Jon Hamm’s latest role calls for him to be suave, debonair and have a certain 1960s flair. But this is certainly not Don Draper. “That’s a stretch,” Hamm says of comparing his “Minions” character with his “Mad Men” legacy. “Herb definitely has his own style, and I don’t think it’s very similar to Don’s.
But that doesn’t mean the character doesn’t seem a bit, shall we say, familiar. “If there’s an analogy to be made, I think it’s closer to Austin Powers, at least from a sartorial sense,” Hamm admits. “That was the one thing I was careful about. I didn’t want to veer too far into Austin Powers territory.”
Hamm gets animated for “Minions” as Herb, boyfriend to the world’s first female super-villain (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and something of a villain himself. The very much in lovedo-bad-ers share a bond and common respect that Hamm found to be entirely un-’60s. “It’s almost subversive in a way. It’s couched in this sort of cartoon-y evil sense, but it’s very progressive,” he says. “Herb is a hep cat. He’s very, very comfortable in who he is, and he loves his wife and she loves him right back. That’s the really kind of lovely part of their relationship.”
Already being a fan of the “Despicable Me” franchise, Hamm was more than happy to come on board for the prequel focusing on the gibberish-spouting yellow henchmen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’d want a set of minions of his own, of course.
“Knowing what I know about how effective they are at doing their jobs, I probably wouldn’t assign them any tasks that really needed to be done well,” he says. Like picking up dry cleaning — all of your clothes would be ruined. Like, immediately. I would say, ‘Go mow the lawn,’ an the lawn would be lit on fire, you know? But it would be great if you had one around, just to hang out with.”
Education through Looney Tunes
A huge animation fan since childhood, Hamm is well aware of the power of children’s entertainment. “I wouldn’t know anything about opera if it wasn’t for Bugs Bunny. That was my entire introduction to opera music, he says. “It’s the combination of the high and the low that I thought was very cool. I had no concept of it as a kid. You just think it’s hilarious that Bugs Bunny is a lady Viking. That’s funny! And then you realize, ‘Why do I know that? Why do I know all of the words to The Marriage of Figaro?’ Because of Bugs Bunny.”
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