Los Angeles: JK Simmons predictably took home the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as a bullying jazz instructor in “Whiplash” at the 87th Academy Awards. The 60-year-old character actor had picked up almost every supporting actor award of the season, including the Golden Globe, the Critics’ Choice, the SAG and the BAFTA.
The actor was presented with the first award of the ceremony by last year’s best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong’o. Simmons’, who has three children with his wife of 19 years, Michelle Schumacher, used his time on stage to encourage people to have more human interaction, especially with their parents. “And I am grateful everyday for the most remarkable person I know: my wife, the wonderful Michelle Schumacher… Which brings me to the above-average children—even though I may try their patience more. Joe and Olivia, you are extraordinary human beings,” Simmons said.
“…I have told this [to], like, a billion people, or so. Call your mom, call your dad. If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text.Don’t email. Call them on the phone,” he added. “Whiplash” sees Simmons play Fletcher, an abusive jazz conductor at the top repertory in the US who terrorises young drumming student Andrew (Miles Teller). Simmons created one of the most compelling villains of the year in a category that often rewards such performances. This is his first Oscar win. The Damien Chazelle-directed indie favourite premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January last year.
Arguably without his performance, “Whiplash” would not have been the critical and awards success that it’s today. Simmons, who has been an in-the-trenches working actor for years, made the movie sing with his role of a teacher from hell. Other notable performances nominated were Robert Duvall in “The Judge”, Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood”, Edward Norton in “Birdman” and Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”.