It can be excruciatingly difficult to break out from a single role that helped define a person’s career. John Hamm is just another individual stuck into the same mold that he found so endearing, but there’s really no fear that he might be missing out. Eventually there will be a role for him that will come along and no one will be asking why he’s not a bigger movie star. But as it stands doesn’t it just seem like he should be a bit of a bigger name? Other than his starring role as a cocky agent trying to bring Indian players to major league baseball, Hamm hasn’t had too many leading parts.
Time is obviously not on his side, but if you recall many upon many individuals that were seemingly stuck by a role that earned them high praise, such as Anthony Hopkins with Hannibal Lecter, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the movie tough guy, and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky or Rambo, they eventually broke out of those roles and found something else that people could love them for. One big mark that Hamm has against him however is that Hollywood is a lot different than it was just ten years ago.
Things are becoming more integrated as the years go by, roles such as Don Draper are no longer the norm no matter how well played they are and how enticing the actors are. The film industry is in a continual upheaval as gender roles and norms are being continuously challenged and reshaped to accommodate those that are no longer content to sit by and be identified in a certain way. In other words, a man’s man, as Hamm appears more often than not, is unfortunately not what people are looking for. As such it is necessary to diversify and take what he can in an effort to stay relevant. That means taking on roles that are far below his talents and his intellectual capacity.
This is how earning your way in Hollywood seems to be done though. If you wish to stay relevant then your career must come first and your pride has to take a back seat in order to get paid. It’s not this way for everyone obviously but for those who have yet to find a solid place in the industry there are trials and tribulations to go through that might test anyone’s resolve. Hamm is surely being tested at this point as so far he’s been put into roles that someone like Don Draper might sneer at and refuse without question.
But Hamm wants to stick around, which is understandable, and so he’s going to do what he has to in order to make it happen. Not everyone we want to see go that far will end up earning accolades from here to the moon. Hamm has star power, he has the necessary intelligence to do something great, but he’s going to have to pick his spots, which is what it appears he’s doing now. Once that great and undeniably accurate role comes along then it’s very possible that we could see him finally shed the ghost of Don Draper and become what every fan already knows he’s capable of becoming, a true superstar.
Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Variety/REX/Shutterstock