Jon Hamm Talks Sports, ESPYs, ‘Million Dollar Arm’
Jon Hamm was on the phone today with reporters to chat about hosting the July 17 ESPYs, starring in the upcoming baseball film “Million Dollar Arm” and sports in general. (And even a little “Mad Men.”) Here are some conversational highlights.
“As has been patently clear, I am a diehard Cardinals fan, so hopefully I can get some shoutouts (during the show).
“It’s been my experience through various deals with ESPN through the years as well as ‘Saturday Night Live’ that athletes are desperate to crack each other up and make fools of themselves at any time … in a positive way.
“Unfortunately, my work schedule has prevented me from going to see the last few World Series that my Cardinals have been in. I was watching the pivotal Game 6 with Jay Ferguson (from ‘Mad Men’), who’s a pretty diehard Ranger fan, from his trailer, while running back and forth from the trailer to shooting.
“I am a huge sports fan, I love the fact that the ESPYs actually celebrate all sports, not just the big four.
“It’s been tricky scheduling wise. Part of is, I’m working with writers … people I’ve known for quite some time, either on ‘Saturday Night Live’ or ’30 Rock’ or my own sort of comic weirdness. There’s already a kind of shorthand there, an ability to work well (while) not in the room, so to speak. ‘Million Dollar Arm,’ we started in May in India, so it’s been a long road to finishing the film.
“It’s not something I’ve necessarily done before. Hosting an awards show is not like hosting ‘Saturday Night Live.’ It’s a whole different skill set. Hopefully, I’m up to the task. I’ve never had a problem standing up in front of a crowd and making a fool of myself.
“My competitive athletic days are pretty far behind me, though I play baseball still and tennis. I was a fairly good competitive high school athlete, (though) I was never in any danger of progressing into a professional career. I hate working out, and I still do, so (playing sports) provides a way of getting exercise without doing something dull and repetitive.
“Anyone’s fascination so deeply with anyone else’s personal life: It’s silly, I guess. I’ve met (George) Clooney several times, and he’s a lovely guy but my interest in his personal life ends there. Jen and I have been together for many years, and it’s constantly mindboggling to me that people care. If that’s how you want to spend your day, be my guest, but it doesn’t take up any of my day.