Oscars 2015: J.K. Simmons Opens Up About His Sentimental Acceptance Speech

The "Whiplash" star won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

February 22, 2015, 9:33 PM

— -- J.K. Simmons started the Oscars off on a sentimental note by thanking his family during his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor.

The "Whiplash" star told reporters backstage that he didn't expect his words to make such an impression.

"I was somewhat taken aback by the response from people that I don't know," he said. "I said most of what I wanted to say. ... I never go up there scripted really, so most of it came out."

Simmons, 60, opened up about his career, admitting that the "lean times were a wonderful and beautiful part of my life," and reflected that he looks back on doing regional theater for little money with "great fondness." However, winning an Oscar was also pretty great.

"Maybe more people saw me tonight than see me in the [insurance] commercials for the first time!" he said. "This is the cherry on top of this extraordinary experience that 'Whiplash' has been for me."

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