Books That Made a Difference to Jon Hamm
By Tom Stoppard
I love reading plays. Part of the reason I became an actor was that I would read one and think, "Ah, it'd be fun to be in that." Arcadia is about the discovery of certain theories of physics and math, but it's also a love story—a sad love story—infused with ideas of early feminism and the Industrial Revolution. The action bounces back and forth between the early 1800s and modern times stylistically and smoothly. And the words are just beautiful. Stoppard has an amazing command of the English language. He moves the plot along in such a way that if you're not paying close attention, you won't catch the five or six things that are going on. This is probably my favorite play—it's got this weird combination of excellent dramatic writing and math and science. It sounds kind of nerdy, but there you go.