Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Hamm 'most comfortable' on camera

Jon Hamm stars in Million Dollar Arm

Jon Hamm is determined that his career will be in front of the camera rather than behind the scenes.

Speaking on the red carpet at the UK premiere of his latest film Million Dollar Arm in London, the Hollywood heartthrob said that he would stick to acting, despite receiving an Emmy nomination after directing episodes of hit US TV show Mad Men.

The 43-year-old said: "I am happier in front of the camera - honestly, it is where I am most comfortable. Being behind the camera involves a whole other skill set that I will leave to wonderful directors."

Hamm, who shot to fame playing troubled bad-boy advertising executive Don Draper in Mad Men, gets to play a good guy in his new movie.

He stars as JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm, which is based on the true story of how a sports promoter set up a talent contest in India to find young cricketers who could be converted into top baseball pitchers. The film also features veteran actor Alan Arkin.

Hamm is grateful that his TV success has not seen him become typecast.

He said: "I have been able to do some fairly varying roles in my film career - whether it is The Town or Bridesmaids - I have been able to sort of navigate that water relatively harmlessly and hopefully I will be able to continue to do so.

"If there is one thing about the show that I am most proud of, it is that the show exists and we have come to the end of it and we are all still standing - that is probably my proudest achievement, which is making it through alive."

Hamm said he did not find playing a real-life character at all limiting. In fact, he said, it was helpful having Bernstein around to talk to because he was an extra set of eyes for all the areas of the story which were condensed for the big screen.

He said: "JB loved the film. He should because it is sort of celebrating his life's work. The thing that he did was really thinking outside of the box and it really has taken hold. It has given a lot of kids in India an opportunity to do something which this time 10 years ago they really would not have had a chance to do."

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