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Jon Hamm Talks 'Mad Men's' Return, With Muppets On Ice In 1984?

Fred Topel Fred Topel
March 20th, 2012 5:00pm EDT

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Q: Why do Peggy and Don work so well together?

JH: I think in the world of the show, we’re introduced to everybody but we kind of see the office through Peggy’s eyes in the pilot. She’s the new girl. It’s her first day. And with all of the attendant craziness in everyone’s experience of the first day on the job is holy sh*t, what am I doing? It’s impossible, I’ll never learn it. And we’ve watched over 50-some odd episodes of television her grow and her become more confident. And we’ve watched Don alternately shepherd her and correct her and not be very nice to her but also be incredibly, profoundly nice to her. I love the episode that you referenced and I think it’s a wonderful piece of writing. Elizabeth is so phenomenally talented as an actress that she’s able to convey all of those emotions in a very, very tricky dance that is being friends with your boss, kind of.

Q: Has she replaced Anna?

JH: I don't think anyone will replace Anna in Don’s life. But I think Peggy is very important to Don. And I think he saw, like the end of season three when the firm blows up and they start all over again, he says, ‘If you leave I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to hire you back.’ I think that sums up the relationship that Don and Peggy have.

Q: Have you already gotten married when season five starts? How does it change your relationship with Peggy?

JH: We’ll see. It’s certainly something that is explored in season five and we’ll see. Nothing has happened yet so we don’t really know. I’ll be as honest as I can and kind of restate what I just said, but Peggy and Don are very close and Peggy has opinions, and Don has opinions. I think we saw both of those being expressed.

Q: Will you get married this season?

JH: Well, I’m engaged at the end of this last one. You can wave it as much as you want. I’m not going to answer the question.

Q: What was that look at the end of last season?

JH: I was thinking about something, wasn’t he? I was thinking about something.

Q: What is his headspace going into season five?

JH: He certainly seemed happy at the end of season four. I think that what we watched with what Don went through at the end of season four, to see him seem happy was refreshing or was, I was certainly thankful having gone through all the stuff that I had to go through to play that. And it was nice. Whether that continues, I think Don has a problem with maintaining the status quo, whether it’s good or bad. It’s part of what his character is. He’s always moving. He does not feel comfortable resting. That’s a thing we talk about a lot in this.

Q: Betty seemed upset you were engaged again.

JH: I think you’re right. I think that whatever happens in a marriage, and again I have never been involved in a relationship that’s gone kerfluey after a long time, certainly marriage with the attendant drama that that creates, but I think that anyone that’s been in a relationship for a long time, there’s always going to be something there. And it was a beautiful scene that Matt wrote where you kind of feel like are they going to get back together? What’s happening? It’s Betty who’s being the introspective one and the reflective one and Don is like, “Okay, here’s the keys, gotta go.” And that was the last we saw of that house that we had seen and it was a very sad scene to shoot in many ways. January was so lovely and talented and conveyed so much with so little, it was really quite heartbreaking for someone who we’re kind of used to seeing be incredibly cold, incredibly shallow, incredibly vindictive. To see her heart break a little bit was I think kind of, I’m not going to say nice, but from a story point of view was interesting.

Q: What year do we start in?

JH: 1984.

Q: Did having so much time in between seasons give you a fresh perspective on Don?

JH: Yeah, I think a long layoff is a blessing and a curse. It was nice to have the opportunity, the time to go do something else. My girlfriend and I produced a movie and it’s coming out and we’re really excited. It’s called Friends with Kids and it’s out March 9th and we made it and we made it in time. We sold it out of Toronto and we were thrilled to be able to get a chance to do it. That’s what a long hiatus affords you is time to do that kind of thing. Producing a film is very hard but it was an incredibly exciting experience. It stars Jen, myself, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Chris O’Dowd, Eddie Burns and Megan Fox. We made it so that’s nice to have. It’s nice to have the opportunity and the time honestly to go do something. But it’s a bummer because I like my day job. I keep saying it that way but it really does feel like it.

Q: But it was still there waiting for you.

JH: And it was still there. This is also the thing, having now the benefit of knowing that we have a day job going into the future, that’s as an actor, I’ve very rarely been in that position, when you have something in the future that you know will be there. It doesn’t happen very often.

Q: Were you nervous during the contract negotiations?

JH: No, I knew they’d figure it out. I knew neither one of them, neither Lionsgate nor AMC would, and they were the ones by the way who were fighting. 

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