If you watched Mad Men’s finale last night, there’s a good chance you’ve spent the past day trying to crack Don Draper’s fate, what he’ll do next, who he’ll become, how involved he was with that mystical Coca-Cola commercial, and so on. Well, for what it’s worth, Jon Hamm told the New York Times’ Dave Itzkoff what he thinks about the end of the series. “When we find Don in that place [at the end], and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment,” Hamm said. “We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger.” Hamm gave his full take, and also talked briefly about what shooting some of the final scenes was like. [Beware: Spoilers follow if you’ve yet to see the Mad Men series finale.]
On his interpretation of the ending:
My take is that, the next day, [Don] wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this thing comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, “Wow, that’s awful.” But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led. There was a little bit of a crumb dropped earlier in the season when Ted says there are three women in every man’s life, and Don says, “You’ve been sitting on that for a while, huh?” There are, not coincidentally, three person to person phone calls that Don makes in this episode, to three women who are important to him for different reasons. You see the slow degeneration of his relationships with those women over the course of those phone calls.
On his reaction to other people’s reactions:
There’s people saying, Oh, it’s so pat, and, It’s rom-com-y, or whatever it is. But it’s not the end of anything. The world doesn’t blow up right after the Coke commercial ends. No one is suggesting that Stan and Peggy live happily ever after, or that Joan’s business is a rousing success, or that Roger and Marie come back from Paris together. None of it is done. Matt had said at one point, “I just want my characters to be a little more happy than they were in the beginning,” and I think that’s pretty much true. But these aren’t the last moments of any of these characters’ lives, including Betty. She doesn’t have much time left, but damn if she’s not going to spend it the way she wants to spend it.
You can read the whole interview here. Hamm also quipped that he’ll inevitably fade into obscurity now that Mad Men’s done, and that he might end up on some version of The Love Boat (saying someone will probably pitch that). If they don’t pitch that, they’ll probably pitch his Sally Through the Decades spinoff pipe dream, or both, because Hamm is just full of good ideas: