And although Hamm is a true Midwesterner who’s instinctively averse to boasting, he acknowledges being very proud of the show’s enduring resonance.
“We all want to be involved in something that takes hold of the culture and makes people sit up and say, ‘Hey, that’s interesting,’ ” he says. I never wanted to be a Tom Cruise type of megastar.” For Hamm, life after Draper has come with some inevitable complications, including a few personal ones.
The actor, 46, says he has always been an unrepentant softie when he’s in the presence of a good work of art.
“I’m just blown away by the beauty of it all,” he says.
Hamm had fun strutting around with his arsenal of guns, but the biggest draw for him was English director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), who propels the story with innovative editing and musical flourishes, even synching the soundtrack with the gunshots.
Hamm’s performance also helped make Mad Men, with its glamorous yet cold-eyed take on power, gender, and seduction, a standard-bearer of TV’s new golden age.
“Whether his films are commercially successful, I don’t give a s— about.” Hamm suddenly excuses himself to say hello to “a friend”—that would be Sean Penn—at a nearby table and returns about 45 seconds later, apologizing for the interruption.
With his Blues cap, bro-ish saunter, and generic outfit (a blue American Apparel shirt, black jeans), Hamm goes mostly unrecognized in the restaurant.
“The point of life is not to put dog ears on yourself and post it online for everyone to see,” he says.
“It’s fun, it’s adorable, but it’s the visual equivalent of masturbating—there’s no point other than immediate gratification.” (He does have a stealth Instagram account where he follows photographers and artists and a few travel sites, but he’s never posted anything.) No personal trainer visits his home in L.