According to John Slattery, it was hard not to be starstruck by Don Draper himself.
The “Mad Men” actor revealed that guest stars on the Emmy-winning AMC series would forgot their lines on set while acting opposite Hamm.
“When Hamm walked into a room in that get-up, people would just go catatonic,” Slattery told The Independent. “Guest stars would sometimes walk up to him and their lines would go right out of their heads. They just wouldn’t know what to do. It happened on more than one occasion.”
He added, “Christina Hendricks would walk into the room and people would shit themselves — it was amazing.”
Slattery played Roger Sterling, one of the partners of the Sterling Cooper ad agency. Hamm famously portrayed Don Draper, a depressed ad executive lothario. Slattery confirmed that, back in 2007, he initially read for the role of Don, and was eventually cast as Roger.
“[Jon Hamm] claims I was in a bad mood the whole time we shot the first episode because of this, but I don’t think that’s true,” Slattery said. “Eventually I saw him, and I was like, ‘Oh — they sure do have that guy.'”
The 1960s-set “Mad Men” marked breakthrough performances for Hamm, Slattery, Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, and January Jones, garnering 16 Emmy wins across seven seasons before concluding in 2015. The series is heralded as ushering in the second wave of Golden Age TV.
Emmy winner Moss, who played copyeditor Peggy Olson, said earlier this year that she had a “mentor/protégé relationship” with co-star Hamm. “[It was] very older brother, little sister,” Moss said, admitting she cried real tears in a pivotal Season 5 scene.
“That’s actually real tears, which you know, hate to break it to you, but often we’re faking it,” Moss said. “He held onto my hand and didn’t let go and then kissed it. None of that was in the script and he did it on my close-up. Like, that right there is the real Jon.”
She added, “The only costume I have from ‘Mad Men’ from all seven seasons, 90-something episodes, they asked me what costume I wanted to keep, and I said I wanted to keep that one because of that scene.”