Say the name Jon Hamm around any TV fanatic and they will swoon, regardless of age, background or gender. Mad Men’s lead actor has continually wowed fans of all walks of life as the series protagonist Don Draper for four seasons. Hamm hopped on a call with reporters to discuss his directorial debut and the highly anticipated fifth season of AMC’s crown jewel, but one thing was made very clear: there will be no spoilers.
When asked about the now famous level of secrecy showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner imposed on all those privy to Season Five’s happenings, Hamm he seemed almost perplexed. It is a bit Maddening for fans that even Season Five’s promos include only Season Four footage, but Hamm insisted it’s for the best: “What show wants to ruin their whole narrative structure? Who wants to be told the end of things?” he said. “I think it’s a good thing that like most shows we don’t tell people what’s going to happen.”
Of course, while he didn’t offer up any juicy details, he did help to reopen the door to Draper and his host of issues past and present:
Where is Don Going?
“He wants to be happy,” said Hamm. It’s a simple enough concept. Everyone ultimately strives to find happiness, but somehow actually characterizing it for Don makes it real. His Season Four actions sent him into a downward spiral and his behaviors, for the most part, seem to be more self-sabotage than peace-seeking. However, when Don finally turns to Megan in the final episode of Season Four, we see a bit of what Hamm’s talking about.
But after Don’s personal and professional lives took a beating in the last 13 episodes, it’s a wonder that we’re still on his side. Hamm says there’s a reason for that: “We still root for this guy because he’s at least trying; he’s not hiding his head in the sand.” Again, so spoilers here, but this could signal an upward shift in Don’s journey this season. Perhaps we’ve seen the last of journaling Don?
Don is Definitely In Love
Many critics have taken Don’s sudden disposal of Dr. Faye in order to sweep Megan off her feet is some sort of escape from reality. Others say it all stems from her ability to care for the children—something he saw Betty do with heaps of resentment. But Hamm doesn’t see it that way; it’s not that easy. “He was in love and he is in love,” said Hamm, adding “[Megan’s] not a cipher, she’s a human being.” That doesn’t really answer whether or not Megan still has a ring on that finger or if she’s made her way down an aisle in a pretty white dress, but at least we know this love is real – and that can only complicate things for Don down the road.
Betty and Don?
Hamm wouldn’t reveal how the aftermath of Betty’s Season Four confession to Don unfolds (she tells him she’s not happy, he says he’s moved on), but he does offer one enticing description: “It’s tricky.” And for a show like Mad Men, tricky relationships are its bread and butter.
Jon Hamm: The Director
For the first episode shot from Season Five (it actually airs as the second episode of the season, not the premiere), Hamm took on a brand new role: he directed. He admits that originally, he didn’t want to do it, fearing it would retract from his ability to properly create Don’s character, but “I was surrounded by examples of actors directing themselves, and I thought ‘Oh yeah, I can do this, I feel comfortable.’ And so…I did.” And it seemed to work out pretty well for him, “It was a fun thing that I was directing the first one…it’s nice to see a friendly face behind the camera,” he said.