Jk Simmons: ‘I still get emotional – how could the universe be so unfair?’

As Hollywood’s go-to character actor for kindly dads and stoic cops, Simmons was used to being overlooked for the big roles.

But since winning an Oscar, he finally gets to play the lead – twiceJk Simmons knows there was an irony in winning the Oscar for best supporting actor, which he did three years ago for playing the bullying jazz teacher in Whiplash.

It was only after 30 years of buttressing other people’s stories – from playing the father of a pregnant teenager in Juno to chomping cigars as Peter Parker’s editor-in-chief in Spider-Man – that the newly coronated character actor got bumped up to a leading role.Or really, twin lead roles in the case of his byzantine TV thriller Counterpart, where Simmons takes centre stage as Howard Alpha and Howard Prime, a pair of clones forged in the last years of the cold war when East German scientists accidentally created a parallel Earth.

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