J.K. Simmons has opened up about his “nerve-wracking” audition for the part of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
The 65-year-old confessed he was panic-stricken when he had to take part in an “old-school, classic camera test” in front of the filmmaker and several sceptical Sony executives to try and land the role of the bad-tempered Daily Bugle editor.
“The producers and the people at Sony, they needed to be convinced, because obviously, there were a lot of much more high-profile actors that they had in mind that would help with the box office,” Simmons told PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “It was very nerve-wracking.”
Despite previously working with Raimi on movies including For The Love of the Game, the Oscar-winning actor was determined to win over the director and the movie execs to snare the part by giving them an audition to remember.
“It included a scene where the Green Goblin breaks through the windows and picks me up by the throat, lifts me up in the air, and is strangling me,” Simmons recalled. “I’m holding the script pages, reading the scene on the audition, but then at the same time, trying to…. (makes a strangling noise), pretending I’m being lifted by the neck and choked.”
The Whiplash actor was eventually hired and played the newspaper editor in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, which starred Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging superhero.
And Simmons has become so beloved as J. Jonah Jameson that director Jon Watts didn’t consider hiring another actor to play the character for last year’s flick Spider-Man: Far From Home, in which the editor has small role at the end of the movie.
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