Actor Spotlight is a feature in which the career of a singular actor is analysed. We discuss their life, career and the impact they had on their projects.
Spotlight #37 – JIMMI SIMPSON (WESTWORLD, BLACK MIRROR, Unsolved)
Prior to 2016, Jimmi Simpson was, by his own admission, best known for playing assorted ‘oddball’ characters across different television series.
Perhaps the most notable of the these roles was Liam McPoyle on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which he began playing in 2005 and last played in 2013.
Other earlier appearances included Breakout Kings, set in the Prison Break universe and House of Cards.
In 2016, Simpson landed the leading role of William in Jonathan Nolan’s HBO series Westworld.
A complex character with a rich arc and tragic turns, William was one of the more interesting characters on the show. His storyline in the first season featured Simpson primarily working with Evan Rachel Wood and Ben Barnes.
Westworld‘s success led Simpson to roles on other hit shows. He guest-starred in the first season of NBC’s This Is Us playing Andy, a suicidal colleague of Randall (Sterling K. Brown).
Additionally, he played Detective Russell Poole in Unsolved, a series about the murder investigations of Tupac and Biggie Smalls.
In 2017, Simpson appeared in USS Callister, an acclaimed episode of the anthology series Black Mirror, opposite Jesse Plemons and Cristin Milioti, where he played the dual role of James Walton and a digital clone of the same man.
A major part of Simpson’s performance is his character’s retelling of his son, Tommy’s death.
Having seen USS Callister quite soon after Westworld, it helped to separate the two roles.
Simpson has a main role in the series Perpetual Grace LTD, opposite Ben Kingsley, which premiered in June 2019.