Jon Hamm is practically synonymous with Mad Men. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to picture the hit show without Jon’s chiseled man-jaw filling the role of Don Draper. But amazingly, he very nearly didn’t get the part. Hamm recently went on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and admitted that the show’s producers were dead set on having fellow ridiculously handsome dude Thomas Jane in the lead. “I started, literally, on the very, very bottom,” he said. “I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have had less heat on me.” At that point, his biggest roles were bit parts on CSI: Miami, Providence and Ally McBeal, where he played memorable characters like “Gorgeous Guy At The Bar.” We all remember that one, right?
“Nobody knew who I was,” he continued. “The casting directors didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t on anybody’s lists… The funny thing was, I think they went to Thomas Jane for it, and they were told that Thomas Jane does not do television.” Thomas now acts in the HBO show Hung, so either he had a change of heart, or he was just trying to be polite to the Mad Men peeps. Either way, both play suave debonair dudes who have sex with gorgeous women constantly, so potato-potahto.
It’s still so strange to think of a Mad Men without Jon Hamm. Check out the gallery below for more iconic roles that almost went to someone else!