26 Apr

This video of Tarantino talking about who is cinema heroes were/are back around Pulp Fiction when he was still the earnest, lovable film-geek-turned-film-god popped up on my youchube suggestions. He tells about a time when he was really obsessed and idolized Chow Yun Fat, but not so much anymore. I was blown away by the idea of thinking one of my idols thinking an actor was cool, I was even a little offended. I thought “How could anyone consider an actor cool? A character, sure, but an actor? The audacity.”  But it didn’t take too much brain power to realize why I hold actors in such low regard; They’ve been completely demystified and turned into tools of manipulation to sell their own fame. It sucks that no matter what happens in the public eye my first reaction is always, “That could be a publicists doing.” Jennifer Lawrence trips at the Oscars; just an attempt to earn her publicist a Pubby for Biggest Risk Biggest Reward Gamble. Kim Kardashian said she cried when a blogger called her Shamu; her publicist must have let the intern put that out there. Armie Hammer and Channing Tatum’s whole existence are just an experiments from a collective of gifted publicists with geneticist aspirations and hit-or-miss naming abilities. I’m not sure if I still believe in cool, but I am certain that I don’t believe that any actors are cool.

 

And then I watched Mad Men and had to throw myself over the back of closest chair to perform the self Heimlich maneuver to keep myself choking on the words I swallowed too quickly. A-doy! Jon Hamm is always the coolest mother fucker in the coolest fucking room. This blind spot in my fervent opinion that actors couldn’t be cool by nature, made me really dissect my stupid opinion. So, I sat down, put on my thinking t-shirt (visual puzzle shirt mentioned here) and set out to think long and hard about the Jon Hamm exception. And it’s really simple, Don Draper is a character of infinite cool that requires a cool demeanor as much as it does acting skills and a roomful of very uncool writers put the cool demeanor in situations to shine. Which is why I feel no shame admitting to fanboy-esque crush, and slight idol worship of Mr. Hamm.

Diptic (5)

I usually reserve my undying admiration for fictional characters like Henry Chinaski or creative stalwarts like Charles Bukowski and I have no difficulty separating the difference between the character and the creative force behind them. But Jon Hamm is different, because, well, he’s awesome even when he’s not playing Don Draper. His 30 Rock extended guest character is another great character, and his character in Bridesmaids is what happens when most people aspire to be as Don Draper-y as Don Draper. Then on top of all that he just seems to be an honest and modest dude that says things like “It’s nice not to have to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills. And it’s a problem I’ve had for far longer than I haven’t had it. Not worrying about the bills is still very new for me.

 

I don’t need to run down a list of why Jon Hamm is great and the coolest. The conclusion I came to was that his has a great track record of choosing roles. He sticks to his bread and butter of Mad Men and then gets to dabble with not so serious stuff as an exceptional guest spot on comedies that are excited to have his clout around. He’s genuine when he’s not acting and knows how to wear the shit out of a suit. He may have a publicist, but if he does that publicist has the easiest job in the world, I mean, not even Pete Campbell could screw that up.

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Carl Wells April 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    I don’t watch Mad Men but Jon Hamm is awesome in movies the cop he played in The Town was a hardcore determined prick.

  2. Matt Hiebert May 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Jon Hamm: never cooler than when he’s making dial-up modem noises with a couple of friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcpQkdQwwNE

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