Mad Men’s Harry Hamlin Compares Ray Donovan to Sex

He’s also old school about reading his daily newspaper


Who Harry Hamlin

Age 62

Accomplishments Emmy-nominated actor on AMC’s Mad Men (Sundays at 10/9c); appearing in the upcoming film Shiva and May

Base Los Angeles

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

I am really old school. The first thing I do is read the Los Angeles Times. It’s an actual newspaper that gets delivered by a guy, and I’ve got to pad down to the front of the house to get it. It’s just like you saw in the old TV shows like Ozzie and Harriett.

Why do you read the paper in print?

You know, there’s just something about wanting to go from section to section. There could be a surprise. By the time I get the newspaper in the morning, I already know all the regular news, so what I look for in the newspaper are human-interest stories and scientific stories that you would not see in a normal news broadcast.

Do you read any science magazines or websites?

I get Wired magazine. It’s kind of hit-or-miss. I don’t really read other science magazines unless there’s a specific topic. I’m fascinated by astrophysics, quantum physics and plasma physics.

Are you into tech or social media at all?

No. I have a Twitter account and Facebook account, but if you asked me to go on them right now, I would have to call an expert.

What’s your favorite app?

At the moment, it’s the app. I just listened to a book called A Piece of the Sun by Daniel Clery. Then I went to get another book, but by accident I got a potboiler called Bloodline, which I’m listening to right now. I’m also into futurism, and something called the singularity, or the moment at which computing power accelerates to the degree that it actually outpaces human biology, and this book happens to be about that. I do believe that we are headed in that direction, that it’s not science fiction.

What TV shows do you watch?

Right now I’m holding off on the last episode of Ray Donovan. It’s kind of like not wanting to climax when you’re having sex. These shows on television now are so good, and Ray Donovan is one of those. Between that and Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Breaking Bad last year—there’s just so many great TV shows. Television has become the new novel.

Having been on Mad Men for a couple of seasons now, how do you think the ad industry has changed?

From what I do see of the commercials out there, I think that there is a new competitive atmosphere because of this downloading and streaming capability that is causing the advertising people to be more on their toes and to create ads that are more engaging and interesting.

What’s your favorite ad campaign right now?

There are these DirecTV ads where a guy does one little thing and it leads to another thing and leads to another thing, and then all of a sudden he’s having to do something that’s completely non sequitur to the original thing. They’re really creative.

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