The 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards took place on Jan. 11, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Mr. Simmons, is there anyone you wish you would have said thank you to, whom you didn’t have time to thank in your acceptance speech?
Honestly, there are thousands of people I would like to say thank you to. If I took the time to say thank you to everyone I would honestly like to thank, Richard Linklater would have to make the movie and be 12 years in the making. But speaking of “Oz,” Tom Fontana, there’s a guy I’d like to thank. Dozens, hundreds of people I would like to thank. Again, I’ll go back to a few of the people I did thank. My family are always at the top of the list, whether it’s my parents or my wife and kids.
Looking back on your life and career, is there one day that stands out to you as one of the best days of your life?
Two nights ago was awesome because it was my 60th birthday and we were in New York where I spent a third of my life. I just did the math recently. It is not exactly “The Imitation Game,” but I did the math.
My wife threw me a party, not a surprise, but a party with a bunch of old New York friends that I rarely get to see, and it was both disconcerting and really awesome to be the only guy in the room that knew everybody else in the room because it was people I knew from different parts of my life, cousins from both sides, my wife and kids and a lot of good friends. That was really cool.
Since “Whiplash” is a Sony Pictures Classic release, after what’s happened at Sony with the hacking scandal, has that affected your view of the studio and has it changed your decision making about whether you would ever work there on any of their films?
This is going to sound like a total lie, but I honestly have no idea because I don’t read anything outside of the sports page. I know it seems completely unbelievable that I wouldn’t know a lot of details of a lot of the emails that people have been busted on. All I know is a lot of emails that should have been private have been made public. Honestly, I don’t know who said what about whom. Swear to God. I promise.
In “Whiplash,” your character uses a very strong form of tough love to encourage talent. What was the best way to encourage talent in you and, if you recognize someone with talent now, what advice would you give them or what fire would you light under them?
What works best with me to answer your first question is definitely a much kinder, gentler approach. I don’t respond well to being screamed at or physically abused, and fortunately have had very few occasions where I have had to deal with anyone close to that.
You know, honestly, the best advice I would give to a young artist, musician or actor or whatever, is just to keep doing it and to work hard at developing a strong foundation, whether it’s working your scales when you’re a musician or getting to class if you’re an actor, working on stage. Work hard on the fundamentals.
I had a brilliant choir director when I was in college. We were working on an inordinately difficult piece of music, and it was really, really hard. And at one point when people were getting frustrated, he said we have to get this note perfect, rhythm perfect, balance perfect, then we can start to make music. I think it is really important to get the fundamentals.
As soon as you won, Twitter went nuts with people making “Spider-Man” and commercial insurance jokes. What do you get recognized for the most?
I get portal too a lot, which is a video game I did a voice on and recently there was a guy who said. “I saw you in 1994 off-Broadway in “Das Barbecu.” It runs the gamut, there’s plenty of Jameson, which is something to be recognized for. Probably more people will see the Farmers commercial, and that’s actually a fun thing to do. You can tell if it is “Oz” or “Whiplash.” They approach me very differently.
How are you going to be celebrating tonight and is there anyone you’re looking forward to celebrating with tonight?
Miles [Teller] and Damien [Chazelle] and Helen [Estabrook]. And I am not sure who else from this movie and then this is a ridiculous, awesome room to be a part of. Not this one; this one’s OK. I mean the other big room with all the movie stars and stuff.
I am looking forward to being back there for some of the commercial breaks to catch up with some old friends and colleagues that I have worked with and hopefully meet some new people that I have been wanting to meet. I got to meet Benedict Cumberbatch in Palm Springs, and then he was up on stage helping give an award.
For more info: Golden Globe Awards website
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