7 Questions With ‘Mad Men’ Star Jon Hamm: Emmy Contender Quickie

The star shares toughest, funniest scenes from the AMC hit and whether or not Coca-Cola sent him any free Coke after that finale

After seven seasons, viewers said their final goodbye to Cooper Sterling Draper Pryce last month and its chain-smoking, alcohol-chugging, womanizing advertising phenom Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm.

Matt Weiner‘s period drama took Draper on a voyage of self-discovery, culminating in a sunny mountaintop retreat where the ad man supposedly came up with one of the most iconic commercials of all time: “Buy the World a Coke.”

The series has enjoyed a long and successful run, winning Best Drama at the Emmys for its first four seasons, as well as a gazillion other awards. But its leading man has never taken home the coveted Emmy, despite earning a nomination each year the show has been eligible.

Will this be the year Don Draper finally gets his Emmy trophy?

Hamm talked to TheWrap about which scenes were the toughest to shoot (the last three episodes), which actor on the show he would give an Emmy to (hint: not who you’d expect), and whether or not he got a free year’s worth of Coca-Cola after that finale.

TheWrap: What was the toughest thing you had to do this season?
Jon Hamm: I guess it was a culmination of things, but it always comes with a preface: The job is not exactly lead mining. It’s not a physically demanding job so I don’t want to act like, ‘Oh, poor me.’ But I think the trickiest part for me was having Don go on this journey for the last three to four episodes. Simply by the nature of choosing that path, it meant basically that I was on my own. It was challenging emotionally and from an acting standpoint because you establish a relationship with certain characters over seven and a half seasons and having the last few episodes all by myself was tricky.

What was the funnest thing you got to do this season?
I don’t think there’s any one thing. I had a good time coming into work almost all the time. If I had to sneak in one thing, I’d say watching Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper) dance [to “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” a vintage show tune from the 1927 musical “Good News.”]. It was obviously a very emotional scene for both the character and for us. There weren’t a lot of dry eyes watching that day.

Let’s assume someone who’s been living under a rock has never heard of “Mad Men.” What would you say to convince them to watch it?
I think it’s an intelligent and emotional journey through a difficult time in American culture and a character study of a uniquely American archetype. I guess that’s probably not going to get any more viewers to watch it [laughs].

Who else on the show really deserves an Emmy and why?
For my money, I think the one person who has been really criminally overlooked through the years has been Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell). His work on the show from the beginning has been really spectacular. He’s created this character that is so easy to dislike but if you really look at the character of Pete, he’s on the right side of a lot of the arguments and you can see the frustration in that character.

Are you a binge-watcher? Once-a-weeker? What was the last thing you binge-watched?
I’m a binge watcher on certain things. I’m also a once-a-weeker on things that are not available to binge such as Sunday night programs like “Silicon Valley,” “Veep” and the “Daily Show.” But the last thing I watched all at once was probably “Arrested Development.” I watched the whole series in about three days, maybe five or six at a time. I was really into that one.

If you could add a new category to the Emmys, serious or silly, what would it be?
That’s a really good question. I’d go with something like Best Ensemble. We live in such an amazing time to be watching television right now and there are so many new approaches to narrative television and sometimes the performances don’t fit into certain categories so I think I would try and blow it up a little bit with an ensemble category.

Did Coca-Cola send you a year’s worth of free Coke? You did give them some Grade-A exposure, after all.
No, I didn’t get any free Coke for life, unfortunately. But I’m shooting a movie in Atlanta and I was able to go visit the archives of the Coca-Cola Museum, which was really kind of cool. They’ve got well over 100 years of stuff that they’ve collected and you just realize what an integral and significant part of American and pop culture Coca-Cola has been.