Jon Hamm’s long-awaited Leading Actor win for his role as Don Draper on Mad Men didn’t come without its losses over the years, but the newly-minted Emmy winner has no hard feelings about the road that led him here, as he shared with reporters backstage in the press room on Sunday night.
“There are so many incredible people and incredible work that has been recognized over my own that I can’t hold a grudge at all,” said Hamm. “You go back and look at who’s won—Bryan [Cranston]’s incredible work on the show, and Jeff [Daniels] and Kyle [Chandler] and Damian [Lewis] and everybody—it’s not like they gave it to some guy off the street.”
“And that’s not anything against Billy on the Street, he’s wonderful!” Hamm added quickly.
The actor continued: “There’s no animosity or anything like that. I have nothing to compare it to, so my experience of ‘you’re in or you’re out,’ whether we win for the show or not…I’m just so glad to be here. Look at all the people I’m on a list with. Those are people I would watch even if I wasn’t an actor.”
Hamm, 44, went on to describe the blessing and curse that comes with playing a role like Don over the years. “It’s a wonderful job and a dream in many ways, but it doesn’t come without a cost, and it’s a lot of mental and emotional baggage that gets torn through and really weighs upon you after a while,” Hamm confessed. “I’ve always said this: it’s not like I’m a lead miner. I’m not acting like this is the hardest job in the world because in many ways it’s not, but that doesn’t discount the fact that not just anyone can do it either, and I put a lot of hard work into this and a lot of my own time and effort and sweat and blood and tears. It’s really nice to have it be recognized as much as it has been, and as much as it was tonight.”