Ellie Kemper and Jon Hamm go way back. Long before sharing the TV screen together on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” the two actors actually had a connection that was made in high school.
During a recent episode of Andy Cohen’s “Deep and Shallow” podcast, Kemper spilled the tea about how she first met Hamm as a teenager.
Ellie Kemper And Jon Hamm Have History!
“So, he’s 10 years older than I am. He went to my high school, to give people some background, he went to my high school, went to college, came back and taught drama for a year at our high school. And he’s the youngest teacher by far. He’s not bad looking and he’s teaching drama,” Kemper told Cohen. “He’s, in fact great looking. Dreamy.”
“The Office” actress explained how the two reconnected years after her drama class.
“Jon Hamm is generous, selfless kind of guy. I reached out to him when I was doing my one-person show. A little comedy show. I had my little suitcase of props,” she continued. “I was doing this one-person show in Los Angeles, and at that time, he was already famous on ‘Mad Men.’”
Kemper ended up emailing Hamm, 52, from their high school directory to tell him about the show she was doing and to invite him to it.
“I said, ‘Hey, I’m doing this show. I know you’re really busy, but it’d be great if you could come,’” she said. “And he came, and that’s when I really reconnected with him.”
See a clip of the podcast episode HERE.
The two later got the opportunity to share the TV screen together in the Netflix hit original show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” where he played the role of Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne who kept Kemper’s character locked in a bunker for many years.
“When they told us that he would be playing the reverend, it was fantastic,” Kemper said during the Television Critics Association panel in 2015. “But I was a little scared. I think there’s still a teacher-student dynamic, and acting with him was a little bit nerve-racking just because I felt like he was still grading me on some level. But he’s a wonderful man and it was a lot of fun.”
Jon Hamm Talked About His Connection With Ellie Kemper In 2013
“You were in ninth grade and this is a class that had everyone from ninth grade to seniors in it – so you were on the young end of the spectrum, and yet I remember you being very good,” Hamm said to Kemper.
“Do you remember being very good or do you remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, this is something that I’m going to do?’”
Kemper replied, “That’s very generous of you – I don’t remember being very good, but I remember enjoying it a lot, and I’m not trying to kiss up to you. I think that’s a credit to you and [John Burroughs School theater chair] Mr. Wayne Salomon, because you might like something, but then when you have a teacher who’s fantastic, you like it even more.”