“It sucks being unemployed”: Jon Hamm, Who Had to Work in Softcore P*rn Before Mad Men Fame, Faced Existential Crisis Until Tom Cruise Arrived for $1.4B Top Gun 2

Jon Hamm, Who Had to Work in Softcore P*rn Before Mad Men Fame, Faced Existential Crisis Until Tom Cruise Arrived for $1.4B Top Gun 2
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Jon Hamm gained major prominence with his role as Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men which ran for nearly a decade. This series completely led him to immerse himself into his character and why not, since his acting career sped up through the show only. But, many might be surprised to know about his struggle before he was recognized in the acting industry. 

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men

Also Read: “F**k it, I’m already wet”: Jon Hamm Wore Flesh-Colored Thong to Have Awkward S*x With DC Actress in $306M Movie

He has been vocal about his past revealing that he once worked in the adult entertainment industry. This happened before he landed Draper’s role.


Jon Hamm Was Associated With Soft-Core P*rn Industry Due to His Odd Job

Jon Hamm in Top Gun: Maverick
Jon Hamm in Top Gun: Maverick

Also Read: “It was meant to be me”: Jon Hamm Nearly Replaced Ben Affleck in His Darkest Movie Which Could Have Avoided Batman Star’s On-Set Feud With Director

Before Jon Hamm got his breakout with Don Draper’s role in Mad Men, he was just a struggling actor like many other aspiring stars who had to do odd jobs to sustain himself. It is how he ended up working as a set dresser in the softcore p*rn industry when he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 25.

In an interview with Esquire, he revealed losing his catering gig which is when his friend offered him his set dressing job.


“She says, ‘It’s not that hard. They’ll hire anybody. … It’s just soul-crushing for me. I can’t do it.’

She mentioned that she used to work for “Skinemax soft-core t***y movies.” He eventually accepted the offer mentioning no one really cared about who he was as they wanted their work done. While things were definitely much of a hassle for him at the time, he faced an existential crisis after his popular show came to an end.

Jon Hamm Had Hard Time After Mad Men Ended Until Tom Cruise Offered Him Top Gun 2

Tom Cruise
Action-star, Tom Cruise

Also Read: After Losing Batman Role to Robert Pattinson, Jon Hamm’s Terrifying DC Villain Look as Hush Will Leave You Stunned in Viral Concept Art


Letting go of a character that he portrayed for years was something he felt quite difficult which affected him a lot. He knew he had to reorient his existence but it was something difficult for him.

“It’s a challenge, you have to kind of like I said, reorient your existence to figure out, ‘Ok, what am I going to do with my days?’” Hamm said. “Like, it used to be from March to August I knew what I was doing.”

He even started having doubts about whether he would be able to do his best in another role as he was unemployed.

“And then attended with that comes, ‘Do people think I’m any good in anything else? Do people want to see me doing anything else? Am I a one-trick pony?’” Hamm said. “All this other stuff comes into play. Just cause you’re unemployed for the first time in nine years. It sucks being unemployed.”

It all eventually came to an end as he starred in several roles after his series concluded including working with action-star, Tom Cruise.


During his appearance on the Howard Stern Show, he revealed meeting Cruise for the first time 10 years ago at Jimmy Kimmel’s house before Top Gun: Maverick came into existence. The latter was a fan of his show who didn’t hold himself back to express his love for Hamm’s series.

Fast forward to a decade, he got a call from his agent revealing that the Mission: Impossible actor wanted him in the 2022 film. Everything went well with the film becoming the second highest-grossing film as it earned $1.496 billion worldwide.

Top Gun: Maverick is available on Paramount+.


Source: Graham Bensinger, Howard Stern Show


Written by Priya Sharma

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Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.