J.K. Simmons

Actors

Jonathan Kimble Simmons (born January 9, 1955) is an American actor. In television, he is known for playing Dr. Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order, Vernon Schillinger on the HBO series Oz, and Assistant Police Chief Will Pope on TNT’s The Closer. From 2017 to 2019, he starred as Howard Silk in the Starz series Counterpart. He also starred in the third season of the IFC comedy series Brockmire, and a recurring role as Billy Barber on the Apple TV+ miniseries Defending Jacob (2020), with Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell, Cherry Jones, Pablo Schreiber, Betty Gabriel, and Sakina Jaffrey.

He made his film debut in The Ref (1994), with Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey. Other early film roles include The Scout (1994), with Albert Brooks, Brendan Fraser, and Diane Wiest; The First Wives Club (1996), with Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Maggie Smith, and Marcia Gay Harden; Extreme Measures (1995), with Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, and David Morse; Love Walked In (1997), with Leary, Terence Stamp, and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón; The Jackal (1998), with Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, and Sidney Poitier; The Cider House Rules (1999), with Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Michael Caine, Jane Alexander, Kathy Baker, Kieran Culkin, Heavy D, Kate Nelligan, and Erykah Badu; Autumn in New York (2000), with Gere, Winona Ryder, and Anthony LaPaglia; and The Mexican (2001), with Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and James Gandolfini.

His breakout film role was as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), with Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco. He reprised his role as Jameson in various Marvel media unrelated to the Raimi trilogy, including multiple animated series and a cameo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), with Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal. His other collaborations with Raimi include For Love of the Game (1999), with Kevin Costner, John C. Reilly, Jenna Malone, and Brian Cox; and The Gift (2000), with Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear.

He’s also frequently worked with director Jason Reitman in such films as Thank You for Smoking (2005), with Maria Bello, David Koechner, Cameron Bright, Adam Brody, Sam Elliott, Holmes, Rob Lowe, William H. Macy, and Robert Duvall; Juno (2007), with Eliot Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Allison Janney; Up in the Air (2009), with George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Danny McBride; an uncredited voice cameo in Young Adult (2011), with Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, and Patrick Wilson; Labor Day (2013), with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin; Men, Women & Children (2014), with Rosemarie DeWitt, Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, and Kaitlyn Dever; The Front Runner (2018), with Hugh Jackman, Farmiga, and Alfred Molina; and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021), with Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Rudd, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts.

His performance as abusive music instructor Terence Fletcher in Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash (2014), with Miles Teller; received widespread critical acclaim and earned him many accolades, including the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics’ Choice Award and BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also appeared in Chazelle’s second directorial effort, La La Land (2016), with Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Finn Wittrock.

Other notable films include Hidalgo (2004), with Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson, and Omar Sharif; Joel & Ethan Coen‘s The Ladykillers (2004), with Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, Tzi Ma and Ryan Hurst; Harsh Times (2005), with Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez; First Snow (2006), with Guy Pearce; The Astronaut Farmer (2007), with Billy Bob Thornton, Virginia Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Tim Blake Nelson; Rendition (2007), with Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Peter Sarsgaard, Alan Arkin, Gyllenhaal, and Omar Metwally; Burn After Reading (2008), with Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, and Pitt; New in Town (2009), with Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr., and Siobhan Fallon Hogan; and I Love You, Man (2009), with Rudd, Jason Segal, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, and Jane Curtin.

Roles in the 2010s include A Beginner’s Guide to Endings (2010), with Harvey Keitel; The Good Doctor (2011), with Orlando Bloom; The Words (2012), with Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, Dennis Quaid, and Nora Arnezeder; Contraband (2012), with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Caleb Landry Jones, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, and Diego Luna; Jobs (2013), with Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, and Lesley Ann Warren; Murder of a Cat (2014), with Fran Kranz, Nikki Reed, and Blythe Danner; Terminator Genisys (2015), with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Dayo Okeniyi, Matt Smith, Courtney B. Vance, and Lee Byung-hun; The Meddler (2015), with Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne; The Accountant (2016), with Ben Affleck, Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, and John Lithgow; and Patriot’s Day (2016), with Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, and Alex Wolff.

Later roles include The Bachelors (2017), with Harold Perrineau, Julie Delpy, Josh Wiggins, and Odeya Rush; I’m Not Here (2017), with Sebastian Stan, Maika Monroe, Mandy Moore, Max Greenfield, and Iain Armitage; The Snowman (2017), with Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Val Kilmer; Justice League (2017), with Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and Ciarán Hinds; Father Figures (2017), with Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, Harry Shearer, June Squibb, Christopher Walken, and Glenn Close; 21 Bridges (2019), with Chadwick Boseman; and Palm Springs (2020), with Samberg, Cristin Milioti, and Peter Gallagher.

He is also known for voicing Cave Johnson in the video game Portal 2 (2011), Tenzin in The Legend of Korra (2012–2014), Stanford Pines in Gravity Falls (2015–2016), Kai in Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016), with Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, James Hong, Jackie Chan, Randall Duk Kim, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Hudson; Mayor Lionheart in Zootopia (2016) with Ginnifer Goodwin, Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira; and the titular character in Klaus (2019), with Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Will Sasso, Neda Margrethe Labba, Sergio Pablos, Norm Macdonald, and Joan Cusack. He has also appeared in a series of commercials for Farmers Insurance, and also voices the Yellow M&M.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Popeye Doyle (1986) – directed by Peter Levin – TV movie/pilot
  • Pom Poko (1994)** – directed by Isao Takahata – Japan – 2005 English Dub
  • The Ref (1994) – directed by Ted Demme
  • The Scout (1994) – directed by Michael Ritchie
  • The First Wives Club (1996) – directed by Hugh Wilson
  • Extreme Measures (1996) – directed by Michael Apted
  • Love Walked In (1997) – directed by Juan José Campanella
  • Crossing Fields (1997) – directed by James Rosenow
  • The Jackal (1997) – directed by Michael Caton-Jones
  • Anastasia (1997)* – directed by Don Bluth & Gary Goldman
  • Face Down (1997) – directed by Thom Eberhardt – TV movie
  • Celebrity (1998) – directed by Woody Allen
  • Above Freezing (1998) – directed by Frank Todaro
  • Hit and Runway (1999) – directed by Christopher Livingston
  • The Cider House Rules (1999) – directed by Lasse Hallström
  • For Love of the Game (1999) – directed by Sam Raimi
  • I Lost My M in Vegas (1999) – directed by Gayle Ayers – short
  • Autumn in New York (2000) – directed by Joan Chen
  • Beautiful Joe (2000) – directed by Stephen Metcalfe – uncredited
  • The Gift (2000) – directed by Sam Raimi
  • The Mexican (2001) – directed by Gore Verbinski
  • Spider-Man (2002)* – directed by Sam Raimi
  • Path to War (2002) – directed by John Frankenheimer – TV movie
  • Homeward Bound (2002) – directed by Joshua Brand – TV movie
  • Off the Map (2003) – directed by Campbell Scott
  • Hidalgo (2004) – directed by Joe Johnston
  • The Ladykillers (2004) – directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
  • Disposal (2004) – directed by Alex Turner – short
  • The Floor (2004) – directed by Michelle Schumacher – short
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004)* – directed by Sam Raimi
  • 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (2004) – directed by Russell Mulcahy – TV movie
  • Thank You for Smoking (2005) – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Harsh Times (2005) – directed by David Ayer
  • First Snow (2006) – directed by Mark Fergus
  • The Astronaut Farmer (2006) – directed by Michael Polish
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)* – directed by Sam Raimi
  • Burn My Heart (2007) – directed by Yves Simoneau – TV movie
  • Postal (2007) – directed by Uwe Boll
  • Juno (2007)* – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Rendition (2007) – directed by Gavin Hood
  • Burn After Reading (2008)* – directed by by Joel & Ethan Coen
  • The Vicious Kind (2009) – directed by Lee Toland Krieger
  • New in Town (2009) – directed by Jonas Elmer
  • The Way of War (2009) – directed by John Carter
  • Red Sands (2009) – directed by Alex Turner
  • I Love You, Man (2009)* – directed by John Hamburg
  • Jewno (2009) – directed by Stephen J. Levinson – short
  • Aliens in the Attic (2009) – directed by John Schultz
  • Post Grad (2009) – directed by Vicky Jenson
  • Extract (2009) – directed by Mike Judge
  • Up in the Air (2009)* – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Jennifer’s Body (2009) – directed by Karyn Kusama
  • 4192: The Crowning of the Hit King (2010) – directed by Terry Lukemire – documentary – narrator
  • Crazy on the Outside (2010) – directed by Tim Allen
  • Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010) – directed by Brad Peyton
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Endings (2010) – directed by Jonathan Sobol
  • An Invisible Sign (2010) – directed by Marilyn Agrelo
  • Megamind (2010)* – directed by Tom McGrath
  • True Grit (2010)* – directed by Joel & Ethan Coen – uncredited voice
  • The Music Never Stopped (2011) – directed by Jim Kohlberg
  • The Good Doctor (2011) – directed by Lance Daly
  • Blackstone (2011) – directed by George Tunis – short
  • Young Adult (2011) – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Contraband (2012) – directed by Baltasar Kormákur
  • The Words (2012) – directed by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal
  • Adventure Planet (2012) – directed by Kompin Kemgunmnird – English dub – Thailand
  • Whiplash (2013) – directed by Damien Chazelle – short
  • Jobs (2013) – directed by Joshua Michael Stern
  • Dark Skies (2013) – directed by by Scott Stewart
  • The Heeler (2013) – directed by Justin Steele – short
  • The Magic Bracelet (2013) – directed by John Poll – short
  • 3 Geezers! (2013) – directed by Michelle Schumacher
  • Labor Day (2013) – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Whiplash (2014) – directed by Damien Chazelle
  • Barefoot (2014) – directed by Andrew Fleming
  • Break Point (2014) – directed by Jay Karas
  • The Boxcar Children (2014) – directed by Daniel Chuba, Mark A.Z. Dipee, & Kyungho Jo
  • Murder of a Cat (2014) – directed by Gillian Greene
  • The Rewrite (2014) – directed by Marc Lawrence
  • Men, Women & Children (2014) – directed by Jason Reitman
  • Ava & Lala (2014) – directed by Ynfei Wang
  • The Jay Z Story (2015) – directed by Osmany Rodriguez & Matt Villines (credited as Matt & Oz) – short
  • April and the Extraordinary World (2015) – directed by Christian Desmares & Franck Ekinci – English Dub – France/Belgium/Canada
  • Terminator Genisys (2015) – directed by Alan Taylor
  • The Meddler (2015) – directed by Lorene Scafaria
  • Worlds Apart (2015) – directed by Christoforos Papakaliatis
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)* – directed by Jennifer Yun Nelson & Alessandro Carloni
  • Zootopia (2016)* – directed by Byron Howard & Rich Moore
  • Punching Henry (2016) – directed by Gregori Viens
  • La La Land (2016) – directed by Damien Chazelle
  • The Late Bloomer (2016) – directed by Kevin Pollak
  • The Accountant (2016) – directed by Gavin O’Connor
  • Patriots Day (2016) – directed by Peter Berg
  • Rock Dog (2016) – directed by Ash Brannon
  • All Nighter (2017) – directed by Gavin Wiesen
  • The Black Ghiandola (2017) – directed by Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwicke, & Theodore Melfi
  • The Bachelors (2017) – directed by Kurt Voelker
  • American Renegades (2017) – directed by Steve Quale
  • I’m Not Here (2017) – directed by Michelle Schumacher
  • The Snowman (2017) – directed by Thomas Alfredson
  • Justice League (2017) – directed by Zack Snyder
  • Father Figures (2017) – directed by Lawrence Sher
  • A Boy Called Sailboat (2018) – directed by Cameron Nugent
  • The Front Runner (2018) – directed Jason Reitman
  • Fanboy (2019) – directed by Gillian Greene – short
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)* – directed by Jon Watts – cameo
  • 3 Days with Dad (2019) – directed by Larry Clarke
  • Klaus (2019) – directed by Sergio Pablos & Carlos Martinez Lopez
  • 21 Bridges (2019) – directed by Brian Kirk
  • Palm Springs (2020) – directed by Max Barbakow
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) – directed by Jason Reitman
  • The Tomorrow War (2021) – directed by Chris McKay