Belfast Telegraph

J.K. Simmons: I’ve always been grateful

J.K. Simmons thinks people who work in emergency services “need our help”.

The 60-year-old won his first Oscar last month for his role in Whiplash. Despite being in the acting world for many years, the recognition he has received for the part has reached dizzying new heights, but he doesn’t take any of it for granted.

“Absolutely,” he replied when asked by Fox News if he appreciated his Academy Award more because it came later in life. “I was grateful when I was in my 20s and 30s I was in New York and doing theatre and a lot of it all over the country and finally a few years ago on Broadway and it’s been a very gradual progression for me and my career and I’ve been grateful every step of the way.”

With his new level of fame, J.K. is receiving a lot more attention from the press. A recent story was published about him paying for a policeman’s lunch, but the actor says this is not a new gimmick to maintain the column inches. For him it’s just another way to show his gratitude to people who do extremely tough jobs.

“It tends to happen at this one Mexican joint we [he and his wife] go to in L.A. Firefighters, cops, paramedics, you know, these are some of the most underpaid and important – right up there with nurses and teachers, in my book – the professions that, you know, deserve our help,” he explained. “It’s just a little thing that we can do. And we’ve been doing it for a long time and of course, now that I’m Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons it gets a lot more attention, but it really was my wife’s idea in the first place.”

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