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James Wolk Debuts on 'Mad Men': What's With His Character?

The actor joins Linda Cardellini in an intriguing new role on the AMC drama.

"LONE STAR" LAUNCHING PAD: James Wolk
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

One of the new characters Matthew Weiner introduced on Sunday's Mad Men's season 6 premiere was Bob Benson, a hyper-enthusiastic, brown-nosing accounts employee at Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce portrayed by James Wolk.

As Bob, Wolk -- who resembles a younger and more dashing Kyle Chandler, with his blue eyes, dark hair and wholesome demeanor -- attempts to get into the good graces of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the superstar adman he's always wanted to meet. Bob fetches Don coffee and hangs out in near Don's office, waiting to catch the busy, perpetually-in-crisis firm heavyweight's eye. While he loiters, secret sci-fi writer Ken Grosgrove (Aaron Staton), apparently no big fan of Bob, stares him down and scares him away. Something says this won't be the last we see of the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Don admirer.

And there's something about Wolk -- an intelligence and intensity -- that makes him more than just a pretty face. The 28-year-old actor has racked up a host of TV credits with a leading role on the short-lived Fox series Lone Star and recurring parts on Showtime's Shameless and ABC's Happy Endings. The Michigan native also portrayed Sigourney Weaver's son in the 2012 USA mini-series Political Animals, featuring Weaver as a Hillary Clinton-esque Secretary of State. His film credits include the phone-sex comedy For a Good Time, Call ... .

STORY: 'Mad Men' Spoiler Worries Examined: How Many Really Mattered?

Besides Mad Men, Wolk is part of a buzzy new comedy project also focused on an ad agency. Called The Crazy Ones and produced by David E. Kelley, the CBS pilot -- which could be greenlit for next season -- touts Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar as father-and-daughter co-owners of a firm. Seems like Wolk could balance Mad Men with a regular network gig much like Alison Brie, who plays the sunny wife of the weaselly Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and also stars on NBC's Community.

Meanwhile, another TV vet -- Freaks and Geeks' Linda Cardellini -- made her debut on the two-hour season-opener. Her unexpectedly dark character, however, caused much more of a commotion on Twitter.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com