On July 3, 2014, Mad Men wrapped its 92nd and final episode. For many in the cast and crew, tears didn’t just spill, they erupted. But not necessarily for Jon Hamm. Jay R. Ferguson, who plays bearded lug Stan, admitted at Wednesday’s Black & Red Mad Men Ball in Los Angeles that he was a blubbery mess, but that Hamm, true to his character, was stoic—the calm at the center of an emotional and bittersweet storm.
Seven months later, Hamm has had time to process the end, even if he never quite did it deliberately. “I didn’t go into a quiet room and light a candle,” he said on the red carpet. “But I’ve certainly thought about it by myself for quite some time, and it’s hard not to. It’s a long run and a long ride, and a lot of people worked really hard on it. So I feel like it’s deserved to take a moment and really feel like, ‘Okay, this is what we did.’ And we should be proud of it.”
Playing Don Draper has been a life-changing experience for Hamm, who went from slightly struggling working actor to overnight sex symbol and instant TV icon. He will forever be Don Draper, a relationship he’s blithely indifferent about—Draper-esque even. “Maybe not often, but definitely not never,” he said, responding to a question about whether he’ll think about Don as time goes by. “But that said, I’m very excited that people are finally going to get to see the last few episodes. We kind of live in a [business] where [shows] are only now starting to end on their creator’s terms. So we had the chance to kind of finish it the way we wanted to, and that’s pretty cool, right?”
They really cast the right Don Draper, didn’t they?
[Reporting by Scott Huver]