There are roles that actors would kill to be known for - to have their image immortalized in people's minds forever ... well, until there's a remake or reboot of the same movie. Right now, Jon Hamm has that role in Don Draper. The problem is, the Madison Avenue ad man is following Hamm like a shadow, possbly tainting how people see him on the big screen.
It happened when I was watching Hamm in the trailer for his upcoming movie, Million Dollar Arm. In it, he looks like Draper, just with a little longer hair. Sure, he doesn't do Draperian (welcome to a word I just made up) things like smoothly light a cigarette or say things like "If you don't like the direction of how things are going, change the conversation." Still, I found myself thinking, "Draper's just acting nicer here." The movie's tagline, "Sometimes To Win, You Have To Change The Game" sounds like something that came out of Sterling Cooper's think tank.
The movie, which is right up my wheelhouse as a sports fan, is about an agent (Hamm) who tries to get cricket players to play Major League Baseball. The people who produced it also were behind Miracle and Invincible (They are branching out though, this one has three words in its title). They aren't banking entirely on Hamm, since they have other notable actors and actresses like Lake Bell, Alan Arkin and Bill Paxton. Still, this is a big push, since Hamm is starting to formulate his strategy once his TV show goes dark after its final seasons (there will be a bit of a wait here though, since it is going the Breaking Bad route and splitting its final season into two parts)
I know, Mad Men is still on the air and there hasn't been time for Hamm to separate himself from Draper. He should be thankful that people will remember him in that role - how many actors and actresses have passed through Hollywood over the years and failed to even make the slightest memorable mark?
He's going from the show that features sex and drugs, among other things, to the land of Disney, where an unhappy ending is practically anathema. Sure, Hamm is more than welcome to re-invent himself, but I'll still find myself watching this movie and waiting for him to suddenly pour himself a drink, light a cigarette and bark for someone from creative to come to his office.
You're not out of our heads yet, Don Draper.