Jon Hamm says that teaching was his “fallback” career if he didn’t make it in Hollywood. But with an Emmy award and multiple film roles on the horizon, Hamm still hasn’t ruled out a return to the classroom.
“If it all went sideways, I was like, well, you know, it’s the meanest thing, but those who can, do [and] those who can’t, teach. It’s not true,” Hamm told NBC’s “Today” show host Willie Geist in an interview aired on Friday.
“I think teaching is one of the great professions on the planet and I had the good fortune to do it for a year,” Hamm continued. “And I would definitely go back to it, and I might still.”
Hamm was a daycare teacher during college for three years. After college, he taught drama for a year at his alma mater, John Burroughs High School in St. Louis, Missouri. One of his students at Burroughs was actress Ellie Kemper. A fun fact, because now Hamm guest-stars frequently on Kemper’s Netflix comedy, “Unbelievable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Hamm’s respect for teachers stems from the void they filled after his mother died when he was 10 years old and his father passed away when he was 20.
“I’ve had some of the greatest teachers in the world and I owe a huge portion of my existence to them,” he said. “I think being a parent and being a teacher are parallel lines in many ways. And obviously, growing up without parents for a certain portion of my life and having sort of ‘alternative parents’ for a larger portion of my life, I recognise that that’s an important thing to provide to a kid. It can be the difference between literally life and death.”
Watch Hamm on “Today” below: