The creator of Mad Men, Matt Weiner, begins every season by having a long dinner with his leading man, Jon Hamm. They discuss the trajectory of the scripts and the characters, but they’re also known to slip in a few low-brow jokes as well.
“We talk about art and we talk about paintings and we’ll talk about architecture,” Hamm said in an interview with Vulture. “Somehow it gets around to Mad Men. I don’t mean to…this is not like an Algonquin roundtable we’re having. There are a healthy amount of fart jokes, too.”
Mad Men had its sixth season premiere last Sunday, but not before Hamm and Weiner had their perfunctory dinner. “It’s usually pretty long, way longer than dinner, and we do eat a lot,” Hamm admitted. “It’s a bit of a My Dinner with Andre kind of thing, just talking about stuff that somehow tangentially is related to the show. He writes a lot of things down. And as you will find out or may know about me, I tend to talk. I’m very long-winded. Sometimes I make sense. But I like having an intellectual conversation. It’s an interesting way to kind of begin the process of getting back into the show. I couldn’t really tell you anything specific about it. I mean, not that I don’t want to, but I don’t necessarily remember the specifics of it.”
Hamm’s role as Don Draper is a tough one to play (mostly since Don is usually in some sort of mental anguish.) Even if the actor is able to separate work from home, it’s still a ton of work to be a part of the Emmy-winning show. “I’m able to divorce it and go home, but it’s still exhausting,” Hamm said. “The hours are long and it’s nonstop and kind of every day for me, but it’s fulfilling. It’s artistically fulfilling. I enjoy going to work. I enjoy my job. I enjoy playing this guy; I really do. I love [the cast] and working with them.”
But as rewarding (and successful) as the show may be, Weiner has already said that the show will end after seven seasons. However, the cast isn’t really ready for their goodbyes yet.
“It’d probably be dishonest if I said, ‘No one’s thought about it.’ A couple times we’ve been like, ‘Whoa, it’s almost over,’ but that usually gets buried under the avalanche of like, ‘Oh my God, we have to finish this one first!’” Hamm said. “I was talking a lot with Jack MacBrayer, Tina [Fey], Robert Carlock, people on 30 Rock, and they were like blind-sided and devastated by how emotional they all were at the end. I have a special relationship with that show, so I watched the finale and even I was, like, crying.”
Mad Men airs on AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m.