Why you love to hate J.K. Simmons in ‘Whiplash’ (exclusive video)

When I tell “Whiplash” star J.K. Simmons that 14 of Gold Derby’s 20 Experts predict he’ll win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, he roars humorously, “Only 14? What’s wrong with you guys?!”

But then the longtime character actor admits he’s truly surprised to be discussed, finally, in Oscar terms: “Given the nature of my career, it’s not something I’m accustomed to.”

Simmons has overwhelming odds (17/10) among our Experts to win for many reasons.

He gives one of the giant, sledgehammer performances of 2014 as a monstrous music teacher hellbent on driving his student (Miles Teller) to be the best drummer on the planet. It’s really such a huge role emotionally and in terms of screen time that it dwarfs most rivals in the supporting race.

And it helps that Simmons portrays a monster. Years ago Oscar voters used to spurn evil roles, but nowadays they embrace villains if they’re the kind moviegoers perversely root for. Consider such recent Oscar champs in this category as Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”), Heath Ledger (“The Dark Knight”) and Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”).

Who do you predict will win Best Supporting Actor? Make your early picks now — click here — they impact Gold Derby’s official racetrack odds that give heart attacks to Hollywood execs and stars, so please join the fun. You can change your predix as often as you wish and we encourage frequent tweaks so we can track the latest momentum in the Oscar derby. Best predictions win $1,000 prize. The 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See who’s in our current Top 24 and their early Oscar predictions. Meet the guy who won our contest to predict Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the Golden Globes, Grammys, “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “Dancing with the Stars” and more.

Below: Watch our exclusive chat with Simmons.

Also read: Gold Derby Oscar MVP: Miles Teller bleeds for awards attention in ‘Whiplash

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