Me and “Mad Men”

This afternoon, I met Jon Hamm!  He plays the debonair yet damaged Don Draper on AMC’sMad Men“, my favourite TV show.  “Mad Men” is about the professional and personal lives of advertising grunts and gurus working on Madison Avenue in Manhattan during the 1960s.  The series is much more compelling than my summary suggests, so watch new episodes on Sunday nights and old episodes on iTunes

Scott and I have been huge fans of “Mad Men” since 2007, when Rogers on Demand aired Season 1 in Canada.  When we moved to L.A. last fall, we didn’t subscribe to cable as we don’t watch a lot of television.  Thanks to iTunes, we haven’t missed a single episode of “Mad Men”.  Season 4 debuted on Sunday, but we were camping in Big Sur so we didn’t watch the episode until last night:  it was excellent.

As Scott walked to work this morning, he noticed a film crew setting up in our neighbourhood.  When we spoke on the phone at lunchtime, he mentioned that a crew might have been filming an episode of “Mad Men” at the Broadway Bar.  I decided to walk past the bar on my way to the grocery store and ended up lurking on the sidewalk near the set.  Billy, a crew member, asked me if I was a paparazzo.  I showed him my camera, some shots of me and Scott camping in Big Sur, and a couple photos of “Mad Men” stars Jon Hamm and Jared Harris.  Once he knew I wasn’t a tabloid “photojournalist”, Billy invited me to stay and meet Jon Hamm.  Wow.  When he offered, I exclaimed that I was on my way to the grocery store and that I hadn’t combed my hair.  He laughed and asked if I was turning Jon Hamm down.  I smartened up and told him I’d love to meet Jon Hamm.  Nevermind that I looked like a crazy stalker with my hair still all messy from camping.  I was wearing a mushroom hoodie and Birkenstocks:  what was I thinking when I walked out the door?!

While I waited, several crew members came over to talk with me:  Robert the security guard brought me a bottle of water and asked me what I thought of the U.S. healthcare system; Michael the truck driver asked me about real estate prices in downtown L.A., Toronto, and Vancouver; and Tristan, who scouts locations, told me about his job.  They asked me about my life in L.A., in the Bay Area, and in Canada.  Their curiosity was endearing.     

Jon Hamm is lovely.  When we finally met, we shook hands and introduced ourselves to each other.  He asked me where I was from.  I answered, “Canada”.  He asked me if I was from Eastern or Western Canada.  I answered, “Central”.  He then nodded, “Oh, Manitobes!”  I giggled.  He put his arm around me and Billy took a photo of us.  He then shook my hand again and thanked me for watching the show before walking away.  I thanked Billy and then went grocery shopping, sunburnt and giddy from my brush with fame.

  1. Wow! I love Mad Men. Apparently Obama wrote a letter to the cast to say how big a fan he was.

    Looks like Jon gave up the classic Don Draper smirk for your photo. Awesome!


    • I can’t picture Barack Obama giggling like a schoolgirl – I was such a goof! One minute I’m recommending a great book on healthcare reform – T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America” to a crew member, the next I can barely speak to Jon Hamm.


    • Castana
    • July 29th, 2010

    I loved, loved it! I could just picture you apologizing for your hair hahahah.
    You are so funny Helsa, and so lucky!


    • Honestly, have you ever seen my hair so out of control?! Jon Hamm’s hair was sprayed solid after a full work day!


  2. You’re really lucky! Great photo and story 🙂
    I hope you don’t mind, I put up a link to your blog on my site.


  3. OMG…. you are soo lucky!! It might have been one heck of a walk to the grocery store after that! I would have been speechless!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • It was a nice surprise to talk with the crew and meet him! Thanks for checking out my blog.


    • Stephanie
    • August 16th, 2010

    I cannot get over you got to meet Jon Hamm and got such a lovely picture with him! Even better that you had messy hair and were wearing birkenstocks! What a great story, soo jealous!!!!


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