"No one gets to have this experience," Hamm says of the success he's found in Hollywood

By Patrick Gomez
Updated March 26, 2015 08:00 PM
Credit: Splash News Online

Jon Hamm and Don Draper have a lot in common.

Just like the Mad Men ad exec he plays on his hit AMC drama, Hamm started with nothing before skyrocketing to the top of his profession later in life.

“This will be 20 years that I’ve been in Los Angeles,” the 44-year-old told reporters Wednesday while doing press for the final episodes of Mad Men. “I got here in 1995, and if you would have told me 20 years ago – when I [was driving around] in my 1986 Corolla Toyota that was over heating – that I would be sitting here talking about this, I would have been over the moon.”

And even though Hamm struggled to make it in Hollywood until Mad Men debuted in 2007, he said he wouldn’t change a thing about his years of hardship.

“I can only look back on it with gratitude and humility and be very pleased that I made the decision very early on to give myself over to this completely,” Hamm said of his career. “Not a lot of people in my business get to work this long on something that they can be this proud of.”

Hamm may be proud of his work on Mad Men, but he also admitted delving into the darkness of his character Don Draper was, at times, “challenging.”

“It’s not easy to maintain that head space for a long time. You want to go home. And you want to wash it off and leave it at work,” said Hamm, who recently revealed he a stint in rehab last month for alcohol addiction.

The actor said he has been “fairly capable” of saying goodbye to Don, but Hamm still holds on to aspirations for the character he played for seven seasons.

“My hope for Don is always that this incredibly troubled man – this incredibly talented, yet incredibly troubled man – would find balance in his life, would find peace in his life,” he said. “And hopefully, he does.”

Mad Men returns to AMC for seven final episodes on April 5 at 10 p.m. ET.