J.K. Simmons: I Just 'Pretend to Be that Smart' in The Accountant

J.K. Simmons in The Accountant
J.K. Simmons in The Accountant

J.K. Simmons Says The Accountant Required Him to ‘Pretend to Be Smart’

Like many of the characters in  “The Accountant,” the thriller starring Ben Affleck as a money man moonlighting for the mob, Treasury agent Raymond King may not be all that he appears at first glance, which is exactly how J.K. Simmons likes it.

“The character got to be where he is by being really smart,” Simmons tells Made in Hollywood reporter Kylie Erica Mar of his alter ego King. “As is the case of most of the characters I play, they are a lot smarter than I am, so I just have to pretend to be that smart.”

It was just this sort of deception and multi-layered, twisting story in the script that drew Simmons to “The Accountant.”

“It’s successful on so many levels,” he says. “It’s an action movie, it’s a drama, it’s a character study, it’s a soapbox movie about what is the nature of autism and people on the spectrum and how do we view people who are different. There’s a love story. There’s comedy. To me, everything you go to a movie theatre wanting to see. I was thrilled.”

How Whiplash Played a Role in J.K. Simmons Starring in The Accountant

That, and the chance to work with Gavin O’Connor, who spent much of their first meeting gushing about “Whiplash,” the film that earned Simmons an Oscar.

“He spent the first 10 or 12 minutes going on and on and on about ‘Whiplash’ — in a way that a lot of people were, and justifiably so,” says Simmons. “(But) it was never any feeling of this sort of synchophantic, I’m-going-to-kiss-up-to-this-actor sort of thing because I want him to be in my movie. It was his intelligence about movies and his passion for making movies and telling stories that matter. … We hadn’t even started talking about ‘The Accountant’ before I knew this was a guy I want to work with.”