TIME celebrities

Modern Icon Jon Hamm Was Once Cast as ‘Gorgeous Guy at Bar’ on Ally McBeal

The Build Series Presents Jon Hamm Discussing The New Movie "Keeping Up With The Joneses"
Mireya Acierto—Getty Images Actor Jon Hamm discusses the new film "Keeping Up with the Joneses" at AOL HQ on October 12, 2016 in New York City.

His first role may have just been eye candy

Mad Men leading man Jon Hamm has been a symbol of dark, brooding masculinity ever since he stepped into the role of Don Draper back in 2007. But he wasn’t always seen as a tortured-soul-type actor. In fact, Hamm actually got his start by banking on his notorious good looks as “Gorgeous Guy at Bar” in an episode of the legal drama Ally McBeal. (According to Hamm’s IMDB page, it was his first ever role.)

His early acting gigs also included “low-rent dramas” and a role as a set dresser on a porn film, Mr. Porter magazine reports, which he found to be “one of the most depressing experiences” in his life. His first movie? The Mel Gibson drama We Were Soldiers in 2002.

“I had a small part in it, but I made a ton of money on it. I thought, OK, I’m working now. I don’t have to do a sh-tty day job anymore,” he said; he had also been waiting tables at the time.

Thankfully, Mad Men came up a few years later and positively turned his fortunes around, transforming him from just that nameless “Gorgeous Guy at Bar” to a modern icon—although in some ways he’s returning to his roots with his latest spy comedy, Keeping Up with the Jones, in which he plays a way-too-handsome agent.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team