After seven seasons and seven Emmy nominations, it's hard to imagine anyone but Jon Hamm playing the iconic role of Don Draper on Mad Men. But back when AMC's Emmy-winning drama was still being developed, the actor had to work hard to sell himself as the right man for the Don Draper job.
In this exclusive video promoting the premiere of Mad Men's final seven episodes (starting April 5), Hamm reflects on the extensive audition process that led to him landing the role of the 1960s ad man hiding a host of skeletons in his finely tailored closet. He remembers his first pre-read with a New York casting director, and then a series of further auditions in front of creator Matt Weiner and studio and network executives: "It was a long process of convincing people to take a chance on this person that no one had really heard of."
Hamm credits Weiner for fighting on his behalf, though, and says the two bonded because they were at similar points when they met: "I think Matt definitely knew the feeling of being somebody that had a lot to prove, but wasn't really quite at that level in their career… yet. So I think there was a kinship there. And it's a hundred percent due to him that I have this part."
And thank goodness for that, right?
Plus, we have a special bonus for all you Mad Men fans: an exclusive sneak peek at a trio of new promotional photos of Hamm as Don Draper from the show's final episodes. And the first one brings up all kinds of questions: Whose backyard is Don standing in? Why is he alone? And why is he wearing plaid pants? (Oh right, it's still 1969.)
The final episodes of Mad Men premiere Sunday, April 5 at 10 p.m. on AMC.