Graham spends the day with Emmy award-winning actor Jon Hamm in Los Angeles to discuss his late-blooming acting career and childhood trials coping with death. The Mad Men star looks back on his transition from varsity athlete to theater lead, a bout with depression, the end of his most iconic acting role and more. We also hear from a mentor and a close family friend as they share early indicators of his success. Plus, Graham and Jon cap off the day with a trip to the batting cages.
Jon Hamm looks back on moving to L.A. with very little money and some of the jobs he worked to make ends meet, including set dressing a softcore porn set. Hamm also shares his optimistic outlook on auditioning, which helped him to continue his pursuit despite years of rejections.
Jon Hamm shares what appealed to him about the role of Don Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men.” Plus, he describes his first day on the set in his lead role and the exhaustion of working long hours over the course of seven seasons and 92 episodes.
Jon Hamm opens up about losing his mother at a young age to colon cancer and goes on to recount the later losses of both his grandmother and father. He also reflects on his struggles with depression following their deaths and the profound impact therapy had on his mental health.
Jon Hamm discusses his mourning process after Mad Men’s final episode and reorienting into a new reality. Hamm talks of his approach to new acting gigs and says it would be impossible to replicate the high he received from seven seasons as Don Draper.
Jon Hamm on the mindset of a leading actor, including the potential stress of carrying a film and how many veteran actors can separate themselves from that burden. Hamm also talks of the evolution of production and the broader landscape of creative opportunities.
Jon Hamm addresses rumors of his interest in playing Batman. Hamm admits to being a huge comic book fan and says he can see himself playing the role of Batman, provided that the script is good.
Jon Hamm says he used to be a sore loser as a young athlete and discusses his days as a three-sport athlete at John Burroughs School in St. Louis, including his disinterest in pursuing football beyond high school.
Jon Hamm shares his internal preparation for an acting role and explains what is feels like when he’s playing a role especially well.
Jon Hamm recounts delicately turning down his first offer to host Saturday Night Live and what it’s like hosting the iconic TV show. Hamm also talks of his friendly relationship with the legendary SNL creator, Lorne Michaels.
Actor Jon Hamm on the role the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre played in years following his move to L.A., including some of the acts he’s contributed to on stage.
Jon Hamm and Graham Bensinger have a friendly competition in the batting cages. Hamm talks about rec league baseball in L.A. and Jon Hamm bobblehead night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull ask Jon Hamm to list his favorite Blues player of all time. Hamm goes on to describe his experiences watching the St. Louis Blues play in the 90s and expresses his continued fandom of the franchise.
Carolyn Clarke – who was a mother in one of three families that supported Jon Hamm through his high school years and beyond in St. Louis – looks back on the years she helped raise him, even as he dated her daughter, the actress Sarah Clarke. Later, Clarke and Hamm reflect on his intelligence as a teenager and his advanced emphasis on acquiring knowledge.
Jon Hamm and his high school drama teacher Wayne Salomon recount Hamm’s transition at John Burroughs High School in St. Louis from a star athlete to a leading actor, plus Hamm shares his motivation to return as a teacher and Salomon jokes of why Hamm was more popular with his female students.