J.K. Simmons

  • J.K. Simmons Finds a Navy SEALS Role More His Tempo


    jk simmons

    Fresh off his Oscar win for his incredible performance in Whiplash, J.K. Simmons is filling his dance card with an upcoming slate of high-profile movies. He’s already signed on for Skull Island, the epic sequel to Peter Jackson’s King Kong starring The Avengers’ Tom Hiddleston and Birdman’s Michael Keaton, set for release in 2017.

    This week, Simmons added another role, that of a Navy SEAL commanding officer giving his troops a hard time—a part he was seemingly born to play. The film is The Lake, a thriller about the aforementioned SEALs searching for sunken treasure in Serbia.

    The Lake is being co-written and produced by prolific French filmmaker Luc Besson, director of La Femme Nikita, León, The Fifth Element and Lucy and creator of The Transporter and Taken series. Steven Quale, director of Final Destination 5 and Into the Storm and a long-time collaborator of James Cameron, will be helming The Lake. Quale is a fitting choice, considering his work with Cameron on other water-based adventures The Abyss and the 3D IMAX documentary Aliens of the Deep.

    Simmons recently spoke with New York Film Academy students about his well-lauded roles in Spider-Man, Portal 2, The Legend of Korra, The Closer, and, of course, Whiplash. There’s no doubt he will bring his trademark talent and passion to The Lake.






    March 25, 2015 • Acting, Entertainment News, Guest Speakers • Views: 4858

  • Check Out the Short Film that Would Become Whiplash


    One of the things that all students learn in our directing classes is that if you are unable to fund a feature-length version of your idea for a film, a short film is often a great means to attract funding for their projects.

    The Oscar-winning Whiplash initially started off life as an 18-minute short film directed by Damien Chazelle in which J.K. Simmons—who would go on to earn a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his star turn—starred opposite actor Johnny Simmons, who would later be replaced by Miles Teller.

    The short film, which was also titled Whiplash, is being included as part of the Blue-ray release of Whiplash and it can be viewed by clicking on the video box above. It originally appeared at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where Simmons electric performance and the fact that it won the jury award for Best Short Film helped it to secure financing for Chazelle’s full-length version.

    An interesting fact for those that were vexed why Whiplash was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Oscars instead of Best Original Screenplay: since the full-length version of the film was based on the short, it was considered an adaptation and not an original screenplay.


    March 3, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 6049