J.K. Simmons revealed the unorthodox screen test he performed to play J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies
In the pantheon of comic book movie castings, few are as iconic or memorable as J.K. Simons playing J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Simmons managed to bring the Daily Bugle's ferocious temperament editor-in-chief to life, adding humor and a little heart to his acting. However, the casting process was not so simple and direct for the actor.
Simmons was a recent guest on PeopleTV’s CouchSurfing, where he revealed he had to go through a classic screen test to win over skeptical Sony executives. "The producers and the people at Sony needed to convince themselves, because obviously they had a lot more high-profile actors they had in mind that would help with the box office," said Simmons.
For the screen test, Simmons was asked to read the scene in which the Green Goblin attacked the Daily Bugle, questioning Jameson about the identity of the photographer taking the photos of Spider-Man. "I'm holding up the pages of the script, reading the scene at the audition, but at the same time, trying to ... pretend to lift me by the neck and drown me." Simmons explained it, imitating being strangled.
Simmons portrayed Jameson in all three Raimi Spider-Man movies and would reprise the role in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. After more than a decade, he reprized Jameson, this time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He made his second debut in a post-credits scene for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
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