Jon Hamm's Mad Men role of "Don Draper" changed his life. After years of floating around in the acting world, he landed on a lead role on the period drama and has since been one of Hollywood's most popular actors. In 2008, it began with a flurry of fame, which he gratefully accepted.
The acclaim was instant. After the premiere season of Mad Men, Hamm and the show won Golden Globes, and he and the cast were nominated for two awards at the 2008 SAG Awards. It was a rapid rise, but Hamm was ready for it all and was reveling in it.
"You look stunning tonight. Can I just say that?" Hamm charms ET's former co-host Mary Hart, whom he had just met. "Blue is a great color. I'm on board."
As for the reason that he was standing on the platform and charming Mrs. Hart to begin with, Hamm says he's excited that Mad Men has been an instant success and that his role has been so overwhelmingly acclaimed.
"It is a big deal and it's exciting because so many people worked so hard on [the show]," he says. "It's nice to see it being recognized by the community at large, and it feels great."
While the show's interwoven themes of period-related misogyny and racism have been contested throughout the show's five-season run, it has nevertheless been a hit with critics and its loyal audiences.
"I'm very proud of the show," he says. "We try to be true to the era that it takes place in in the early sixties, and that's sort of what happened [then]. A lot of people talk about the smoking and the drinking and sort of gloss over the misogynistic aspects of it, but fortunately we've come a long way from that time."
While the show has been adorned in Golden Globes and Emmys over the years, it hasn't had as much relative success at the SAGs. The cast has won two SAG Awards for Best Ensemble in a Drama, but Hamm has never won the Best Actor Award despite being nominated for all of Mad Men's seasons.