Jon Hamm believes that he made the right career choice in not playing a superhero. Speaking to Radio Times before the screening of Channel 4’s Black Mirror: White Christmas special on U.K. television, the 43-year-old Mad Men star said he felt “old and irrelevant in the current media landscape.” When encouraged to elaborate, he said: “Ask anyone under the age of 20 if they have heard of me, and they will go, ‘No, that guy looks like my dad.’ “
“It doesn’t compute to the generation that most of Hollywood cares about if your last name’s not Hemsworth or you are not in One Direction or you don’t wear a cape and tights for a living, you literally have a hard time making an impression,” he said.
Hamm revealed that he had “been in contention for quite a few” superhero roles, but he made the “right decision” to say no to them. His reasons for declining such roles had more to do with not locking himself into a character for years on end. “The deals that they make you do are so Draconian. And, of course, you are signed on for not only the movie … but at least two more that you haven’t read, and you have no idea what they are going to be and all the crossover ones you are going to have to do,” he said.
“For me to sign on now to do a superhero movie would mean I would be working until I am 50 as that particular superhero,” he said, adding: “It’s a lot of work at one thing, which is not necessarily the reason I got into the business, which is to do many things. If you want to spend all day pressing the same key, that … seems an odd choice.”
Written by Charlie Brooker and co-starring Rafe Spall and Oona Chaplin, Black Mirror is a scathing satire on technology and social media that Hamm finds “terrifying.” He said that “it’s partly why I don’t have any presence on social networking. Being an actor in the public eye and a quasi-celebrity is weird enough without giving everything up to everyone else,” he told Radio Times.
“Social media is part of the social fabric. It’s woven in. To not participate in it is to not participate in society, to become a weird sort of hermit. People look at you like you belong in a cabin in the woods and you are not part of the society,” he said.