showers.”
Hamm on working as a handyman after moving to L.A.: “That was one of my first jobs when I came to L.A…like switches and painting and ceiling fans and all that sh*t…(for) a bunch of gay dudes.”
Hamm on returning to St. Louis to teach acting at his old high school: “I needed a job…It was a trip, but it was a thing to do every day…One of my students is on The Office right now…and was in Bridesmaids…Ellie Kemper…she was very talented…she and her sister…they’re both incredibly talented kids, and they were back when they were 14, 15 years old. It’s hilarious.”