Jon Hamm: My Girlfriend Is the 'Love of My Life'

07/29/2010 at 05:15 PM EDT

Jon Hamm: My Girlfriend Is the 'Love of My Life'
Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm may drink, smoke and cheat as his Mad Men alter ego Don Draper, but offscreen he's nothing like the womanizing ad executive.

"[I'm] able to leave Don Draper at work," the actor, 39, tells this Sunday's Parade magazine. "I'm quite dissimilar from him in real life."

Case in point: He's quite content in his love life with longtime girlfriend, writer-actress Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein), 40. While admitting that he doesn't have what he calls the "marriage chip," Hamm does gush about his girl.

"Jen is the love of my life," he says, "and we've already been together four times longer than my parents were married."



In fact, it was Hamm's late father, Daniel Hamm, who passed away from diabetes and poor health when Hamm was only 20, who inspired his Emmy-nominated portrayal of dapper Don.

"[His] smoking, drinking and hard-living ways are pretty much my model for Don Draper," Hamm says, adding that his parents' deaths (his mother Deborah died from cancer when he was 10) also inspires his zest for life.

"Losing both parents at a young age gave me a sense that you can't really control life – so you'd better live it while it's here," he says. "I stopped believing in a storybook existence a long time ago. All you can do is push in a direction and see what comes of it."

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