J.K. Simmons Recalls How He Found Out He Was Cast in Spider-Man

After two decades, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else playing J. Jonah Jameson other than J.K. Simmons. Back in 2002, Simmons made his debut in the role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, the first installment of a trilogy. While Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies are set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Simmons plays a different version of the same character in the upcoming sequel Spider-Man: No Way Home.

On the Spotify Original podcast 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt, Simmons discussed his role in the Spider-Man franchise. He can still remember where he was when he first learned he got the role, and thanks to the internet, the news came to him prematurely before he’d even gotten the official call back from his agent. As the actor explains, a stranger who read the news of his casting on the internet congratulated him before he even knew he had the part.


“Getting the call itself was interesting because this was 21 years ago, I was in New York and I had really just transitioned from being a theater actor that nobody knew to doing some film and television. I was at a voiceover audition at Grey Advertising. I’m going back to the recording booth and weaving through some of the cubicles when this desk chair comes flying out in front of me backward with some kid and he goes ‘Oh my God, J.K., congratulations!’ And I go, ‘Thank you. For what?’ and he goes ‘Are you kidding me? Spider-Man! J. Jonah Jameson, that’s so cool!’ and I was like ‘I did not know that.’ I found out I got the part from this kid because they had that info on some Spider-Man fansite before my agent called me. He called me like three hours later.”

Fans are more than okay with J.K. Simmons sticking around as J. Jonah Jameson throughout the different Marvel continuities. Because it’s a new version of JJJ, however, Marvel originally envisioned a much different look for the Daily Bugle editor. While he no longer has his flat top, Simmons previously revealed how the Spider-Man team wanted him to shave his mustache as well. This was where Simmons put his foot down, understanding that the hair was one thing, but it couldn’t be J. Jonah Jameson without the familiar facial hair.

“[They said] ‘No, we don’t want you to have the flat-top haircut,’ and I was like, ‘Wait, wait, wait. What?’ It was a negotiation then at that point,” the actor said on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast. “Obviously, the most important thing is that he’s still the same blowhard and he does have the same damn mustache, close to it, and cigar at least.”

J.K. Simmons can be seen reprising the role of J. Jonah Jameson once again in Spider-Man: No Way Home, due to be released in theaters on Dec. 17. he can also be seen playing I Love Lucy actor William Frawley in the Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz biopic Being the Ricardos. That movie will be released on Dec. 10. This news comes to us from 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt.

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