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Mad Men: Jon Hamm’s Co-star Wanted To Replace Him As Don Draper But Failed

Actor Jon Hamm, who played the protagonist in the cult classic series ‘Mad Men’ played the role as a perfectionist. However, John Slattery, his co-star from the series revealed that he had wanted to play Don while adding he was jealous of Jon for a long time.

Mad Men’ is an iconic American television series that took on the advertising world ‘warts-and-all’. However, as intriguing as the pitch for the series was, it travelled around the television studios close to a decade before finally seeing the light of day. Creator Matthew Weiner, who wrote the pilot back in 1999, had to wait until 2007 when AMC began airing his dream project. Jon Hamm played the protagonist in the story, Don Draper. Another supporting character that grabbed eyeballs was Roger Sterling, played by John Slattery. But more than Roger Sterling, John was eyeing the role of Don Draper, the chain-smoking, hard-drinking advertising executive, who leads the show.

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  • Jon Hamm’s costar was behind Don Draper’s role
  • John Slattery wanted to become Don Draper

When the casting process began for ‘Mad Men’ in the mid-2000s, it was quite a jumble. The creators found many actors suitable to play varied roles in the series. January Jones, a fantastic actress, who played Betty, had initially auditioned for Peggy. Likewise, John Slattery was another actor who wanted to read for Don’s character but was instead cast as Roger Sterling, the antagonist. The actor, who hails from Boston, revealed that he was jealous of Jon Hamm for a long time. He believed that he could have played Don better. That said, he does not and did not harbour any ill feelings for Jon Hamm. 

‘Mad Men’: Jon Hamm's co-star wanted to replace him as Don Draper but failed miserably
‘Mad Men’: Jon Hamm’s co-star wanted to replace him as Don Draper but failed miserably

In fact, Slattery had all praises for Jon. He said that the role was extremely complex. To communicate complex emotions superbly with subtlety was a hard task and Jon pulled it off very well. He added that people don’t appreciate Jon enough for performing Don with great authenticity.


In an interview, John also shared an interesting incident from the casting process. He said that he went there to read for Don’s character.

However, he was told that some other guy had got the role. John did not take that well and thought that they didn’t get another guy because he ‘was the guy’. Well, we all know how that all turned out. Now we have Jon Hamm etched in our memories as Don Draper, while Slattery will forever be Henry Sterling.


It’s clear that John still has some regrets over not getting the role he desired. But that did not mean that he did any less playing Roger Sterling. Roger was an ex Nazi-killer, high profile anti-hero, who was equally hard to perform on camera, if not more than Don. Slattery’s performance blew the audience and the critics away as he earned a lot of appreciation for his role. Roger was one of the partners in the Sterling Cooper advertising company. He was a recurring character during the first season and from season 2 onwards, he was a regular cast member. Together, the ensemble of ‘Mad Men’ played a decisive role in making the series a cult-classic success.

Apart from ‘Mad Man’, John has been a part of several iconic television series such as ‘Modern Love’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’. While he will probably forever be known as Roger Sterling, an actor of his calibre is capable of doing more.

Tell us in the comments what is your review of ‘Mad Men’. Also, tell us if you can imagine someone other than Jon Hamm playing Don Draper?

The post Mad Men: Jon Hamm’s Co-star Wanted To Replace Him As Don Draper But Failed appeared first on DKODING.

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