TV Article

When Lemon Met Draper...

Tina Fey and Jon Hamm talk about joining forces to play neighbors-turned-lovers on ''30 Rock''

When Mad Men's Jon Hamm visits NBC's 30 Rock for a three-episode run (starting Feb. 5) as Liz Lemon's new love interest, the rivers will flow with critics' tears of joy. (Thank goodness the characters don't road-trip to Dillon, Tex., to stop by Friday Night Lights, or the weeping would cause a flash flood.) We chatted with the dream team on location on New York's Upper West Side as they filmed their final scene together — something predictably random regarding irreconcilable differences over a motor scooter. Bet Don Draper won't face that in MM's third season.

EW: How did this blessed union come to be?
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.

EW: 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.

EW: 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.

EW: 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.

EW: 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.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2009 Published in issue #1032-1033 Jan 30, 2009 Order article reprints