What's Next for Jon Hamm After 'Mad Men'

Actor gets some encouragement from Bryan Cranston.

— -- Jon Hamm is ready to say goodbye to Don Draper, even if he's not exactly certain what's ahead.

"The one constant thing I've had in my career is now removed," Hamm, who has played Draper for seven seasons on "Mad Men," told the recent issue of GQ. "And that’s an eye-opener: Are people still going to take me seriously? Am I just going to do romantic comedies for the rest of my life? What’s next? And I don’t know, you know? I wish I was smug enough to have had a grand plan."

At least Hamm has found some encouragement from someone who's already gone through a similar life adjustment -- Bryan Cranston. Hamm said Cranston, who was recently freed from "Breaking Bad," told him: "It’s hard, man. It’s hard to let it go. It’ll hit you a couple of different ways at different times."

Nonetheless, Hamm is ready to give up Draper, whose downward spirals he said were draining to play for seven seasons.

"You’re kind of hoping for redemption, and it’s not forthcoming," he told GQ. "To consistently come in and be the bummer was always like, ‘Oh, that’s not fun.’ But at the same time, it’s been like the greatest obstacle course in the world. A puzzle to figure out."

Actress and filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt, Hamm’s longtime girlfriend, told the magazine that the role has taken a toll on him.

"It’s a confusing juxtaposition," Westfeldt said. "I think the darkness of Don has weighed heavily on Jon, despite it being the role of a lifetime and the opportunity that gave him the career of his dreams."

She called Hamm "a goofball and a science nerd and a voracious reader and a fanatical Cardinals fan and a comedy geek."

About his love for comedy, Hamm told GQ, "I have no affinity for it other than my appreciation of it. I had no desire to get up onstage and tell jokes. I prefer to stand next to really funny people. I was always good at being observationally funny -- like contributing something funny to the conversation."

But after his side-splitting appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and his scene-stealing roles on "30 Rock" and "Bridesmaids," don't be surprised if Hamm's next role is much lighter.

Hamm and his fellow mad men will return to AMC in April to wrap up the seventh and final season of the acclaimed series.