From a sweet father in Juno to a mentally abusive music teacher in Whiplash, J.K. Simmons can transform into any character but he always has that strong presence. We are thinking that his fabulous work in Whiplash is the path to Oscar. It was so amazingly well done!
So does J.K. himself like to have the pressure that his character Fletcher gives his student? How does he see his career path? He gave us his answers with his signature deep voice.
Q: Do you think artists want this kind of pressure that Fletcher delivers?
God, I hope not. I mean, masochists do. I completely agree with feeling the need or the benefits of being pushed and of being directed on a project and collaborating. The kind of manipulation and abuse, I think, has no place in life.
Q: From playing a loving father in Juno and Men, Women & Children to an abusive teacher in this film, how do you see your career?
You know what? I’ve been so blessed to have the opportunities that I’ve had, and if somebody asked me to play a Terence Fletcher-esque character next week I would be reticent to do so. Part of the joy of doing what we all are fortunate enough to do here is you get to do something different every time out. I learned that at the very beginning. I mean, I’d been doing theater for twenty years, but when I first started doing camera-acting… really OZ was sort of my first big thing that a lot of people saw, and I knew going into that that it was a potential trap, because I could be playing the Nazi of the week on TV for the rest of my life. From nowhere, all of a sudden Law and Order called and said, “Hey, would you like to play this shrink on Law and Order?” and it was this perfect yin yang thing that I had at the very beginning. I was perceived as the guy who could do a variety of things. I mean, that’s what we all want to do. We all want to not repeat ourselves constantly, and explore the limits of our capabilities. I just want to do something different than what I just got done doing.
Whiplash opens in theaters on October 10th.