We’re concluding our Emmys series with another one of this year’s nominees, Jon Hamm. He actually had two nominations this year—for outstanding lead actor in a dramatic series for his performance as Don Draper on AMC’s Mad Men, and for his work as a producer on the series. He’s received a total 13 nominations during his career, but has yet to win.
Hamm spoke to Fresh Air in 2010. In the interview he talks about how the loss of his parents influenced his choice to pursue acting:
"Had both my parents been around, I probably would have done something completely different with my life. I think all performers come from a place of self-doubt and pain. Ray Romano said once, very accurately and hilariously, that if his dad had spent more time with him he would have been an accountant instead of a comedian. I think that anybody who wants to get on stage or tell jokes or sing songs has some sort of, at a fundamental level, desire to be paid attention to, and I’m no different. But my mother instilled in me an incredible desire to learn and an incredible curiosity about the world and an incredible joy in achieving things. And she also put me in creative-writing classes and acting classes when I was a little kid and encouraged me to do stuff. So that’s probably the biggest influence in what got me here."