This Is Why Jon Hamm Doesn't Have Any Children

As Mad Men's advertising antihero Don Draper, actor Jon Hamm embodied (and through it, provided cultural criticism on) the classic archetype of the coolheaded, scotch-saturated, suit-wearing impresario of New York City's Madison Avenue in the 1960s, then the mecca for executives and captains of industry. Even now, it's extremely difficult for fans to separate the character who made Hamm famous from the winsome actor — though from what we can tell, they're far more different than they are alike.

One of those differences, however minor, is parenthood — unlike Don Draper, Hamm has never had kids — and the reason for that, like with many people who make the decision to forego parenthood, is complex. Another way he's unlike Draper, it has nothing to do with fidelity or a lack of fulfillment. And in a strange and surprising twist, a lot of it might be connected to a particular film from the actor's past.

Kids might have brought Jon Hamm's years-long relationship to an end

Even though the character Jon Hamm is best known for is far from the exemplar of a family man (or a faithful husband, for that matter), the actor dated film director, writer, and actress Jennifer Westfeldt for 18 years before parting ways in 2015. During their time together, they both supported each other in career ambitions and through the good and the bad, including Hamm's battle against alcohol abuse. Westfeldt and Hamm even have their own production company, Points West Pictures, though activity has seemingly ceased on their official website (which, by all appearances, has since been absorbed into Westfeldt's own professional site) since 2014.

As collaborators, the former couple produced the Netflix original limited series A Young Doctor's Notebook, starring Hamm and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, as well as the delightful indie gem Friends with Kids, marking Westfeldt's directorial debut. Playing opposite of Parks and Recreation actor Adam Scott, Westfeldt starred in the film, with Hamm in a supporting role alongside fellow cast members (and comedy darlings) Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Chris O'Dowd, and Megan Fox, among others. And it's this last film, Friends with Kids, that might hold the answer to why Hamm doesn't have any children.

This movie might hold the key to why Jon Hamm doesn't have kids

In retrospect, Friends with Kids comes across as a metatextual commentary on the issue of parenthood between Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm. The premise of the film is centered on two best friends (played by Westfeldt and Scott) who decide to have a child together — all in order to enter a co-parenting relationship without the complications that can come from romance. (We won't spoil the rest of the film for you, but it is a rom-com, so you can probably figure it out from there.)

While it might not be directly analogous to any specific dispute on the matter the former couple may have had in real life, as a whole it explores a handful of (out of myriad, we'd assume) outcomes that can result from what happens to the romance between a couple after deciding to have (or adopt) kids.

It was certainly something that remained on Westfeldt's mind after the premiere of her directorial debut. "I've thought about this a lot lately," she said in an interview with The New York Times in 2012. "I never thought I'd be this age and not have kids," she told the paper, "but my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated."

Just because Jon Hamm doesn't have kids, it doesn't mean they don't matter to him

Ultimately, the question of whether or not to become parents might have been what ended the couple's 18-year relationship in 2015. According to a scoop published by the New York Daily News in 2015, one source disclosed that "[Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm] were definitely not on the same page" on the matter — and maybe never were. "They would talk about it and he always said 'maybe,'" relayed another anonymous insider, "but last year [in 2014] it became 'No, I don't want kids.'"

It seems that it's generally the stance Hamm has continued to hold since the breakup. In a 2016 exclusive with People magazine, the Mad Men actor more or less expressed the same sentiment — but also added some context. "I don't know," Hamm said at the time. "I don't think [having kids is] necessarily an imperative."

"I'm not going to [psychoanalyze] myself here, but... well, never say never," he added before explaining his position has nothing to do with not liking children as a whole. "I've got nieces and nephews and I've been a teacher. I've probably been around kids a lot more than all my friends. I feel if you shut that off entirely you calcify. You turn into that guy." So while he's not that guy who can't stand kids or is cold toward them, he just doesn't have any of his own.