J.K. Simmons recalls his Spider-Man audition, teases his future in the MCU
Though it's now nigh-impossible to imagine anyone else playing hot-tempered Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson — so much so that director Jon Watts never considered another actor for the character's Spider-Man: Far From Home cameo — snaring the role wasn't as easy for J.K. Simmons as you might think.
In the latest episode of PeopleTV's Couch Surfing, the actor recalls his experience auditioning for Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man film. Though he had worked with the director on two prior movies, Simmons had to do, as he puts it, an "old-school, classic camera test" to win over skeptical executives. "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 says. "It was very nerve-wracking."
Nor was it as simple as that. "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 recalls. "I'm holding the script pages, reading the scene on the audition, but then at the same time, trying to…" (here he makes a hilariously cartoonish strangling noise) "…pretending I'm being lifted by the neck and choked."
Asked if audiences can expect to see him in the next MCU Spider-Man film after his post-credits Far From Home appearance, the actor replies, "I don't know if I would use the word expect." He explains that he signed on to do sequels, but the studio isn't obligated to use him in subsequent films. Still, he seems to bear no ill will about this: "It's great to have the opportunity, as these things evolve, to be one of the holdovers from the previous version."
Watch the video above for more from Simmons.