EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: J.K. Simmons Discusses AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA & Playing J. Jonah Jameson
Many CBM fans know Simmons for his fantastic performance as the head honcho of the Daily Bugle in the Raimi Spider-Man films. Also many may know him for his role as Assistant Chief Will Pope in TNT series The Closer which will be entering its eighth and final season this year.
The actor known for his role as the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, took the time to answer a few questions via email regarding his roles in the upcoming Legend of Korra and Ultimate Spider-Man.
I was lucky and thrilled to get the opportunity to ask him some questions via email regarding his character, Tenzin, in the Legend of Korra and playing J. Jonah Jameson in animated and live-action form.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
You bet. I hope this works, despite my complete incompetence with all technology.
Fans know that in the upcoming Avatar: The Legend of Korra your character, Tenzin, is the son of Aang and Korra's Airbending instructor; what else can you tell us about him?
Not unlike the actor who provides his voice, he's bald. And very virile. And wise. And attractive...
Does the fact that Tenzin's father was the Avatar before Korra cause any strain between them when they first meet?
That's one of many things that contributes to difficulty in their relationship.
How did you get involved in the new Avatar series?
The old fashioned way. As I recall, (which I often do incorrectly) I auditioned for this one.
If you could bend any element which would you want and why?
Air. That way you can basically fly, which is my favorite G-rated fantasy.
You are voicing JJJ in the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man, does this version differ in any way from the on screen version you played?
He's the same old penny-pinching, self centered, egotistical blowhard, basically.
Were you approached to voice JJJ?
Yep. No audition for that one. Kind of a slam dunk.
I read that in the Spider-Man films your role involved a lot of improv. With the animated series do you have that same freedom?
Not nearly as much. Animated work in general is more tightly scripted.
Is there a superhero you would love to see developed to be the next break-out hero franchise?
Can't think of one. The ones I really know are already on the big screen.
What are your thoughts on the re-booted Spider-Man and the choice of Lizard as the villain?
I think Lizard was going to be the bad guy either way. I don't know much about the re-boot, other than JJJ doesn't appear in it, I hear.
If you had gotten to play JJJ one more time, what would you have liked to do with the character? Does he have a specific storyline or scene that you would like to have done?
I think JJJ was always a nice little dose of comic relief and a bit of a pain in the ass for Peter Parker, and that's how I liked it. Anything that puts JJJ in an uncomfortable situation would be fun.
Do you think comic book movies are here to stay or do you think they have a shelf life?
I think the audience will continue to be there if the movies are good.
What do you feel are the pros and cons of voice-acting over live-action acting?
It's nice not to have to shave and put on make-up and spend 90% of your day waiting around, but it's also nice to be lucky enough to be doing both. Variety is a beautiful thing.
Are there any other projects on the way that you would like our readers to know about?
We just finished the 8th (and final) season of The Closer, which will air in the summer, and I have a small part in a really wonderful movie called "The Words" starring Bradley Cooper that's getting a lot of attention at Sundance right now and I hope will get a good release. Another one in the can is a wacky mockumentary comedy called "Geezers" which is in post and will be looking for distribution. Also a couple of animated projects and a few indie films in development. And I'm selling a little insurance on the side...
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