Skip to content Skip to footer

Harry Hamlin – In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin

You say, right in the first episode, that you’re not a cooking show watcher at all. That’s a unique angle for the host of a cooking show . . .

I still haven’t seen a cooking show. They don’t interest me in the least. I can think of a lot of better ways to spend my time. So, we had no idea what it was going to be. AMC came to me and they said they wanted me to do a cooking show — and I said, “What the f***? Why?” I found out later that it was an executive’s wife who went to the top and said, “You’ve got to give Harry Hamlin a cooking show.” I guess it was because of all the stuff that happened on my wife’s show [The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills]. I said to them that I was very reluctant to do anything like that — because I cook, but I’m not a chef. I said I would only do it under one condition, and that’s if my niece could be my wing-person. Because she’s a total expert.

In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin on AMC+. Pictured: Harry Hamlin and his niece, pro chef Renee Guilbault.
© 2023 AMC Network Entertainment LLC

Being a newbie to culinary series, was there anything that surprised you about the process of filming one?

One of the things about a cooking show that I was not aware of is that they’ve got to have another kitchen — because we prepare the food, but then they can’t sit around for a couple hours waiting for it to cook. And there was one time when [the other kitchen’s meal] didn’t come out quite cooked enough — when I made the chicken for Ted [Danson] and Mary [Steenburgen]. I always cook my chicken to 170-175°F. You can get away with cooking a chicken at 160°F — you can still eat it and not die — but I always cook it so you can carve it at the table and the meat separates fine. I didn’t know that they only cooked it to 160°F, so I was trying to separate it and get Ted a leg — and I couldn’t get the f***in’ thing to come apart! But they cut that out, thank God.

In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin on AMC+. Pictured: Harry Hamlin and his niece, pro chef Renee Guilbault.
© 2023 AMC Network Entertainment LLC

As someone who’s had success over such a long period of time, what’s the key to hanging onto the rollercoaster that is the entertainment business?

Well, I always lead with my heart. If I find that something moves me, I’ll do it. I’ll turn it down if it doesn’t. I’ve made some choices that people go, “Wow, you did that movie?” Like this movie Making Love [one of the first gay romances produced by a major Hollywood studio] that I did years ago. People said, “You’re crazy to do that movie.” But it was something real that was happening in the world at that moment, and no one was really talking about it — and it needed to be discussed, it needed to come out. I’m very proud of that movie.

You’ve mentioned you really consider yourself to be a character actor. But after you hit it big early on, was there ever pressure to be more of a traditional “leading man” type?

The only time it was an issue was on this show L.A. Law that I did, where they wanted me to be very buttoned-down and strait-laced. But I couldn’t help myself — because, at heart, I’m a comedian. They kept saying they didn’t want me to do anything funny. But, every episode, there was a conference room scene, and I always ate something in the conference room scene — and I made a thing of it. I made sure that I ate while I was talking, so they couldn’t cut it out. They were so mad at me all the time. One day it would be a strawberry, the next day it would be a bagel, the next day it would be a piece of toast . . . and one day they said, “Absolutely not! You cannot eat in this scene” — and I spent the whole time biting my fingernails when I was talking.

In the Kitchen with Harry Hamlin, streaming on AMC+


A trained theatre actor, Mr. Hamlin rocketed to matinee idol status after his turn as Greek hero Perseus in 1981’s Clash of the Titans. Since then, he’s gone on to a storied, eclectic career, including a lead role on iconic TV drama L.A. Law, being named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, playing murderous movie star Aaron Echolls on Veronica Mars, an Emmy-nominated arc on Mad Men and, every so often, appearing alongside wife and fellow actor Lisa Rinna in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.


The California native just wrapped season one of his very first cooking show — wherein Hamlin and his niece, pro chef Renee Guilbault, invite celeb guests to bake, grill and mingle in Harry’s own home kitchen.

Leave a comment

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Ritatis et quasi architecto beat

Whoops, you're not connected to Mailchimp. You need to enter a valid Mailchimp API key.