From singing on Broadway, voicing video-game characters and acting in blockbuster films and television series, J.K. Simmons has showcased his various talents throughout his long and illustrious career. To celebrate his performance in the romantic comedy THE REWRITE, out digitally from 2nd February 2015 and on Blu-ray and DVD from 9th February 2015 courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment, we take a look at some of his best roles to date…
The Rewrite (2014)
This charming romantic comedy reunites Hugh Grant with director Marc Lawrence, and sees the king of rom-coms take the role of Keith Michaels, a fading screenwriter who takes a teaching job at a backwater campus and finds himself falling for Holly Carpenter (Marisa Tomei), a mature student. J.K. Simmons plays the university’s principal, Dr. Lerner, a laid-back figure of authority with a tendency to weep with joy at the mention of his two daughters.
Spider-Man (2002, 2004, 2007)
Based on the Marvel Comic publication, Spider-Man tells the story of the nerdy high school student and freelance photographer, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), who develops spider-like superpowers as a result of a bite from a genetically modified arachnid. Throughout the Spider-Man trilogy J.K. Simmons plays J. Jonah Jameson, the comically stereotypical brash New Yorker and charismatic editor-in-chief of the fictional magazine ‘The Daily Bugle’. Jameson takes it upon himself to tarnish the reputation of Spider-Man and ironically employs Peter Parker as a freelance photographer to achieve these ends.
Law & Order (1994-2010)
Simmons was a long-standing cast-member of Law & Order, one of the most infamous American police procedural and legal drama TV-series. J.K. Simmons plays Dr. Emil Skoda, a valuable asset to the New York Police department, whose psychological expertise is used in court to determine the sanity of defendants on trial and the mental state of suspects and witnesses.
In the American television drama series, Oz, J.K. Simmons plays the role of neo-Nazi Vernon Schillinger – a prisoner sentenced to eight years in Oswold State Correctional Facility (“Oz”) for aggravated assault. Unit manager Tim McManus (Terry Kinney) focuses the rehabilitation of his prisoners on learning responsibilities instead of implementing the more common punishing measures. Under the supervision of McManus, the inmates in “Em City” struggle to fulfil their own needs.
This charming comedy-drama tells the story of Juno (Ellen Page), an independent-minded teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent events that put pressures of adult life onto her. A star-studded cast including Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Jennifer Garner and Michael Cera perform their supporting roles superbly. J.K. Simmons plays Juno’s father, whose light-hearted wit and understated trust and support helps his daughter through her daunting situation.
Thank You For Smoking (2005)
Thank You For Smoking, based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley, is a satirical comedy-drama telling the story of Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), the Chief Spokesman of Big Tobacco. Nick struggles to remain a role model for this 12-year-old son whilst using spin tactics to sell cigarettes. Simmons takes the role of BR, the cold-hearted, back-stabbing salesman and boss to Nick Naylor.
Already one of the most talked about films of the year, Whiplash has received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. The film follows a promising young drummer who enrols at the top music school in the U.S where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor (J.K. Simmons) who will stop at absolutely nothing to realise his student’s potential.
I Love You, Man (2009)
In the announcement of their wedding, the friendless groom Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) realises he has no one to share the news with and embarks on a search to find a best-man. Peter meets middle-aged lay-about Sydney Fife (Jason Segel) and they strike up a friendship immediately. Jane Curtin and J.K. Simmons take the role of Paul’s parents in this American bromance comedy.
The Rewrite is available on digital platforms from 2 February, 2015 and on Blu-ray and DVD from 9 February, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.