J.K. Simmons BAFTA 2015 Winners Interview

J.K. Simmons won the BAFTA for  best supporting actor for his portrayal of the ferocious music teacher bullying Miles Teller towards drumming greatness in Whiplash. He spoke about working with director Damien Chazelle, young co-star Miles Teller and future projects including King Kong reboot Skull Island. Read a full transcript of his winners press conference interview below:

This is your tempo I would imagine?

Yes it’s a Very Good tempo. Yes an acceptable tempo.

How does it feel to win a BAFTA? Is it still sinking in?

Yes it is, It’s brilliant to be thought of on this side of the pond as well.

Tell us about the connection between this feature and the original short with director Damien?

Well the feature was actually written first. The short was made as a proof of concept actually, because oddly nobody in Hollywood wanted to throw millions of dollars at a guy who had no track record and a script about a Jazz Drummer. So yeah he distilled the short film from the feature script. It came in that order and obviously he’s force to be reckoned with.

Did you perception of the character change between the short and feature?

No not really it evolved a little bit. It solidified. But I had read the whole script before I shot the short so it was a character that was so clear on the page that it was just about doing my best to lift it off.

How important do you think Miles Teller was in helping your performance and the success of the film?

I was so glad to see Miles on the list of nominees here tonight and in my view he’s not getting his due in his award season. But I think we can chalk that up to youth and maybe the perception that he hasn’t paid his dues yet, but he’s a brilliant young actor.

How much has the success of this role affected you?

There are more offers coming my way. More interesting offers and more significant roles. Just bigger parts. So that’s been a big plus for this experience. I’m certainly not trying to look  to repat Fletcher so I’m looking of things that are different.

Where you nervous about working with a director with comparatively little experience?

I suspected that it might but he’s such a complete filmmaker despite his lack of youth and real hands on experience. That was one of the great parts of doing the short film that I very quickly felt that was in really good hands. Having worked with masterful directors like Sam Rami, Jason Reitman and the Coen brothers I’d definitely put Damien without hesitation in that category.

How pleased are you to see so many indie films triumphing this awards season?

Well I think anything that is at all untraditional is a tough pitch in Hollywood. It’s a business and there’s money at stake but I think the fact that so many films that are thinking outside the box are getting so much awards attention this year will help to broaden the horizon of movies that can get made. I’ve heard the quote several times recently that making a movie is really pretty easy compared to getting a movie made and hopefully this will open the doors for other interesting films.

You’re making King Kong film Skull Island next what made you say yes to that project?

Honestly it never would have occurred to me directly. But then Spider-Man wouldn’t have occurred to me either. I will say again in all candour when the idea was presented to me that there’s a new version of King Kong being made my response was “Why would anyone do that?” But having met with our director and knowing that Tom Hiddleston was already attached. My meeting with the director just convinced me that there was a good chance that this could be a really wonderful film.

Are you looking forward to the Oscars?

I’m just really pleased to be here and to be holding this mask with one eye blinking. If there are more to come then that will be delightful as well.

Finally, what do you see as the biggest challenges facing the film industry now?

There are always gigantic challenges facing Hollywood and the film industry elsewhere as well. I think Hollywood has spread across the state and sort of across the globe. There are ever present challenges and I think for Hollywood the biggest form a business perspective is really just making sure the interesting, intelligent, challenging movies just get a chance to get made.

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