Paul Rudd vs. Jon Hamm: For the Love of Bella Swan’s Mom

More on lost love between famous people.

Despite my efforts on the Armitage beat, my highest hit posts are the ones about Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephan Jenkins and Charlize Theron, and Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson/Helena Bonham-Carter. Apparently, there are other nostalgic people out there curious about the demise of these relationships.

Here is one love triangle that ended happily for all parties involved.

From an interview with Paul Rudd in September 2011 NYLON Guys written by Luke Crisell:

Only a very few times in his almost two-decade-long career has Paul Rudd doubted his decision to pursue acting. The first was when he was 18, and Jon Hamm schooled him in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Rudd was a freshman at the University of Kansas with a major crush on his roommate’s sister, who was still in high school in St. Louis. During a visit to the family’s home, Rudd found himself on a Trivial Pursuit team with the girl of his dreams. It was his chance to impress. But playing against them across the table was Hamm, a high school senior and friend of the family who was “super handsome, really smart, and very good at sports—all of these things that I most certainly was not,” says Rudd. Nevermind though, Rudd would seal the deal with his superior worldly knowledge. He was, after all, in college. Who did this upstart think he was? “But every question that came up, I had no idea what the f***ing answer was,” he recalls. “Jon, my arch nemesis, rolled the dice, and the question was, ‘What’s the biggest lake in Africa?’ and he just goes ‘Victoria.’ And I remember feeling so totally emasculated that the next year when I went away to acting school I thought back to that Trivial Pursuit moment and I just felt, Holy shit, now that I’m in acting school I’m never going to learn what the biggest lake in Africa is.”

According to internet sources, Hamm ended up dating that girl, Sarah Clarke, who would go on to become an actress and play Bella Swan’s mom Renée Dwyer in the Twilight franchise. Hamm and Rudd also developed a friendship that endures to this day. When Rudd hit it big with Clueless in 1995, Hamm decided to pursue his acting dreams and moved to Los Angeles. Despite his good looks, smarts, and jock appeal, success came late for Hamm; he acted in minor roles for over a decade before being cast as Don Draper in Mad Men, beating out over 80 candidates. Both men continue to attract fans for their onscreen performances and offscreen humility. You think Hollywood could change these guys? As if.

So in the end, all three actors found tremendous acting success and romantic partners. Rudd and Clarke are both married (to other people) and Hamm has a long-time girlfriend.


4 thoughts on “Paul Rudd vs. Jon Hamm: For the Love of Bella Swan’s Mom

  1. Cool! I didn’t know that about any of them. And am a big fan of Jon Hamm (also like Paul Rudd). Thanks for this post. It was great!

    • Hi there – For sure. That Don does not accept defeat—plus his charm would overwhelm his opponents into submission.

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