Don Draper — the irresistible, womanizing advertising executive with a haunting, secret past — is one of television’s most memorable, iconic characters. Yet Jon Hamm, the actor who has embodied Draper through six seasons of “Mad Men,” has failed to seduce one elusive woman: Her name is Emmy.
"Mad Men” has won four Emmy Awards for outstanding drama series. Hamm, the central force around which the rest of the show orbits, has been nominated six times for the acting honors but has never won.
This year, the buzz is that he is far from being a sure bet to take the golden statuette. That may seem crazy, but the competition is especially tough.
Hamm is facing three-time winner Bryan Cranston, the science teacher turned meth dealer in “Breaking Bad,” who has concocted a heck of a character of his own.
Hamm also faces Kevin Spacey, who masterfully portrays a deliciously venal Washington power player in the new Netflix series “House of Cards.” Damian Lewis of “Homeland” is also a nominee. He proved he is a heavyweight in this category by winning last year.
And there is Jeff Daniels from “The Newsroom,” perhaps not as strong a contender but still worthy of consideration for being able to deftly recite page after page of Aaron Sorkin’s intricate dialogue.
In Don Draper, Hamm has found a potent match for his looks and talent. He could easily have spent his career playing straight-arrow cops and other bland, square-jawed characters in suits and ties. Don Draper’s suits and ties barely contain an agonized soul with a carnal appetite that will not stop.
Just as James Gandolfini did with Tony Soprano, Hamm has found the role of a lifetime in Don Draper. Perhaps Emmy will finally give in and show him some love.
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