Jimmi Simpson on the Roles He Plays and Why He Still Feels the Need to Still “Prove” Himself

Actor Jimmi Sipmson

“Because of taking what you can get when you’re a funny-looking character actor, has led me to have a very specific résumé that I’m very proud of.” – Jimmi Simpson

Until a 17 episode stint on Netflix’s House of Cards, perhaps actor Jimmi Simpson‘s most notable role was playing an intern in a recurring segment on The Late Show with David Letterman. However, Simpson has appeared on a number of television series (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Newsroom, Hap and Leonard) until making another major career move by appearing as William on HBO’s Westworld and on Epix’s new Perpetual Grace LTD. Nonetheless, the Emmy-nominated actor has become a go-to character actor. He recently spoke to Vanity Fair about his career into “Leading-ish Man” territory.

Reflecting on the supporting roles that he plays in his projects, Simpson remarks, “A lot of the characters I play are [there]to spike the punch of the story. You have this story and everyone’s brilliant, and then you need something kind of interesting to happen. That’s a lot of the parts that I get. ”

In fact, in the interview Simpson reveals that he had turned down leading roles in projects in order to seek more meaningful supporting roles. He explains, “But I feel like the specificity of my career that I’ve gotten unwittingly, because of taking what you can get when you’re a funny-looking character actor, has led me to have a very specific résumé that I’m very proud of. It’s kind of singular in my eyes. I like that it’s a little different, a little weird, and there’s not too much mainstream [stuff]for mainstream sake on it.”

Because of that, Simpson still needs to work hard to land each role he is cast in. Regarding the fact that he is still fighting for parts in this stage of his career, he says, “On every single thing I do, I have to prove to them and to myself that there’s some logical reason that they would invite me to be a part of a production that costs millions of dollars. I do take it really seriously.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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