“The horrible way to say it is there are many ways to skin a cat.”
Jon Hamm, star of Mad Men, ever-growing big screen presence and all-round representation of what it means to be great (looking) and good, is reflecting in London on what it means to be “a family”…
Jon Hamm with his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, the force behind his latest film
“There are so many ways to define it. Married, divorced, remarried, gay, single, octomums, Brad and Angelina with 15 kids.
The reason for asking one of the world’s most popular people right now such a personal question right off the top is Hamm’s new film, Friends With Kids, written and directed by by his longtime partner, Jennifer Westfeldt.
“What we try to say is that there is no right way, or many right ways. We have a loving relationship, and a dog and a house, that’s pretty great – if at some point we have children, that will be great, too.
“But, it’s a story at the end of the day, hopefully funny and all that good stuff.”
Friends With Kids is an ensemble piece, showing a gang of cool New Yorkers becoming less cool when their children come along – all except one pair in the piece – the two enduring singletons, who decide to take matters into their own hands.
Hamm with Kristen Wiig in Friends With Kids
Although Hamm has a producer credit as well as a role paired up with (Bridesmaids) Kristen Wiig on screen, it is most definitely Westfeldt’s film, something he has no problem with…
“I’m fine with that. I have very rarely been the boss on anything I’ve worked on, and you want in a director or boss is someone who knows what they’re doing, and Jen is that.
“I was around this project from the very beginning, and watched it grow. Reading various versions, I could tell Jen knows this thing better than anybody else, and that’s a good thing to have.”
Was he easily able to take boyfriend hat off, and producing hat on?
“I believe I have enough objectivity to be able to say what’s good, what’s not. We are very honest with each other, and if one or the other does something that feels off, we’re not shy to say ‘fix it’.”
Friends With Kids enjoys a star-quality ensemble cast
Westfeldt has been at Hamm’s side since long before Mad Men sent his name sent his name into the stratosphere, but he’s quick to point out that any star wattage is shared between many on this project…
“We have several people here up to and including Megan Fox, but all of that ‘stuff’ is brought on by the outside world, anyway.
“Some people bring it with them, but most people, at least on this film, don’t normally have that including Megan… Kristen was certainly riding an incredible wave off Bridesmaids, and (Chris) O’Dowd has his own amazing following in the UK, but most actors when you get them on set are just trying to tell a story.
“Ed Burns is a great example (yes, it really is a good cast). Ed is a lovely actor and a wonderful human being, used to making his own movies. But he threw in with us, had a great time, and he’s a total team player. So that was the great vibe, and I was along for the ride.”
The enduring iconic Don Draper - how could this not go to Jon Hamm's head?
Meanwhile, Mad Men ticks along, with the fifth series just having concluded in the States, and no sign of it drying up any time soon. Any ideas that it might be impossible for someone getting the kind of attention Hamm has had for his brooding portrayal of Don Draper are quickly dispelled…
“Honestly, I really don’t know what sort of rails there were to go off,” is his surprised response that there might have been some crazy days revelling in the attention of it all.
“It’s lovely to be part of the success Mad Men has been, there’s no denying that – it’s been the singular thing I could point to in my life that I’m most proud of, from a work-related standpoint - and it continues to be a source of pride, and a challenge.
“I love going to work on the show, and I’m incredibly happy to get to it, and the fact that it’s been successful and continues to be, is something that I can say, I’m just very lucky.
“So, I guess that dilutes it all and keeps me balanced and centred. I just don’t feel that there are any rails to go off.”
Friends With Kids is in UK cinemas from today. Watch the trailer below…