Under the Influence: How J.K. Simmons prepares by not preparing

January 20, 2015 7:16 PM

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His jaw-dropping performance as a brutal music teacher in Whiplash earned him his first Golden Globe, and an Oscar may soon follow. To get into character, Simmons leaned on instinct rather than research. EW asked about his other memorable roles and learned his one rule: Never overprepare.

Whiplash, as Terence Fletcher, abusive music instructor, 2014 When I first met [director] Damien [Chazelle], he wanted to alleviate any fears that I had about the musical aspects of the character. He assured me that we’d have a technical adviser on set who could help me. If we needed to use body dou...

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