Jon Hamm Opens Up About His Depression
Jon Hamm is nowhere near as inscrutable as Don Draper. The square-jawed actor talked recently about his early days as an actor, working on a porn set and dealing with chronic depression.
Before you get excited, Hamm, 39, was not in front of the camera while working porn. Instead, he worked as a set dresser. "You gotta move cameras around, and ashtrays; and continuity is apparently an issue," he said in The Guardian. But working in porn was not glamorous, or easy. When girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt offered him a part in a play, he jumped at the chance. "I came in after another 12-hour day to this message on my answer phone, and I was so exhausted and depressed and bone tired that I called her back immediately: ‘Yes! I don’t care what it is!’ I borrowed money for a ticket and lived in New York for six weeks on about $300, stayed on a friend’s couch, roller-bladed everywhere…"
Hamm didn’t get cast in Mad Men until he was 36. Until then, he was little known as an actor and waited tables to make a living. "Not worrying about the bills is still very new for me," he said. The actor also struggled with chronic depression following the death of his father. Speaking openly about the experience, Hamm pointed to a combination of work, therapy and antidepressants as critical in his recovery. "Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my shit and go to work and…’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!" he said.
He was less talkative about his 12-year-long relationship with actress Westfeldt. "We just… really love each other," he said. –AMY LEE