(NEW YORK) — Since wrapping seven seasons as Don Draper on Mad Men in 2015, Jon Hamm has been on the hunt for new adventures. He found one with his role in the new film, Beirut.
Hamm has been earning rave reviews for his portrayal of grief-stricken former U.S. diplomat Mason Skiles, who’s tasked by the CIA to negotiate for the life of an old friend who’s been taken captive in war-torn Beirut.
“It’s an adventure,” Hamm told ABC Radio at the film’s NYC premiere. “And that’s really what was the most exciting about this for me, was like, ‘Oh, we get to go on an adventure — and at the end of it we’re gonna have a really cool story to tell.’”
After thoroughly embodying the 1960s for Mad Men, Hamm welcomed the chance to delve into the ‘70s and ‘80s for Beirut. He says the latter time period resonated with him a lot more, since he was alive then to experience it.
“It was a real kind of exciting thing to be playing a part of history that I’m connected to in some way,” he said.
Hamm also learned a thing or two from playing a master negotiator opposite Rosamund Pike and Dean Norris.
“I’m horribly unconvincing normally, but I will say that one of the big lessons of going through this story and learning about these guys is that face-to-face communication is the most important,” said Hamm, adding that the themes of connecting with people on a human level — beyond religion, race, gender or age — is what allows Beirut, set in a time 40 years earlier, to still resonate today.
Beirut is in theaters now.
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