In May of 2015, Matthew Weiner’s AMC series “Mad Men,” an existential drama about a talented advertising executive amidst the historical developments of 1960’s America, came to a close. The series finale ended with protagonist Don Draper (Jon Hamm) meditating in an Esalen-like spiritual retreat with a smile on his face as the show smash cuts to the 1971 “Hilltop” TV advertisement for Coca-Cola. The ending has opened itself up to a couple different interpretations: some say Don finally found enlightenment and peace away from his traditional New York lifestyle, while others say he returned to New York unchanged and create the Coke ad.
On “The Rich Eisen Show,” Hamm has come out in favor of the latter interpretation. When asked where Don Draper is right now, he joked that he’s “six feet under” unless he made a serious lifestyle change at the end of the show, but he doubts it. “I don’t think that stuck. I don’t think that Zen moment of understanding of anything really stuck. That leopard is not changing his spots.” Though Eisen pushes back that the ending gives you the impression that he was about to change. Hamm replies that he thinks, “it was more about, he just had a really good idea for a commercial.” Watch the interview below.
But Hamm had nice words to say about the finale in general, as well as the opportunity to play the character: “I thought it was a very poetic and very nice way to end the show, and also very cryptic, which also sticks in the realm of the show’s vocabulary. It was very cool. I liked it, and I loved being that guy for as long as I got to do it.”
Jon Hamm received a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his performance as Don Don Draper. He recently starred in Michael Almereyda’s new film “Marjorie Prime,” which just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize.