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June 27, 2023 38 mins

For a span of eight years, Jon Hamm existed in the collective consciousness as one character, and one character only: Don Draper. So it may not come as much of a surprise that for a long time, casting agents exclusively offered him parts like the one he was already playing on Mad Men. What they didn't know, but have since figured out, is that despite possessing every bit as much charm as his most well-known character, Hamm is capable of so much more. In equal measure, he's funny, philosophical, and honest, all of which shine through on this week's episode of Table for Two, where he discusses what it was like listening to R-Rated Red Foxx LPs in the library at 10-years-old, his parents dying when he was young, getting married at 52, working with Tina Fey and John Slattery on his latest film, and much more. Hear a preview of the episode below, and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:09):
I hope you brought your appetite today. Welcome to Table
for two. We have another great summer lunch cooking up
at the Tower Bar. Oh my god, I'm having lunch
with Jon Hamm today.

Speaker 2 (00:21):
So it's too long coming.

Speaker 1 (00:23):
I couldn't be more excited for today's interview. Not only
is our guest one of the most talented and handsome
men in Hollywood, he's also one of the most down
to earth, easygoing, charming people around. He's an actor you
almost can't help having an infinity for which might explain
his success across the board, from television to film, comedy

(00:44):
to drama, and everywhere in between. America fell in love
with him on mad Men, and he hasn't stopped pumping
out hits since, from the Town to last year's blockbuster
Top Gun Maverick.

Speaker 3 (00:57):
Oh, you know what, let's order some lunch.

Speaker 2 (00:59):
Let's do it all about. Just do both order like
the giant rabbis.

Speaker 1 (01:07):
So sit back, grab a glass of rose, and maybe
a buye to eat, because today we're having lunch with
John ham I'm Bruce Bozzi and this is my podcast
Table for two. First of all, this is super exciting

(01:30):
for me to sit and have lunch with you alone.

Speaker 3 (01:33):
I've seen you.

Speaker 1 (01:33):
We recently had dinner at friends of ours house and
it was great.

Speaker 4 (01:37):
We always see each other, except for the time we
flew on a plane together, but we always see each
other in groups.

Speaker 3 (01:43):
And groups China.

Speaker 1 (01:44):
I ran into each other on an American Airlines flight
and then.

Speaker 2 (01:48):
Ran enough we might get to you know, freaking flying run.

Speaker 1 (01:52):
Could we get like tickets please? And then we saw
let me at dinner. No, we were having dinner our
tables near each other in New York before SNL.

Speaker 3 (02:01):
Are you more more la more la?

Speaker 2 (02:03):
For sure?

Speaker 3 (02:04):
But you know, we just bought.

Speaker 2 (02:06):
A place in New York.

Speaker 4 (02:08):
I very much enjoy being able to go to New
York for reasons exactly.

Speaker 1 (02:13):
Like that, right, I think having both both ends of it.
You and Andy are both from Saint Louis. Andy Cohen
my best buddy, and Saint Louis. I didn't know much
about anything Midwest.

Speaker 2 (02:24):
I was a New York guy.

Speaker 1 (02:26):
I drove to pick up Andy's mom's car. Yeah, when
she said, you can have my car, So we flew
and we drove back and like I went there and
there were all these the neighbors brought cookies over and
I was like, Wow, this is really and you and
Andy are like, you, guys, what do you think is
about where you.

Speaker 4 (02:47):
You nailed it on the head, like it's it's a neighborhood,
you know, and Andy's Andy's neighborhood. I grew up kind
of in a different part of town in Saint Louis,
And it won't mean anything to any but that's not
from Saint Louis, but it's.

Speaker 2 (03:01):
Saint Louis very parochial.

Speaker 4 (03:03):
So where you're from and where you grew up is
like really establishes right where you're what your kind of
connections were in neighborhoods, and there's a lot of signifiers
for us Saint Louis's. But I ended up going to
a private high school that became my community where I
met the majority of my friends, and that was very

(03:25):
close to where Andy grew up in Clayton, next door
to do which is next door community. But they're very
similar in their makeup from a religious standpoint, from a
you know, economic standpoint, from a racial standpoint, everything. So
we have a lot of like in fact, we had
dinner a couple of weeks ago in New York City
and we for the first twenty five minutes. We were

(03:46):
both apologizing to my fiancee because we were just like,
none of this means in any of you, but we
have to get through it for twenty minutes and then
I promise will shut up.

Speaker 2 (03:55):
And it was really funny. But it's true. That's the thing,
and you don't have it so much here in La.

Speaker 3 (04:03):
Now you know it all.

Speaker 4 (04:04):
You have a different version of it because if your
kids go to a certain school, then you're the school
kind of community. But that's very floated with all the
other stuff that goes with it. But yeah, in Saint Louis,
it was more about who you knew, and the community
was where you ran around and played and the parents
all kind of looked out for all the other kids, right,
And that kind of led to the things you were

(04:26):
saying of like, oh, your friends coming to drive your car,
let be making some cookies.

Speaker 2 (04:30):
Right, of course, why wouldn't you.

Speaker 3 (04:32):
You know, you also like growing up in Saint Louis.

Speaker 1 (04:35):
You know one of the things that you've talked about
a lot is you were like a renaissance man.

Speaker 3 (04:40):
You did it all and you were talented at it all.

Speaker 1 (04:42):
What was difficult when I was thinking about you I
was like, you know, did you ever have your heart broken.

Speaker 2 (04:47):
In Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 4 (04:49):
Everybody has a version of whatever pain they go through
in life. And I didn't grow up a lot of money.
I grew up with very little money. In fact, I
was raised until I was ten years old by my
mom as a single mom. She was got divorced when
I was a little kid, and then she died when
I was ten, and so then I had to go
live with my dad, who was a great guy but

(05:11):
not a not didn't have the capacity to kind of
raise a kid. So then I was raised by the community,
and that was the school that I went to. So
there was a lot of like you know, kind of
whatever emotions and experiences to unpack from from just that
over the course of a lifetime, being raised by a
single mom and an only and being an only child.

(05:32):
I have two half sisters, but they were out of
the picture when I was When I was being raised
by my mom, the world was opportunity, you know.

Speaker 2 (05:40):
So it was like, go find a book, go to
the library. So I would go to the.

Speaker 4 (05:43):
Library and I'd go check out LPs of comedy things,
and I would go get Chi chen' chong and I
would go get Bob Newhart and I would go get
Richard Pryor and I would and it was really wildly inappropriate,
most of them for.

Speaker 2 (05:56):
A seven year old, eight year old, but it.

Speaker 4 (05:58):
Was something to do, and my mom was it was free.
Those are the other things. So it was like I
was dependent upon the community, whether it was Cub Scouts,
boy Scouts, whether it was community athletics. You know, you
only had to pay nine dollars and I could play

(06:19):
soccer for a season, and you know that included your
uniform and all the other stuff that made you feel
like you were good.

Speaker 2 (06:26):
And the coach was some divorced dad.

Speaker 4 (06:29):
Who didn't anything else to do, and you know, you
weren't exactly training to be a professional soccer player, but
it was something to do. So those are the kinds
of things that I gravitated toward. And then my mom
would put me in art classes, and she'd put me
in acting classes because she knew it was something to do,
that I wouldn't have fun with it, that I could
meet other kids, and that I would be you know,

(06:50):
and then she could then go to work.

Speaker 2 (06:51):
She had to work, you know, from nine to five
every day.

Speaker 4 (06:54):
She was the secretary and so that was like that
was again, and that's idea of like in local parentics,
like that I was taken care of by the community,
which is why I'm when I talk about how much
a hometown kid I am, it's like, why get back.

Speaker 1 (07:17):
I didn't know that, John, I didn't know that you
lost your parents young and and the profound effect that
it has on anybody, But you also did something. I
think that there's a strength that you know you coming
to LA with one hundred and fifty bucks in your pocket.
It feels like you had a self reliance that must

(07:37):
come from experiencing such profound yeah loss.

Speaker 4 (07:43):
I talked my therapists about this a lot. She tries
to put some of this stuff into a context, which
is helpful, but it's like, you know, there's a way
to look at it, like, Okay, the bad thing has happened, right,
you're still here. Yeah, So the bad thing happened and
you're still here and you're still doing something and you
have the motor still running.

Speaker 2 (08:04):
Yeah, so what's the what's what's what could happen?

Speaker 4 (08:06):
You go to LA and another bad thing happened, Well,
you dust yourself off and you'll keep walking for me,
the real challenge of Los Angeles was just scale.

Speaker 2 (08:17):
I remember driving into Los Angeles.

Speaker 4 (08:18):
Being like, I'm here, and in reality I was about
thirty miles out of LA because that was where like
Sam Bernardino started or whatever.

Speaker 2 (08:25):
But it looked like and I was like, when do
I get to Hollywood? Where's Hollywood? What's Hollywood's And I'm
just driving on the ten. Eventually, and like an hour later,
I'm like, look is this place.

Speaker 4 (08:36):
I gotta be a lie. Of course, this is a
time before GPS or anything. So I'm looking on a map,
the giant phone book. But it's It's just it was scale.

Speaker 2 (08:45):
And then it was.

Speaker 4 (08:45):
How do I how do I find a way into
this monstrous puzzle that everybody seems to know the secret
doors and the and the passages and everything.

Speaker 3 (08:59):
How did you do that?

Speaker 2 (09:00):
One day at a time? Man?

Speaker 4 (09:02):
It was literally like when you get that book which
for people that don't know what we're talking about, there
used to be a phone book size.

Speaker 2 (09:08):
Map of life.

Speaker 3 (09:09):
What was the name of that called Thomas? God, we
all had the Thomas.

Speaker 2 (09:12):
Added in your car. Crazy go to am I?

Speaker 4 (09:17):
How do I find my way from Burbank to Century
City And it was.

Speaker 2 (09:24):
It was what it was.

Speaker 4 (09:25):
Yeah, things took a little longer, but you look at
this book and I'm not kidding it was the size
of a phone book, you know, And you think, I'm.

Speaker 2 (09:32):
Never gone under? Am I going to? Are you kidding me?

Speaker 4 (09:36):
But like anything else, you realize, okay, you break it
down into smaller and smaller, digestible kind.

Speaker 2 (09:40):
Of pieces and chunks.

Speaker 4 (09:42):
You go, okay, wow, I see this is like, this
is West Hollywood, this is where most of those things are,
and then this is the valley and that's where most
of those.

Speaker 3 (09:49):
And how did you know where to go?

Speaker 2 (09:50):
Though?

Speaker 1 (09:51):
So John's story is you go back to the high
school that you went to and you were working there
and you were like the number two to your drama
and then you're like, okay, I'm gonna what then propels
John to say, I'm doing it. I'm going to go
to Hollywood. I'm gonna try out.

Speaker 4 (10:08):
I had always planned on doing it after college, and
I went to school and got a theater scholarship and
did acting in college and everything, and it was kind
of the one thing that I kept coming back to
because people kept saying, Hey, you know, you're not bad
at this. You should try that good at this, and
if somebody keeps telling you're good at something, eventually it
sticks and you're like, I guess I'm good at this.

Speaker 2 (10:29):
You've got a scholarship to do it.

Speaker 4 (10:32):
And then sort of my generation of actors from my school, again,
you're in the Midwest, so there's not a lot of,
you know, jobs for actors, so you're either going to
go to Chicago, which was the closest place New York,
or and most of my group went to Chicago, some

(10:53):
came to LA. Really nobody went to New York. But
I had a bunch of friends in New York. Think
about it, like, do I want to be to go
to New York? I don't really want to focus on theater.
Do I want to live in New York? It's so
expensive back then, because I knew what my friends were
paying for rent and how much money they were making
and how you know much it was.

Speaker 2 (11:12):
And this is again in the nineties, I was like,
I had a family in LA, I've got a couple
of friends in LA.

Speaker 4 (11:18):
Maybe I was going to LA, but I had no money.

Speaker 2 (11:22):
So that was the plan was then, okay, I mean.

Speaker 3 (11:26):
No mine?

Speaker 4 (11:27):
Well, and that was when I graduated college in nineteen
ninety three, I moved back to Saint Louis and I.

Speaker 2 (11:35):
Was like, I need to get a job.

Speaker 4 (11:36):
I lived in my college roommate's family's house in their basement,
then know where to live until I got a job. And
I finally got a job waiting tables, and I'd started
to earning enough money that could get an apartment. I
got an apartment with a kid I went to high
school with, and we shared a place for like a year.
And then during this time I had talked to my
my high school and said, would it be possible for.

Speaker 2 (11:56):
Me to come teach.

Speaker 4 (11:59):
At the you know, at the incredible annual you know,
salary of something ridiculously cheap. So I was like, wow, okay,
that'll be great, and then I could save that money
and then I can go to la which of course
I'd saved none of the money. And then at the
end of the day, I got a one hundred dollars

(12:20):
check from my grandfather.

Speaker 3 (12:21):
And had another figure where'd the money go?

Speaker 2 (12:24):
You know, twenty four year old whatever. They went to
the but it was it was one of those things
and I knew it would be an.

Speaker 4 (12:35):
They asked me if I wanted to stay for another
year because I really did enjoy it, and they enjoyed
having me and the kids like me, and I was like,
I could see me doing this for the rest of
my life, and I think I would be happy, but
I don't think I would be fulfilled, because they would
always be the one tenth of a percent that was like, well,
what if you tried? You never tried, and I was like,

(12:58):
I gotta try. And that was when I was like,
I'm twenty four turning twenty five. I'll give myself five years.
It's essentially a presidential administration.

Speaker 3 (13:08):
I do think that's the number.

Speaker 4 (13:10):
And I said, if I'm not doing this by thirty
in a way that I'm sustainable, then the market has
spoken and it's time for me to pursue other alternatives.
Because I just knew I'd worked at that point in
enough restaurants that I knew the guy that worked in
the restaurant that was you could tell was the guy

(13:34):
eight years ago, yep, and just never got out of
that circle.

Speaker 1 (13:38):
That's such an important awareness that you have that you
were able to look at that and see that a
lot of young people can't see that, and to see
that heartbreak in somebody or like that sort of defeat
that happens.

Speaker 4 (13:50):
And well, it's super easy in alive, I mean, because
the normal markers of time don't exist here. They don't
so you like, how many times have you done this as,
oh was that was that two years ago? They're like
that was twenty ten, and you're like, what it was
thirteen years ago? It's crazy, I've done that so many
times recently where you're like, oh my god, it was

(14:12):
a couple of years ago. Like and of course we
had the weird pandemic loss of two years that just
went by in a weird blur. But I will say
that without having the markers of traditional seasons, you don't
have the sense of time passing as much.

Speaker 1 (14:28):
When I moved out here in my early twenties, didn't
know what I wanted to do, but I knew I
was roughly twenty three, and then at twenty seven, I said,
you have to leave because this city's asking very little
of you and you're not motivated enough to give it back.
And it was just time was very elusive because summer
was winter, was spring.

Speaker 4 (14:48):
Was fall, and you're right, seventy two degrees in sunny
every day. I got really good at golf. When I
moved out here, there was a public golf course. It
was nine dollars to play, and I went with all
my broke roommates and we played golf every day.

Speaker 2 (15:00):
I was like, damn, I got a good ten. Welcome

(15:22):
back to table. For two.

Speaker 1 (15:24):
John has been telling us about his complicated childhood and
making the move to Hollywood. It wasn't easy from the
get go, which begs the question what kept John in
the room? What was the thing that you said, Okay,
I'm in.

Speaker 4 (15:39):
So to get back to my promise to myself, right,
I said by thirty. I guess when I turned This
would have been around nineteen ninety nine. Ied in twenty
eight and I booked my first job. I finally got
a job.

Speaker 2 (15:54):
I'd been dropped by Willian Morris bed this point. I
had signed with.

Speaker 4 (15:57):
Another small agency, and I just like, all right, and
now I gotta get back either get back on the
on the bike or pack it up like I'll give
a warm more shot. Maybe agency was too big. I
got lost. They didn't gonna be a fighting for me.
So I tried this on a small agency. Judy Shane
in Associates, I don't know if you remember Judy Shane.

Speaker 2 (16:15):
She was.

Speaker 4 (16:16):
She was kind of an old She came out of
freddie Field's office like Tony Howard, like all these ladies
and these are like big deals. So she started her
own place and she was very small. And there's two
old ladies at Raymond here and Jimmy Raymond. And I
was like, all right, this feels a little more comfortable.
I got this feminine energy the older ladies a little

(16:36):
more in my wheelhouse. I can talk to they can
tell me what's up in a gentle way, and said,
why am Why am I not?

Speaker 2 (16:43):
What's what's not connected? And it worked. So I got
this job. It was on a TV show just it was.

Speaker 4 (16:49):
For a top of show, guest star network show, and
I think I got paid like ten grand it was,
but so it was more money than I made all
of last year.

Speaker 2 (17:04):
And it worked one day. It was like an eighteen
hour day. So I also got like overtime and all
the first stuff, and it was it was a part.
It was like a real part.

Speaker 4 (17:12):
I got to play opposite Paula Kale who was the
lead of the show or the second leader of the show,
Meline and Cannakarius was the lead oft show. It is
called Providence and Friday Night on NBC Family Show about
as soft as you know, day old oatmeal. It was
just literally like, okay, this is fine. There's a place
for this too, and it was fun and I had

(17:35):
a great Melanie Mayron.

Speaker 2 (17:36):
Direct to day. I'll never forget it.

Speaker 4 (17:37):
I used to watch on thirty something. I still see
her nowadays. I was like, you know, you were the
nicest person to be game. It means so much.

Speaker 2 (17:44):
Anyways, that was my first job, and then I got
another job.

Speaker 4 (17:47):
They had three lines on the Hugles Deal Huglee Show
sitcom Backer.

Speaker 2 (17:52):
They got a pilot.

Speaker 4 (17:54):
It was a comedy that I never went but and
they recast it and I got to do it again
with the new person that they cast, and then it
went but they didn't have any room for me on it.
So I wasn't fired, but I just wasn't used. But
I got three more paychecks for it, and I was like,
I'm doing this. Then Providence called and they said, hey,
we loved your character so much and our lead is

(18:16):
pregnant and we got to kind of shoot around her now,
so can we We're gonna bump your storyline up to
the thing we're gonna bring.

Speaker 2 (18:22):
You back is the love interest. And I was like,
what does that mean.

Speaker 4 (18:25):
They're like, we want, we want you for thirteen more episodes,
and again I was like thirteen times ten and I'm correct,
it's one hundred and thirty thousand dollars, which I have
not made in my life up to this point. And
I was like, you gotta be kidding me. And then
that was kind of They're like, no, we're in. That
was the game change, like oh wow. And then two

(18:48):
thousand came around and I booked a movie and I
had about three lines in the movie. It was a
feature film. Paramount Mel Gibson was the star, Greg Kinnear,
Sam Elliott, Barry Pepper, all these young guys. I was
in the kind of younger tier underneath these guys. And

(19:10):
my agent was like, I don't know, you know, it's like,
it's only a couple of lines in this movie. I
was like, you know what, but if you read the script,
I'm like around all the time.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Just let me.

Speaker 4 (19:17):
I think I'm gonna I think I'm gonna be in
this movie more than you think. And they wanted me
to start basic Training was a war movie, Vietnam War
movie Basic Training. I was like, I'm gonna be around
these guys. I just want to be around, you know.
And I got paid. I got a paid every day
and I turned thirty on that movie down in Atlanta, Georgia, Columbus, Georgia,

(19:39):
and I was like, you know, I'm actually I.

Speaker 2 (19:42):
Quit my waiting finally. I saw on this movie for
six months.

Speaker 4 (19:47):
And I was getting paid, and I had all the
money from the previous gig.

Speaker 2 (19:53):
I was like, I think I can.

Speaker 4 (19:54):
I paid off all my student loans, I paid up
all my credit cards, my back rent, everything that I owed,
got out a part, I got a car that worked
for the first time in my life.

Speaker 3 (20:02):
And John, it's just like and so I was like, okay.

Speaker 4 (20:05):
You know thirty. It was five years. It took me
four every bit of four four and a half.

Speaker 3 (20:10):
But I love you telling this story.

Speaker 1 (20:13):
And I hope that people listening to this story really
understand because it's very easy to look at you and
look at the career.

Speaker 3 (20:19):
You have to see the John hann now and not
know that and be like.

Speaker 4 (20:24):
You know, I was the classic example of the ten
year overnight success.

Speaker 1 (20:26):
You know, sure, It's a heartwarming story to me too,
because again, not only do you have the village that's
helped you, not only have you had the profound loss
in your life of two of the most significant relationships
that we have, you have the strength of yourself to
and the wherewithal to be in it, and the goodness

(20:49):
there's so much goodness to come off for you, John,
just so you know, and there is so much well
I also.

Speaker 4 (20:55):
Want when I in my dotage at this point, whenever
anybody from my hometown or from my high school or
Missoo or wherever comes out here, I generally get a
call from somebody who's like, hey, can you sit down
with this kid for an hour?

Speaker 2 (21:11):
I have a couple of coffee, tell them what's what?

Speaker 4 (21:13):
And I'm always like, you know, there's no there's no
rule book and the and the and the rules of
the game, if even if there was, have changed so
much since I was out here, not only from not
having to look at an analog map to figure out
where you're going, but but just like in the social
media aspect and the idea of having a different play,
I feel exactly and I had no sons, you.

Speaker 1 (21:45):
Know, don drape or is an iconic character. You brought
to life, an that kind of character that will live
on forever. And you guys, you captured a very specific
moment in time. If you had to sort of say,
like with Dondre, what did you relate to with Dre
Britton like and was there anything about him that you detested?

Speaker 2 (22:06):
You know what?

Speaker 4 (22:06):
It's it's hard to it's hard to play a character
like that and with any kind of judgment because then
you're kind of you're removing yourself from it looking at
it from a different perspective. I can do that now,
and I can look at a lot of stuff. Don
you goo right, there were some behaviors that really were
But I can also look at it and under and

(22:27):
look at it with understanding, and I think that that's
you know, people used set it ton well, he's such
a he's such a rough character. That's not I go,
you know what he's he's misunderstood, you know, And it's
and you can always look at with the exception of
people that are truly truly evil, and I don't think
Don is evil. There's a motivation and explanation for a
lot of their behavior. Don's a very broken person and

(22:48):
he's he's got a lot. I have a lot of
compassion for that. He was not he wasn't dealt a
great hand to start with, and he's played that into
a pretty great position. And unfortunately there's been a lot
of collateral damage from his narcissism selfishness. However, he has
needed to feel like he has had to motivate and

(23:11):
navigate his life with the tools that he has, So
I do think for down the fact that he comes
to a place of understanding and acceptance and peace at
the end of the story that we told, which was
very much Matthew's objective for that, and it was on purpose.

Speaker 2 (23:29):
You know, we've talked about the last kind of.

Speaker 4 (23:31):
Last six or seven episode, Don leaves New York kind
of goes on this quest.

Speaker 2 (23:35):
It's like Sidarta, right.

Speaker 4 (23:36):
He just removes all of the things, he gives everything
away and at the end he has a JC Penny's
bag and that's it, and he ends up on the
end of the earth. He can't run away any further,
and he's stuck with himself. And then he has to
kind of understand like what is it?

Speaker 2 (23:51):
What are you? And it comes to him that this
is what he is he's a guy who comes up with.

Speaker 4 (23:56):
Slogans and he's an ad guy comes up and the
thing goes back, lives his life. Who knows how he dies,
but he does die, and eventually.

Speaker 2 (24:04):
We all do.

Speaker 4 (24:06):
So I do think that there was a lot for
me to to grasp onto and there was, and it
was as a character and as a as a role
and as an opportunity. There was so much to play
and there was so much to show what I could do.
That obviously, yes, that did for these larger entities, studios
and movie makers and directors.

Speaker 2 (24:25):
And people just say like, oh, maybe we could use
that guy in some way.

Speaker 4 (24:28):
And you know, if Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt and
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and everybody else is busy,
maybe we can get into that guy. But you know, obviously,
I remember Matt Damon coming up to me very early
on in the role and he goes and he goes,
if you're the SAG Awards or something, and of course
he's gonna win for whatever he's gonna win for.

Speaker 2 (24:49):
And I worked with him a couple occasions. He's a
great guy.

Speaker 4 (24:52):
But he came up to me, he's like, hey, man,
it's nice to meet you, and I just want to
I just wanted to shake the hand of the guy
I'm gonna lose parts to eventually. And I was like,
but it was a very funny kind of understanding of
where we all are in the firmament and rising and falling,
and that it's you know, it is like a lot
of things.

Speaker 2 (25:08):
It's like a it's a marketplace.

Speaker 4 (25:09):
Yeah, and you are what you are that day and
tomorrow it could be different and there's a healthy bit
of understanding of that too.

Speaker 1 (25:36):
Thanks for tuning back into Table for two. John is
probably best known for his role as Don Draper I'm Madman,
a character he played for close to a decade. I
want to know not only what it was like to
play such an iconic role, but how he kept from
getting typecast. When did people start to realize, oh my god,

(25:59):
this guy's it's fucking hysterical.

Speaker 4 (26:01):
There's just two versions of that, because you know, part
of it is when you see somebody in a role
or you see somebody on screen, you assume, Okay, that's
that's what they do.

Speaker 2 (26:10):
Yeah. I'm just listening to a.

Speaker 4 (26:13):
Podcast about Tom Cruise, who I've got the good fortune
to work with.

Speaker 2 (26:17):
The Top Gun. When Tom, when you look.

Speaker 4 (26:19):
At his stuff he does is a very serious or
intense kind of guy. And then you look at him
in Tropic Thunder and you're like, oh my god, this
guy's something warious. And when you know him, when you
actually have spend time with him and sit down with him,
you know that he's engaging and he's funny.

Speaker 2 (26:33):
And because of course he is, he's an entertainer, he
gets it.

Speaker 4 (26:36):
And I think that that just takes the kind of
time and experience where you get to meet somebody and
spend time with him. And you know, as soon as
Mad Men hit, I was given all these projects, Oh
do you want to play this guy?

Speaker 2 (26:51):
You want to play this guy?

Speaker 4 (26:52):
You want to play this no versions of don right,
the smoking cigarettes, nor dark, dour, brooding kind of you know.
And I was like, that's what I do nine months
out of the year. I do that for my day job.
Like I don't want to do that. It's like, that's
not what I got into this business to do. So
I was able to and then I was, you know,
adopted very fortunately by the comedy community, who I had

(27:14):
quite a few friends that had a solid residence in
and one of the was.

Speaker 2 (27:20):
Lauren Michaels and the other one was Tina Effect.

Speaker 4 (27:22):
So I hosted the show and then the Wednesday of
the read through of my first hosting job, as Tina
tells it, she called Lauren said, is this guy finally here?

Speaker 2 (27:30):
Is he had dud? Lauren goes, no, he's fine. And
by the time I got to my dressing room on Thursday,
the phone rang in my dressing room.

Speaker 4 (27:37):
It was Robert Carlock said, Hey, do you want to
come on the show? We want to We got an
idea for I was like, thirty Rock, Yeah, my favorite show.

Speaker 3 (27:43):
Kidding and your timing is like fantastic.

Speaker 4 (27:47):
It's like it's intimidating, though, to go into a show
like thirty Rock, especially when you have a real and snl,
a real appreciation and understanding and love it.

Speaker 2 (28:01):
Because you don't want to be the guy sucks. You
don want to be the guy foxing up.

Speaker 4 (28:05):
And I definitely had a lot of anxiety about that.
And I look back at the first couple of episodes
that I did on both of those and I was.

Speaker 2 (28:13):
Like, I don't think I was I don't think I
hit it out of the park.

Speaker 3 (28:15):
Sure, but it was good enough on the topic of work.

Speaker 1 (28:21):
So you know, you have the fifth season of Fargo,
which might drop fall fall.

Speaker 3 (28:28):
You have John Slaughder. I love John and his wife,
Maggie Moore.

Speaker 4 (28:32):
Maggie Moore's Moore that's going to debut at Tribeca so
in a couple of weeks, and then we'll.

Speaker 2 (28:40):
Be on a screen some sort of screen near you.

Speaker 1 (28:44):
And you have season three in The Morning Show, which
I got to say, you know, I happened to be
a I mean, I love Jennifer and Reese a lot
as people as friends. That's kind of an interesting grade
sort of thing to bop into.

Speaker 4 (28:59):
It was a really again fortunate alignment of not only
schedules and timing and history and everything is I've known
Jen for quite a few years, and there's.

Speaker 3 (29:14):
Nobody better than that lady.

Speaker 2 (29:15):
She's she's the best of the best.

Speaker 4 (29:18):
She's a person who has lived an incredible life and
has an incredible understanding of her fortune and her talent
and all the other stuff and still does great work.
And I remember I sent her an email or something
after I watched the first season of the Morning Show

(29:39):
and I was like, you know, you didn't have to
do this, but I'm really glad you did, and it
was really it was a side of you that hadn't
seen in a long time, and it was really nice
to see. And so it was really great to get
this opportunity to play off because my character plays pretty
much exclusively opposite Gens. He's he's in the morning show,

(30:00):
a world in the Swirld. It's not exclusively longer, but
it's mostly with Jen And it was fun. You know,
it was a fun job. It was a lot of work,
and it was I was shooting both of those shows concurrently,
So I was in Calgary shooting Fargo, and then I
fly back and be it in l A for a

(30:20):
couple of weeks.

Speaker 2 (30:21):
Then I fly back to Calgary and then I fly
back to the So it wasn't easy. But every time
I'm in mind, every time I think about man, I'm tired. Man,
it sucks. Whatever I go. You know what, it sucks.
The phone doesn't ring.

Speaker 4 (30:33):
Yeah, that's it sucks.

Speaker 2 (30:36):
That's it sucks.

Speaker 1 (30:47):
You were part of something that was I think pretty
monumental last summer, which was Maverick, which was bringing the
big movie with the big movie star back into the
screen and getting people back into the theaters.

Speaker 4 (31:00):
I just watched it last night from Memorial Day or like,
send a text out to the group.

Speaker 2 (31:03):
I was like, still good, He's still good. Movie's still good.

Speaker 3 (31:05):
Yeah, it's still good. You guys all were so amazing.

Speaker 1 (31:09):
And you know, you talked about Tom earlier, and I've
had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of times,
and I don't know him. I can only imagine the
takeaways from working with someone like Cruise. Was there something
if you had to sort of say one or two
things as an actor as as someone in the business that.

Speaker 4 (31:25):
You there's two ways to look at it, because I
think he's and he has both sides of this to
the nth degree, because he's he's been an actor since
he was a teenager, and he's been a pretty famous
actor since he was almost a teenager.

Speaker 2 (31:40):
Yeah. I mean his first job was Taps and I
think he was seventeen.

Speaker 3 (31:43):
Yeah, which is amazing movie.

Speaker 4 (31:45):
That's an amazing film, and it's you know, they look
at the cast of that movie and then you look
at the rest of his film crew and he's really
young until he really blew up, which was basically risky business.
And then Taka and you you go, oh wow, like
this guy's been doing it at that level for that
long as an actor. And then you look at him
as a producer and what he's been doing from the

(32:07):
Mission films through now Top Gun Maverick to the other
three franchises that he has, the Jack Reachers, and you go, Wow,
this guy's really smart about keeping ownership and control over
what he can in the wildly uncontrollable business that we
live in. And so that's why it took thirty five

(32:30):
years to make a Top Gun sequel.

Speaker 2 (32:32):
They didn't want to do it if it wasn't right.

Speaker 4 (32:34):
And so working with him on this and watching how
he really took care of this thing, this baby bird,
this billion dollar baby bird right that he could have
just let go in during the pandemic on a streaming
platform and people would have been like, yeah, thanks, you know,
it's something to watch. It would have been the last dance,

(32:55):
you know, we all would have watched it, huh. But
he was adamant that no has to be seen in
a movie theater. It's an experience, it's not something to
be watched. And I just watched it on my couch.
It was great on my couch, but.

Speaker 2 (33:07):
It was really great in the movie when you got
a whole group of people.

Speaker 4 (33:11):
And I was telling my fiancee and her sister who
were over, and her best friend, and I was like,
oh my god that when this played in the theater,
like it got the biggest like cheer, Like people stood
up and like cheered.

Speaker 3 (33:21):
It's crazy.

Speaker 4 (33:21):
And it really was that common experience and shared experience
what the movies are all about. And he was very
protective of that. And he's just he's the first guy
on set, he's the last guy to leave. He's smart.
He's smart, he's kind.

Speaker 2 (33:37):
You know, you.

Speaker 4 (33:37):
Realize, like I've certainly had my experience with the leader,
the number one on the call sheet, who hasn't been
those things. And I've been number one on the call sheet,
and I've tried to be those things, and we all
have bad days and not you know, it is what
it is. But he is very cognizant of being the leader,
and he takes it very seriously and he's really good

(33:58):
at it.

Speaker 1 (34:00):
I think it's like an incredible takeaway from someone who's
you know, no matter what business you're in, right is
how to treat people. We've heard a lot about John's
career and professional life today, but before we go, let's

(34:21):
get personal and talk wedding bells. How does that feel
like going into like this is like the next blockbuster,
the Johnhan Blackbuster twenty twenty three is going to the chapel.

Speaker 2 (34:35):
And it's exciting.

Speaker 4 (34:36):
It's exciting, you know, it's it's exciting because it's again
it's all potential, it's all possibility, and it's and it's
all positive.

Speaker 2 (34:46):
You know. It's if.

Speaker 4 (34:48):
I suppose there's two ways to look at anything like that,
which is like, oh, what if it's terrible? But the
other way is like, this is this is meant to
be something wonderful. And so if you lean into that
as which I had then, and it's the reason why
I really wanted to do it, and it really leaned
into it. It's like, this is the thing that leads
to the next thing of life, and that's what I

(35:11):
help journey, and it's the journey, and it's exciting and
all of the mean, as you well know, all of
the minutia of planning it and dealing with it are
can be my numbing.

Speaker 2 (35:22):
And and all of the other things.

Speaker 4 (35:25):
But then you understand and I think it only happened
to me, like maybe a week ago or so where
this sort of calm settled over me. I was like,
oh right, oh, this is none of this parish like, yeah,
it's great if the thing has a little doodle on
it that has a nice design, and at the end
of the day, the important thing is like and I
literally had this sort of weird epiphany when I was

(35:46):
walking the dog. I was like, oh right, I'm gonna
look out and I'm gonna see this whole.

Speaker 2 (35:51):
Group of people.

Speaker 4 (35:53):
And it's not a very big group of people, and
it's well under one hundred people, but group of people
that are all there because they're supporting me and all.

Speaker 2 (36:04):
And that's great.

Speaker 4 (36:06):
I think the last time that happened to me was
like high school graduation, you know, something like that. You know,
I mean, yeah, it was nice to win an Emmy
and look out and people are applauding, but half of
them are like, are we done yet?

Speaker 2 (36:17):
Can we go? Is it time to you know, then
they're certainly not all rooting for you. At least there's
five other guys that certainly weren't. And I've been on
the other side of that equation quite a few times.

Speaker 4 (36:26):
But it's this is not that, and this is the
exciting part of life, and it's a signpost and a
signifier of the.

Speaker 2 (36:36):
Next chapter and phase.

Speaker 4 (36:39):
And ideally it gives you and your partner a sense
of stability and comfort and identifying capacity that is better, deeper,
richer than it's my girlfriend or my boyfriend.

Speaker 1 (36:56):
And I do think I think a shared life is
a very meaning full life. And I think that the
life you created, that you made happen because no one
gave you anything on a platter. It's such a wonderful
thing to see you embrace and whether it leads to
having a family, creating a family, all the things you

(37:18):
just write TVD, you don't know. That's the beauty of it.
And all you know is about what we have is today. Yeah,
I wish you a lot of congratulations, thank you, and
a lot of good fortune and look forward to getting
to get to know her better. Yeah, you are truly
a renaissance man. It's always a pleasure to see you.

(37:38):
Love that we broke bread absolutely looks is. I think
if you've pulled up at your today and you had
lunch with John Ham, you're a very lucky person.

Speaker 3 (37:46):
On the other end of this microphone.

Speaker 4 (37:47):
At the record show, I finished my salad. I mean
now that I will I kept talking. I'm saying I
was able to tell. I don't know if I was
talking with my mouth or.

Speaker 3 (37:55):
Not, but thank you for joining me for lunch today.

Speaker 2 (37:58):
Thanks.

Speaker 3 (37:58):
I love it.

Speaker 5 (38:08):
Table for two with Bruce Bosi is produced by iHeartRadio
seven three seven Park and Airmail. Our executive producers are
Bruce Bosi and Nathan King. Table for two is researched
and written by Bridget arsenalt. Our sound engineers are Paul
Bowman and Alyssa Midcalf. Table for two's la production team
is Danielle Romo and Lorraine Viz. Our music supervisor is

(38:31):
Randall Poster.

Speaker 3 (38:31):
Our talent booking is by James Harkin.

Speaker 1 (38:34):
Special thanks to Amy Sugarman, Uni Cher, Kevin Yuvane, Bobby Bauer,
Alison Kanter, Graber, Barbara and Jen and Jeff Klein, and
the staff at the Tower Bar in the world famous
Sunset Tower Hotel.

Speaker 5 (38:46):
For more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
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