After graciously watching that little golden statue pass him by seven times, Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm finally snagged the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during Sunday’s ceremony.
“I was very surprised, honestly,” Hamm told reporters backstage after his big win. “I really don’t remember anything that I said, other than I think I said, ‘Thank you.’ … After I made my hilarious joke of climbing onto the stage the way that I chose to, I realized that people were clapping for me, and I was mortified.”
Hamm said having constant support from critics and fans has been “so nice, all of it,” describing Sunday’s victory as the “culmination of that wonderful feeling.” Still, Hamm bears no ill will towards any of the actors who have bested him in years past.
“There’s so many incredible people and incredible work that has been recognized over my own that I can’t hold a grudge at all,” he explained. “Bryan [Cranston]’s incredible work on [Breaking Bad] and [The Newsroom‘s] Jeff [Daniels] and [Friday Night Lights‘] Kyle [Chandler] and [Homeland‘s] Damian Lewis. It’s not like they gave it to some guy on the street — and that’s not anything against Billy on the Street, by the way. He’s wonderful. There’s no animosity. My experience, year in and year out, whether we win for the show or not, is I’m just so glad to be here. Look at all the people I’m on a list with. You’ve got to be kidding me. These are people whose work I tremendously respect. I’m happy to be around them.”
Of course, Hamm will miss stepping into Don Draper’s shoes, which he filled for more than 90 episodes.
“Playing a character for that long is a blessing and a curse in many ways,” he told reporters. “It’s wonderful to have work, and when you look at the people I got to work with … it’s a dream job, in many ways. But it doesn’t come without a cost. There’s a lot of mental and emotional baggage that gets torn through and weighs upon you after a while. … I’ve put a lot of hard work into this, and it’s really nice to have it be recognized as much as it has been, and as much as it was tonight.”
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