From Don Draper to Buddy in "Baby Driver," buckle up.
Oh, Jon Hamm. Since 2007, he's graced our screen as alpha male Don Draper—and even before then, he had nearly 20 roles, dating back to 1997. The dashing, compelling actor "moved out to L.A. at 25" and told himself, "If I'm 30 and I’m still waiting tables, it's time to move on to something else." Luckily, as he told Peter Travers on ABC News Popcorn With Peter Travers, "I made it under the wire." We're lucky he did. From his star-making turn as Don Draper to his role as the King of Cameos, Jon Hamm has both embraced and played against "the old Hollywood masculine ideal of Jon Hamm, by way of Don Draper’s long, trench-coated shadow," and both the big and small screen are the richer for it.
3. FBI S.A. Adam Frawley in The Town
As Owen Gleiberman wrote for Variety, "Hamm ... [got] off to a good start on the big screen, giving an ace performance as the FBI Special Agent on the tail of the Fenway Park heist plotters in Ben Affleck’s The Town, which was released in 2010, during the height of Mad Men mania."
He made quite the impression, of which The Guardian wrote, "The biggest cheers at the Venice press conference for The Town were not for Ben Affleck, the film's director and star. Nor were they for the British actor Rebecca Hall or for Jeremy Renner, the Oscar-nominated star of The Hurt Locker. Instead they went to Mad Men mainstay Jon Hamm, a small-screen actor who has come to eclipse his big-screen counterparts."
2. Buddy in Baby Driver
While Jaime Foxx's Bats and Kevin Spacey's Doc cast long shadows over Baby Driver, Buddy is the real villain. Buddy is vague and even pleasant at the beginning of the film, but like a photo in a darkroom, develops into something sharper. By the end, he's a properly menacing, unforgettable antagonist. That's all thanks to Jon Hamm's keen performance. It unfolds into something both controlled and deranged, all "frenetic chemistry ... (and) animalistic brutality," and once you see that version of Buddy, you realize he was just under the surface of Hamm's performance all along.
1. Don Draper in Mad Men
What is there left to say about Don Draper? Caroline Framke, writing for Vox, put it best: "Don is one of the most deeply felt TV characters ever, and Jon Hamm’s performance reveals more layers every time I watch it." And that's that.
What's your favorite Jon Hamm performance? Sound off in the comments.