Jon Hamm on Suri Cruise and Other People's Kids: Exclusive Interview

Piper Weiss, Shine Staff
Love + Sex

When you've got 10 minutes on the phone with Jon Hamm, the living, breathing contemporary of Humphrey Bogart, you probably shouldn't waste time asking him about Tom Cruise's divorce. But let's just say you did, because I did.

"I'm on team Suri," Hamm says diplomatically. "I just really hope that kid gets taken care of."

He's also team Louis CK: "I've always deferred to Louis CK on comedy matters."

Team Lena Dunham: "I watched the entire series of Girls...She's an incredible talent."

And team everybody relax about 50 Shades of Grey: "I have not read it but it seems like every five years there's a version of that that comes out."

Make no mistake, Jon Hamm isn't threatened by Christian Grey. He could play that character in his sleep. As MadMen's Don Draper and 30 Rock's dim-witted dream boyfriend (both roles just earned him Emmy nominations), he's captured the darkly brooding and deeply comedic natures of the man who hurts so good.

In Friends with Kids, out on DVD this week, he plays another lustful trap but this time with a conscience. As Ben, Hamm provides the cautionary tale of mating with the wrong person. "I think the lesson of my character's relationship is that if you can only base a relationship on one thing then that one thing probably shouldn't be sex."

That's anther thing Hamm's really good at: relationship advice. Earlier this year, his pitch-perfect dating tips for teen girls went viral. So how about a little advice for grown-ups?

"I'm probably the worst person to ask, the last time I went on a date there was barely internet, so I have no idea what it's like anymore, but all of the advice for teen girls works for older people too: be honest, be nice, respect yourself."

In his own life, his relationship with Friends with Kids' writer-director-star Jennifer Westfeldt is 14 years strong. Both have held on through the centrifuge of their roller-coaster careers. Their secret?

"There's no secret. If there's one thing you could consistently do everyone would be in lt relationships," says Hamm, but then he gives it a little more thought. "It's showing up and being present and working at it and not taking each other for granted."

It helps that they're on the same page with children, a minefield they knew they'd have to confront in the initial round of interviews when the movie came out. By now he's got his answer down pat: "Jen and I have said repeatedly, it's a big decision that we don't consider lightly."

That's not to say they don't want kids, but that it's personal.

But when? But why not yet? For some reason people can't wrap their heads around the idea of childless couples.

"It's a curious thing in our society," he says. "Honestly I think the question comes wanting to measure themselves up to know if they're doing a good job and they're keeping pace. The internet certainly doesn't help. "

This is especially true when it comes to other people kids, For reference, watch a scene from the movie with mass emailed proof of one child's potty training success.

"I'm a big fan of children and I think they're great but the truth is no one cares about your kids as much as you do," says Hamm. The experience of having kids is so immersive and parents feel the need to share all of it because it's overwhelming but it's also very specific and totally uninteresting if it's not your kid."

This point is sharpened in the movie during a restaurant scene when a nearby tantrum-addled child interrupts dinner with friends without kids. That brings up another question: When it comes to the no-kids-allowed movement in restaurants, is Hamm on Team brat ban?

"I don't think they should ban kids from restaurants, I think they should ban sh---y parents."

Well-played, sir.