J.K. Simmons says Tobey Maguire ‘Amenable’ to Spider-Man Sequel

     June 5, 2008

Written by Jonah Keel

While on the set of the comedy I LOE YOU MAN, actor JK SIMMONS (J Jonah Jameson in the SPIDERMAN films), let slip that he’d talked sequel with star Tobey Maguire.

JK- “I spoke to Tobey, uh, in I guess it was, y’know, February… y’know, sort of awards season time and, uh, y’know, he’s certainly amenable to doing some more.”

Simmons had more to say about SPIDERMAN sequels and his role in I LOVE YOU MAN.

Question- How’s it going?

JK- Fine thanks and you?

Question – Just saw you in the R rated trailer for burn after reading.

JK- So glad to know its R rated. That’s probably my fault. Or partially. Love that. Haven’t seen it yet.

Question – Tell us about your character in this.

JK- I’m the dad. Which seems to be who I am now. Ever since Juno I’m the dad. Although I’m not the dad in BURN AFTER READING. And my children keep getting older which is a little distressing. I’m apparently old enough to be Paul Rudd’s dad. But that’s okay ‘cause he looks … young and boyish. Yeah, I’m the dad. I’m the dad. I’m the dad. And Paul and Andy are the boys. And Rashida’s the girlfriend and hilarity ensues.

Question – You’re a funny dad?

JK- I-I hope so. I hope so. It was, Y’know, one of those scripts, not unlike BURN AFTER READING, in a different way… that y’know I got a hold of and actually laughed while reading which doesn’t happen all that often and, uh, y’know because it was really funny they were able to get a lot of really, really good people. Y’know, Paul, and Jason, and yada yada yada. And, we’re having a lot of fun, laughing our asses off as we make it. So, hopefully that translates to an audience.

Question – So Any says he was really excited to hear that you were approached for the role. Uh, did you know that he was a big fan of yours?

JK- I just assume that he’s a big fan of mine. Uh, ha Ha ha. No, I didn’t. Y’know it’s always a weird dynamic, y’know working with new people. Especially people that y’know… ‘cause most of the people in this film, I mean Jane Curtin is playing my wife, y’know, and that, I mean I look back to, what, y’know I don’t wanna make any age references. Ha ha. When I was first watching her, and y’know the first couple of years of Saturday Night Live and that… y’know, she’s … she’s an icon. Y’know? And a hilarious woman and a wonderful actress and all that. So it’s, uh, it’s really exciting to get to the point where you’re, you’re working with people, and even young people like Paul, Andy, Jason… y’know I’ve been a fan of these guys for a long time too. And uh, it’s just fun to be in a film with ‘em. Even that Shmuck Favreau.

Laughter ensues

Question – This is more, there’s definitely free reign to riff. Which is markedly different from a Coen Brother’s film.

JK- Couldn’t be more different. Because I mean, I literally kept trying to change “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST” to “JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST” ‘cause I thought it was funnier… no. Those, those guys are like Shakespeare and that’s absolute- that’s absolutely right for them. And you shouldn’t mess with them. You shouldn’t change a word with their scripts. And Hamburg’s script is, like, equally funny. But he just, he loves to riff on it. And, so we get to riff on it. And then he’ll be, y’know, over there in video village, an he’ll be throwing shit—in the middle of the scene we’ll hear this voice of god say a joke, and then we go, “Uh, which one of us is supposed to say that?” Y’know, and we keep rolling. We burn a lot of film on this.

Question – But when you do try to change A word on a Coen brothers film, what do they say exactly?

JK- Well it’s nothing, nothing like, you don’t get a slap on the wrist at all. It’s like, y’know, we got that one now, let’s do it y’know…now… and it’s all very nice and, y’know diplomatic, but, uh, y’know the script supervisor will come over and (points as he mimes script) “Remember?” Y’know? (As SCRIPT SUPERVISOR) “Here it is. These are the words.” (As self) “Oh yeah, yeah, right. Now I remember. Because something, y’know, a… a certain amount of and it’s not like every line, certainly in the Ladykillers –which is the first time I worked with them—there were little things that we changed along the way that, and or added… but, but it’s just not an improvisational atmosphere. They’re so prepared. I mean you get, uh, storyboards everyday with the sides on a Coen Brother’s movie. Y’know they’re so specific about knowing ahead of time about what the shot list is and this and that. And it’s, it’s like a totally different way of making an equally hilarious movie.

Question – Are you doing the CLOSER while you’re doing this?

JK- I am. I’m actually working there later today. Yeah. Which is, y’know, fortunately just a mile over that way. (Points.)

Question – So you’re not in Santa Clarita?

JK – Santa Clarita?

Question – I remember one time having to drive out to Santa Clarita for the-

JK- Oh no, no, I think that was just, just one scene in one episode. No, we’re right at Raliegh Studios which is very convenient. I rarely go on location, which is even more convenient. It’s going great. We’re, we’re just starting our fourth episode of our fourth season.

Question – So we know that James Vanderbilt just turned in a script for Spiderman 4 have they reached out to you yet or anything?

JK- They, y’know we, we sort of check in once in a while, they say, y’know, we want JK to do it. We don’t know where. We don’t know when. We don’t know who. We don’t know anything, y’know? They signed all of us for the first three films. Sam, Tobey, y’know all the way down the line to me and, y’know, we’ll see where it goes. I also, I mean its all conjecture and you guys probably know more than I do at this point. There was talk of doing four and five concurrently and I don’t know if they’re still considering that or not and, uh, y’know, I spoke to Tobey, uh, in I guess it was, y’know, February… y’know, sort of awards season time and, uh, y’know, he’s certainly amenable to doing some more and y’know, uh, hopefully we’ll be able to get everybody back and y’know, make another good one.

Question – Or a couple of ‘em?

JK- Couple, three, four, five! Whatever. Y’know, I could buy a bigger house.

Laughter ensues once more.

Question – You talk about, you’re doing the dad roles it’s kind of something that you do. Is there a way to get any kind of variation to the characters or is it kind of like a golf swing, don’t mess with it?

JK- Oh no, I, I mean, I, I try to, uh not do- even though I’m playing dads in, y’know, three or four films that are gonna be out in the next year that, I hope they’re, y’know, different dads, um, I mean I’m trying to, uh, y’know, even though… y’know when I first was doing OZ on HBO, whenever that was ten years ago or eleven or twelve, my first sort of exposure to being on camera, uh, every call my agent got was to play the Nazi of the week on some, y’know, whatever show. And, at the time, we were smart enough to just pass on everything because you don’t wanna play the same character over and over and over again. So, I mean, the dad that I’m playing in this… I did a dad in, uh, y’know, JUNO. Obviously. Uh, I , uh, I did a dad in a movie called POST GRADUATE SURVIVAL GUIDE , uh that’s gonna be out soon. Um, but a very different dad. This one is, yknow, this one is uh, a ribald comedy, a, a raunchy, raunchy comedy, but, uh, but still manages to have a, a real, uh, a real heart to it. I think it’s, I think it’s gonna be one of those films where you laugh loudly, and sort of are grossed out. Like a, yknow, whatever a Judd Apatow, Farrely Brothers kind of thing. But, uh, but afterwards y’know, it turns out to have been a real satisfying, y’know story, with people you can actually believe.

Question – This is definitely R rated material?

JK- I think it’s… y’know what? I don’t even know. There’s certainly nothing, y’know sexual or violent that would make it R rated. Just, just the number of Fucks they let us get away with. Basically all it comes down to, probably.

Question – Is there a sex scene with Jane?

JK- Jane and I will not, well not ON camera.

We all laugh again!

Question – Any teasers for the CLOSER? I know it’s all about power, but…

JK- Um, people will be killed and we will find out who did it.

Question – Important people?

JK- Oh, no, no.

Question – Taken out of context….

JK- Of course, important people. We are the priority, they are the priority murder squad. So, Uh. No, no there’s no, there’re no bombshells that I know of. And of course, of course if I did I wouldn’t tell you.

Question – I know the strike it’s pushed, but in the end it-

JK – No it’s just, we’re gonna debut about a month later and we’re actually gonna split up our season. I think we’re gonna do a ten episode run in the summer and then a five episode run in the winter. We’re doing the same number of episodes, so, it really doesn’t affect our schedule. Except that we just, uh, start later and finish later.

Question – So now that you’re part of the Coen Brother’s company, can we expect you come back with the next one?

JK- Really, really hope so. Um, y’know as with SPIDEMAN 4 we’re talking to people and some of them say my name from time to time, and, uh, I just hope for the best. ’Cause those guys are obviously high on my list of, y’know right there with Sam Raimi and, and John Hamburg and people that I would stand in line to work with again.

Question – What if Sam decides not to come back as a director but stays as a producer, would you guys still be-

JK- Well-

Question – Would you and the rest of the gang still come back.

JK- well, I can only speak for myself, but, y’know, but if Sam were not the director but was, still had a hand in it then I would certainly have a, a reasonable amount of faith in it. Y’know? Um, obviously if he’s the director I’m y’know, I’m there a 100%. If he’s not involved at all, which I think is VERY unlikely, then it would be uh, a situation that I would have to think about. But if he’s involved, hopefully directing or at least as a producer then, I, I’m pretty confident that it would be something that I wanna do. Plus they pay money.

Oh the chuckling that occurs now…

Question – Highlights of this shoot.

JK- Sitting around two different dinner tables for a total of, like, four days just blowing take after take because we were all just cracking each other up to much.

Question – Sounds pretty good?

JK- Lotta fun. Thank you.

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