Perfect though he may be, Jon Hamm can’t please everybody. Especially not coal-hearted critics like the Washington Post’s Tom Shales, who, for some unfathomable reason, does not enjoy Mad Men and pens Hamm-slamming reviews at every opportunity — or does he? In a Hollywood Reporter roundtable interview yesterday with fellow TV-drama actors Bryan Cranston, Matthew Fox, Alexander Skarsgard, Ray Romano, and Matt Bomer, Hamm says he can still recall Shales’s 2007 pan of Mad Men’s first season — or can he?
Here’s Hamm, claiming to once have been reviewed poorly:
THR: Do reviews hurt?
Hamm: Yeah, if they suck. If someone says you stink at your job, that doesn’t feel great. I can viscerally remember Tom Shales’ review of the first season of Mad Men, which said this would have been a good show if someone good had been the lead. And I was like, “Hmm!” [Laughs]
The problem: Shales never said anything like that. His negative review of Mad Men’s first season can be found here, and his problems are more with Matthew Weiner’s “artsy, muted” direction, “stories [that] unfold in a dry, drab way,” and the show’s “desultory” pacing. The closest he ever gets to slamming any of the actors is the review’s final line:
The costumes and sets are just ducky and highly evocative, but the people in and around them spoil the show, gum up the works and shatter veracity.
Not nice, obviously, but Shales never once cites Hamm specifically as one of the show’s problems, and he certainly never suggests that all could be fixed if Hamm were replaced as Don Draper. So cheer up, Jon Hamm! We’d like to think that Hamm was simply lying to make his less acclaimed fellow interviewees feel better. He makes it up to the Hollywood Reporter’s Matthew Belloni, though, by giving him this delightful kicker:
Romano: We hate ourselves and love ourselves.
THR: You think actors share that trait?
Romano: Well, comedians. I mean no offense, but we’re really the most screwed up people around. In a good way. We’re narcissistic, but we also hate ourselves.
Fox: All human beings hate themselves.
Romano: I read an article where Dustin Hoffman asked Laurence Olivier, “Why do we do this?” And his answer was, “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!”
Hamm: And then he farted. [Laughs]