In a recent interview on the WTF podcast with Marc Maron, Hamm revealed that the cable network — which has since successfully launched Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and The Killing — had Hung star Thomas Jane in mind for the iconic part.
Hamm was sold on Mad Men “somewhere in the first five pages” of the pilot script and the Emmy-nominated actor said he “started from the very, very bottom.” “I couldn’t have had less heat on me. Nobody knew who I was. The casting directors didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t on anybody’s list,” Hamm said. “They wanted fill-in-the-blank of TV stars, movie stars.”
“I think they went to Thomas Jane for it and they were told that Thomas Jane doesn’t do television,” the actor revealed. “Now starring in Hung, by the way.” Jane’s series airs on HBO.
At the time Mad Men launched in 2007, Hamm had a slew of guest appearances and roles on several network television series, including The Unit, What About Brian, Providence and The Division, but nothing as headline-producing as his role on the critics’ favorite.
Prior to Hung‘s debut in 2009, Jane starred mostly in feature films.