“Whiplash” star and newly crowned Oscar winner JK Simmons got right to the point when posed with the age-old question: “What does this win mean to you?”
“More opportunities,” the 60-year-old actor answered in front of reporters after winning the gold statue for Best Supporting Actor in Damien Chazelle‘s drama.
In “Whiplash,” Simmons plays Terence Fletcher, an abrasive, abusive and obsessive music professor who pushes promising young drumming student Andrew (Miles Teller) to his breaking point, all in the name of nurturing his innate talent. Simmons has a long history with the project, having first played the role in Chazelle’s short film of the same name.
An Oscar win will not only give the prolific character actor more opportunities, but perhaps more visibility with general moviegoing audiences as well.
“Well, maybe more people saw me tonight than see me in the [Farmers Insurance] commercials for the first time,” he quipped. “Because I know those are seen by more people than the films.”
The actor also put things in perspective with regard to the highs and lows he’s experienced in his long career.
“It’s definitely more tiring than the lean times,” he said of his current awards season high. “The lean times you get plenty of sleep. You’re not flying around everywhere. The lean times were wonderful, beautiful part of my life … I look back on those times with great fondness.”
Simmons will next be seen in “Terminator: Genisys” and will soon begin filming King Kong prequel “Kong: Skull Island.”
“Whiplash” is also up for Best Picture, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Writing – Adapted Screenplay at the 2015 Oscars.