Warner Bros.

You have leverage when you establish yourself as a versatile actor with decades of experience. There are parts you can turn down because you don't have to worry about when the next offer will follow. Being in demand makes it easy to "pick and choose," especially if you're one of those actors who prefer to stay away from jobs that don't appeal to you.

J.K. Simmons, known for his role in The Closer, has an extensive list of credits that showcase his diverse acting abilities. However, he tends to steer clear of a particular type of role: historical figures (with a few exceptions).

"It's something I've consciously avoided the majority of the time," the actor told GQ Magazine in 2021. "With the exception of a writer like Aaron (Sorkin, director of Being the Ricardos), 'biopics' as a genre don't appeal to me as an actor or an audience member."

Why? Because something about biopics makes it hard to "have that willing suspension of disbelief."

"...no matter how good the actors are—especially if they're portraying someone who has been in our homes on TV since 1950, or even a 20th century president. I just have a hard time believing it. So, I've only done it a couple of times."

Of those few times, Simmons portrayed William Frawley, mostly known for his character Fred Mertz, on Lucille Ball's I Love Lucy. What about the role made Simmons dive into a genre he wasn't fond of?

"Ultimately, it was everything Aaron put on paper. I think what people don't discuss enough about Aaron as a writer is his heart. It's so impeccable, the way he constructs stories—for TV or films. And now as the writer and director, he's become such a complete filmmaker."

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