Big Gay Following: Jon Hamm

The Mad Men star explains why he’s just mad about men like costar Bryan Batt, Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, and especially Keanu Reeves.

BY Brandon Voss

August 13 2008 12:00 AM ET

What about Keanu Reeves, whom you worked with on the upcoming remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still?
You look at Keanu Reeves and you think, You gotta be kidding me. I think I’m a pretty good-looking guy, but c’mon, man, that’s not fair! And he couldn’t be nicer or more laid-back or more of a regular cat. It’s like, Wow, you’ve got the whole package? Really?

When you were on The Division from 2002 to 2004, were you aware that the Lifetime network was television for women and gay men?
Yes, I was. And I was sort of the token man on that show too. Being the emasculated perfect man is a challenge, so it’s nice to be able to explore the other side of that on Mad Men.

You played the beefcake in other “chick” series, such as Providence, Gilmore Girls, and Charmed. Did that put pressure on you to maintain a physique?
I’m not really a health and fitness nut, and I’m not a gym guy. I can’t do repetitive motions; it makes me crazy. But I do live in a beautiful part of Los Angeles that’s really near Griffith Park, so I’m able to go outdoors with the dogs, go hiking in the hills, and play tennis and golf. I much prefer playing a game or anything that takes your mind off of the fact that you’re working out.

Have you ever played a gay role?
I played Cliff Bradshaw in Cabaret in college, and there’s very clearly at least a bisexual side to that cat. Talk about the swinging years — the Weimar Republic back in Berlin in the ’30s, which gets back to my point that with sexuality it’s not one or the other.

So are you itching to play a gay role on-screen?
Well, c’mon, if I want to win awards, let’s talk gay. [Laughs] Now, if I were a mentally disabled gay man, I’d hit all the boxes. If there’s a great part out there, sure. For me, it’s much more about being a part of telling a great story. After the first audition for Mad Men, I said, “I will do any part in this script.” I just wanted to be a part of telling this story.

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