Jon Hamm: directing an episode of 'Mad Men' was 'incredible'
Jon Hamm made his directorial debut in the fifth season of "Mad Men," which premieres on Sunday, March 25, and called the experience "incredible."
"I directed what will be the second episode of the season. I had a really wonderful time doing it," Hamm told OnTheRedCarpet.com at the series' recent premiere. "This was an incredible experience to get a whole different perspective on the show that I thought I knew pretty well. It was really, really fun and the crew really helped me out."
Hamm stars in the series set in the 1960s as suave ad firm executive and partner Don Draper. It also features January Jones as his ex-wife, Elisabeth Moss as executive Peggy Olson and Christina Hendricks as voluptuous office manager Joan Harris.
"We finished shooting the season in January, we started back in August, so it'll be great to finally have it out in the world, so we can have conversations about it and not have to use cryptic, meaningless, nonsensical words," Hamm said of keeping the fifth season script secretive. "We want [the premiere] to be a surprise, we want people to experience it on their own time and I don't want to be coy, it's not a situation where we want to be duplicitous in any way, but we do want it to be a surprise. There's no fun in spoiling things for people."
The actor's co-stars praised his directorial skills at the show's recent premiere. January Jones told OnTheRedCarpet.com, "For someone that I adore and I've worked with and I trust, it was nice to be his hands, I guess, just to lean on if I had questions. You're not always given that. When you do television, you have lots of different directors coming in and out and you don't always have the opportunity to ask them questions because they don't know your character better than you do, so it's kind of difficult. But it was awesome, he did such an amazing job. I was so proud of him."
Kiernan Shipka, who plays Hamm's on-screen daughter Sally said of the experience, "It was interesting. It was cool to see how he directs. He's a very good director, actually."
After prolonged contract negotiations with series creator Matthew Weiner delayed the start of the show's fifth season, "Mad Men" was renewed for at least two more seasons after creator Weiner struck a reported $30 million deal with AMC and Lionsgate in April.
Weiner told Deadline.com regarding his new deal: "These will be the last three seasons" of "Mad Men." He was quoted by the Hollywood Reporter as saying that "seven seasons seems like the right length for the life of the show and I'm very excited knowing that I have that canvas to paint on."
In June, Hamm also signed a three-year contract with the AMC cable network and the Lionsgate production studio to continue to star on the show as Don Draper.
It was reported in March that the fifth season would be postponed to early 2012 due to "ongoing, key non-cast negotiations."
"Mad Men"'s fifth season two-hour premiere is set to air on Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. Watch a preview below.