TV | Inside TV

Tina Fey and Jon Hamm talk about coupling up on '30 Rock'

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It’s a cult TV geek’s dream: Don Draper and Liz Lemon together at last. The next best thing will happen when Mad Men’s dapper leading man, Jon Hamm, guests on NBC’s 30 Rock for a three-episode run as Liz’s neighbor-turned-suitor. We caught up with the short-lived (for now — both said they’re open to a repeat appearance) couple as they shot their final scene on location on Manhattan’s Upper West Side:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this blessed union come to be?
TINA FEY: A lot of times when we’re writing we’ll have an actor in mind and we’ll keep referring to them. Like for this we said, “Then Hamm comes in, blah blah blah.” And I kept saying, You know, you guys, we probably aren’t going to get Jon Hamm. But we were lucky with the timing because Mad Men was on hiatus and he was hosting SNL. So I called over there and asked them [whispering], “Hey, is that guy funny? Tell me the truth.” And they were like, “Yes, he’s really funny.” By Saturday I knew they were right.

So after all Liz’s bad dating experiences, she manages to snag Jon Hamm?
FEY: He plays a divorced gentleman who lives in my building. I meet him because I start getting his mail by accident and I start opening it and making assumptions about him based on it. Then I believe the technical term for what happens is “shenanigans.”
HAMM: Also high jinks. Believe it or not, there are misunderstandings. She jumps to some conclusions, and…
FEY: By the time we meet up at the Regal Beagle, it’s all worked out.

Your series both just won Golden Globes. Again. And that’s on top of all their Emmys. Do you get tired of the accolades?
FEY: I’m probably not as tired of it as everyone else.
HAMM: It’s nice to be recognized for something you’re proud of. But in our culture there’s an inevitable backlash. And that should be happening for both of our shows…right about now. Just as I’m appearing on 30 Rock.

What if you swapped acceptance speeches next time, just to mix things up? What would you say for each other?
HAMM: That would be one half of a good idea.
FEY: First of all, I’d get up there and get shirtless. Then I’d do like 50 push-ups and flip the podium over. That’s it.
HAMM: I’d do the same thing.

Jon, is there any other role you’d like to play on 30 Rock?
HAMM: Here’s an interesting story: I don’t know if Tina knows this, but I actually auditioned for the role of Jack Donaghy.
FEY: You did? Was I there?
HAMM: No, it was way early in the process. So somewhere on tape, there exists me talking about three kinds of heat. The corollary is that Tina auditioned for Don Draper.
FEY: No, I would probably be the wife of the guy in the closet.

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Originally posted January 21 2009 — 7:52 PM EST

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