|Jon Hamm Webchat Transcript|
From Mad Men back to movies: we pose your questions
Jon Hamm has been rocketed from unknown to worldwide fame thanks to the success of TV show Mad Men, but he seems determined to use his powers for good rather than evil. From hilarious TV sketches for Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock to scene-stealing cameos in films like Bridesmaids, he's shown that he's as much a comedian as a dramatic actor. Now he's producing and starring in Friends With Kids alongside his girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt (who also writes and directs), as well as Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Adam Scott, Ed Burns and Megan Fox. Ahead of Friends With Kids' release on June 29, we brought Hamm in to address the questions that really matter - like his favourite sandwich...
Gally75: How long do you expect Mad Men to continue, and are we going to see the ‘70s?
Two more seasons, and no. And by no, I mean maybe.
carltonbarlton: Hi Jon, having directed an episode of Mad Men, do you hold any ambition to direct feature films?
I would never say never, but feature directing and television directing are very, very different.
Liam Quane: What was it like working with Ben Affleck and which director do you want to work with most?
Ben was a phenomenal director and is an incredibly intelligent and funny guy. Working with - as I've done now twice - directors who are also actors is kind of great, because they possess an insanely detailed knowledge of the script and the world you hope to inhabit. Who I'd want to work with most? The list is long and legendary. I recently had a meeting with Ridley Scott, who I would absolutely love to work with at some point. You want a laundry list? Tarantino, David Fincher, Chris Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese... you get the idea.
Old Joke: So, Friends With Kids -- you produced it, were you ever tempted to go for a more "out there" name?
We thought of City Slickers 2: The Search For Curly's Gold, but I guess it was taken. Honestly, we were a little nervous because it was so close to Friends With Benefits, and it seemed like there were a lot of titles that were kind of similar, but we thought it fit. Hopefully people aren't offended or turned off.
elif: Hi, so I know you used to teach drama, when and how did you decide to quit that and to begin acting for television and cinema?
I left teaching at the ripe old age of 24, and went to LA, and the reason being that at a certain point you have to give it a try, and I wasn't getting any younger, so I thought I would give it a crack.
Jimmy The Saint: Was there any truth to the rumour you were going to play Superman and what do you think of Christina Hendricks as Wonder Woman?
There was no truth to the rumour that I was ever going to be Superman, because nobody wants to see a 40-year-old Superman. But I'd like to see a 40 year-old Superman. Come on! A gut, a little paunch. I think Christina would be a wonderful Wonder Woman. I hope she gets to do it.
JC: What's it like working with your other half? What positives and negatives are there to that working dynamic?
The positives are that you obviously have a very effective creative shorthand. And the negatives aren't really negatives, honestly. You spend a lot of time with one another, but you're in a relationship, you're already spending a lot of time with one another. So it's kind of all good.
elif: Do you ever improvise or ad-lib when playing Don Draper? It has been a long time, so I assume the character has almost become a part of you.
There is NO ad-libbing on Mad Men.
Flynn: In Bridesmaids, you say "BOOM!" when you drive up to pick up Ms. Wiig's character. What this your idea or was it in the script?
That was all me, I am proud to say, and there are several versions of that greeting, which can probably be seen on the gag reel. That was all me.
Prowse: Hi Jon! Your Mad Men co-star Elisabeth Moss is about to be seen in On the Road. What big screen literary adaptation would you most like to appear in?
I would like to be in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. And I would like to play the Blue Fish.
Chaaa says: Has Alison Brie ever tried to kidnap you for Community? You and Jeff Winger would make superb nemeses/rivals.
No, but I do know Joel McHale very well, and in fact I sold him my car. I'd love to be on that show. They have to ask though. I was sad to see Mr. Harmon exit stage left.
kathen says: It's lunchtime, any favourite sandwiches?
Well, I'm about to have a club sandwich, which is a delicious goddamn sandwich.
JC says: Jon, I'm currently taking a tea-break from packing for Download festival; are you the type who enjoys music festivals, or you more a gig > bar > bed type?
I've been to several festivals in my life, and I often find them disappointing, simply because the weather is very often uncooperative, so I prefer gig>bar>bed. I prefer controlled environments.
Scatman says: What's the weirdest thing you've ever had to do for a film/TV show?
Well, the sex scenes in Bridesmaids were pretty weird, especially given that they were on the last day of shooting, so all anybody wanted to do was go home, and I'm flopping about like an idiot in a nude-coloured thong on top of Kristen, who weighs about a hundred pounds soaking wet, so that was pretty weird.
Betty says: If you were to meet Don Draper do you think you would like him?
Probably. He’s a pretty charming guy.
shawthing says: Hi Jon, I'm a young director and I'm very curious about your opinion on the worst mistakes less practiced directors often make when working with actors…
A big part of directing is communicating, and I think one of the biggest mistakes a director can make is being a bad communicator or a bad manager of other people. It's really about communicating - especially with the crew, but also with actors. People skills.
moviegeek says: What's your favourite film ever?
Top 3: Breakin', Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo and Krush Groove.
JC says: How was it working on 30 Rock's live episode? You gave a really funny performance - was it stressful, or just an enjoyable blast?
Both. What I thought they did amazingly well for the second live episode was kind of double down. They really upped the ante on the degree of difficulty, and made what amounted to a 22 minute Saturday Night Live sketch, and it was awesome to be a part of it. It was so much fun.
Lauren says: Hi Jon! Pete, Roger, Lane: snog, marry, push off a cliff?
Well, Pete you'd push off a cliff. And who wouldn't want to make out with Roger? And Lane seems like the marrying type I suppose.
sexylicious77 says: what advice would you give to wannabe actors?
Don't be afraid of rejection, because you're going to get a lot of it.
funtasticrich says: Do you have a morning regime to look so devilishly handsome? And if so what is it?
First, go into the make-up trailer for about 45 minutes, then go and pick out your
already-tailored, well-chosen clothes. Then get exceedingly well lit by aprofessional Director of Photography. And have other people pick the words for you to say. Sorted!
Gally75 says: The great thing about Mad Men is that it is loaded with characters with personal flaws, it could almost be a British show like Cracker almost. Do you watch any British TV, like, say, Luther or Sherlock?
I haven't seen Luther or Sherlock or Cracker, unfortunately, but I hear they're very good. The only British drama import that I watch is Downton Abbey. We like British people behaving very Britishly. But I'm more of a British comedy fan than drama, in what I watch.
elif says: Kevin Spacey had once said that cinema was the medium of the director, and theatre the actor's. What do you think about both, and do you prefer the stage to screen or vice-versa?
I do believe that cinema is a medium of the director, because they have so much control over the end product. I would partially agree that theatre is much more of an actor's realm, but I think it's also very much the realm of the writer. Do I prefer stage to screen? I love them both - they're both very exciting in completely different ways. Which is a horrible hedge, but tough shit.
zana says: Hi Jon, your SNL character Sergio gave me nightmares… any tips how to overcome this problem?
Just listen to a lot of saxophone. Eventually you'll come to a place of acceptance and realisation that the saxophone is your friend, and that Sergio is your spirit animal and guardian.
Bren says: Did you see Abed's (Danny Pudi) impression of Don Draper on Community? Impressed?
I didn't, so yes I was very impressed.
Prowse says: I hear you're a fan of Garth Marenghi?! What other British comedy do you enjoy? (Oh, and if you're a Marenghi fan, make sure you see Alice Lowe's new film Sightseers!)
I will try to see the film. And as mentioned my fandom of Chris Morris is deep and wonderful, so The Day Today, Alan Partridge, Brass Eye and all of that stuff is super cool.
JC says: You've had some really personally and professionally hard times in your life, which you've been very candid about in interviews. How have these struggles defined you as a person and an actor (who plays the heartbreaking Don Draper)?
I don't know how to answer that, other than that it's my life and my existence and it's defined me in some way.
Shapow says: What do fans most often say to you in the street? A line or a phrase or a saying?
I don't often get approached, and I guess that's the good thing about not being known for a catchphrase. But for a while there were a lot of people coming up to me and saying, "What's up, fuck buddy?" Which was really weird.
JenJen says: Jon, you were unbelievably funny as Drew in 30 Rock. Any plans to do more comedy in the future? (Also, are you available to give a tennis lesson while you're over here?)
The funny thing about that is that I'm actually quite good at tennis, and to make myself look comically ridiculous at tennis I played lefthanded, which is a very effective way to look terrible at it. Any plans to do comedy? I'll do whatever anybody wants me to do; they just have to ask.
kathen says: Are you a tea or a coffee person? I've got the kettle on, two or one sugar?
Coffee, no sugar. Sorry, I know that's anathema to the British psyche, but I'm not British.
sexylicious77 says: Who would be your dream dinner guests? Past and present can be included
I don't know. Anybody that has anything interesting to say, hopefully funny, preferably intelligent, but mostly funny.
mattie says: If you had the chance to play any other person in Mad Men who would it be and why?!
Roger. He gets all the best lines.
Laura says: Hey Jon, I work as a creative in an advertising agency - with the script - do you work with ad agencies?
We have two consultants on the show, who were ad guys and they try to keep us honest.
Shapow says: HAVE to ask: what's your favourite whiskey/whisky? If you have one?
I don't have one, but I do prefer bourbon. And there are many many wonderful bourbons. I should probably name a name so I can get some free stuff, but I won't.
|We love that Jon Hamm loves ham...|
mk83 says: Seeing as you didn't get to play Superman, which comic book character would you most like to play? (Please say She-Hulk)
MrCaptainC says: Hey Jon, I really enjoyed your recent rap about the show Taxi, I was wondering whether you play music yourself in your leisure time?
I am utterly without talent musically. My lack of musical talent is in inverse proportion to my love for the television show Taxi.
Jimmy The Saint says: why do you think American TV is so cinematic right now? A lot of TV shows are like mini movies? Is this down to the influx of film producers like Bruckheimer and the Scott brothers?
I don't think so. I think it's because of the broader spectrum of available outlets for content. More choice means that you don't need to appeal to such a wide audience, and therefore you can have far more specific, interesting choices in content.
Merete says: One of my favourite episodes is ”The Suitcase” in season 4, it’s simply brilliant. I just love that connection between Don and Peggy. What is your favourite Mad Men moment, and why?
That's probably my favourite episode other than the pilot, ever. I love working with Elisabeth. She's a tremendously talented actress and a good friend.
Dick Whitman says: Do you think there's a future for you and Liz Lemon know that you have hook hands?
Yes. But it's going to make for a terrible honeymoon, put it that way.
Bren says: How long would it take you to grow a decent sized beard? I'm guessing a week.
This is a week, so sure.
Thank you and goodbye, and go see Friends With Kids! And keep calm and Cary Elwes.