Aaron Sorkin (1979) on J.K. Simmons: ‘There Was Only One Actor I Wanted’

Everybody in the industry seems to like and admire J.K. Simmons, and why wouldn’t they? He’s talented, versatile, dependable and affable. The fan club includes Aaron Sorkin, writer-director of Amazon’s “Being the Ricardos,” for which Simmons is Oscar-nominated as supporting actor.

Sorkin’s last seven screenplays have centered on real people, but he tells Variety he doesn’t picture the person, or any actor, when writing. “But in the case of William Frawley, there was only one actor I wanted. Frawley and J.K. is the closest I’ve come to writing a part for an actor.”

Sorkin’s appreciation began 30 years ago, when his “A Few Good Men” was a big Broadway hit. In a dual phone interview, Sorkin relates, “J.K. understudied the Colonel, which Jack Nicholson played in the movie. I heard J.K. was going on so I went to see, and he blew the doors off the theater. It was incredible.”


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