How being a player led Jon Hamm to ‘Marjorie Prime’

As the world wonders if Jon Hamm is getting to first base with Jenny Slate, we can report that he hit a home run with the director of his upcoming movie, “Marjorie Prime.”

It took a ballfield to bring the actor and filmmaker together.

“I liked his work (and) I knew someone he played softball with,” writer and director Michael Almereyda told the Daily News before a screening of the film on Thursday at Brooklyn Academy of Music.

“That’s a very helpful thing,” added Almereyda, who based his gentle sci-fi drama on a play by Jordan Harrison. “It was recreational softball.”

Jon Hamm plays a virtual companion for Lois Smith in "Marjorie Prime."


In the movie about the impact of technology on humanity, Hamm plays a virtual companion of 86-year-old Marjorie, who’s played by the great Lois Smith. Geena Davis plays Smith’s daughter Tess, and Tim Robbins is Tess’ husband.

The director acknowledged that landing two Oscar winners, along with Smith and Hamm, who’s getting terrific reviews from “Baby Driver,” is a coup for the indie film.

“It’s very hard to get to actors for a low-budget project,” said Almereyda. “There’s not a lot of incentive for agents to get their attention.”

Even harder to find ones who’ll help with the financial business of making a movie. Hamm and Robbins are both credited as executive producers of the film coming out on Aug. 18.

Smith’s estimable career spans six decades and such films as “Five Easy Pieces” and plays as “The Trip to Bountiful.”

What did Hamm bring to the role of Marjorie’s computerized companion? “Himself,” said Smith. “That’s all any of us can do.”