Jimmi Simpson was born on November 21, 1975 in Hackettstown, New Jersey, USA as James Raymond Simpson. He is an actor, known for Westworld (2016), Date Night (2010) and House of Cards (2013).
James Raymond “Jimmi” Simpson was born on November 21, 1975 in Hackettstown, New Jersey, USA as James Raymond Simpson. Jimmi is the youngest of three brothers. His parents encouraged him and his two older brothers to do “whatever makes you happy”. They supported his acting aspirations, including the move from New Jersey to New York, where he could concentrate on theatrical roles. Jimmi used to do theater in High School. He had excellent SAT scores. When he graduated high school he chose an affordable state college. Originally he had attended for a business and english. Jimmi has admitted in various interviews that he wasn’t a motivated student in high school or his early college years.
While at Bloomsberg University he signed up for an Introduction to Theatre class at the end of his sophomore year, thinking it would be easy: a mass lecture class he could skip whenever he wanted. And that’s what he did until his theatre arts professor Karen Anselm, who he insists is “one of the greatest teachers in the world,” told him he could pass the course only if he worked hard on the final. “The final was the first time I put my heart and soul into it.” And he loved it. “I spent my junior and senior years as a theatre major. I worked hard the last couple years of college.” Outside of class, he appeared in BU Players productions, including his role of John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, directed by the late Michael Collins.
After graduating from Bloomsburg University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater, he worked in theater at the Flat Rock Playhouse in Flat Rock, North Carolina. He then spent four seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts where he met Charlie Day and Sterling K. Brown. “I went and got an apprenticeship at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where I had to pay them. I had a motorcycle, and I sold it for two grand and gave the money to Williamstown. In return, they let me build their set along with like 50 other young actors who had no experience and just wanted to be close to the business.” He first met his agent during a master class held by a comedian. His stand-up routine was seen by the comedian’s agent, who signed him. “I took a stand-up class taught by Lewis Black. As we were performing our ridiculous bits in front of our friends, [Black] came in with his agent, who was there to see him do a play. It was this lucky situation where [the agent] happened to see me, liked what I was doing, and said, ‘I’d like to send you out for work.’”
Charlie and Jimmi began living together in the late 90s in New York City. They would use a $500 camcorder that Jimmi had and use it as an outlet to create characters, both trying to crack each other up. During this time Jimmi had access to Lower Eastside productions which he would do for free.
In 1998 he starred as Omar in The Blue Demon at Williamstown Theatre Festival. During 1999, he starred in two plays as Bum in the window in Camino Real and as Artiba in Quark Victory. He also starred as farmhand in a theater adaptation of The Rainmaker alongside Woody Harrelson.
In 2000, Jimmi’s first film “Loser” released. He starred as the character ‘Noah‘ The film focuses on a college student (Jason Biggs), branded a loser by his roommates (Jimmi’s character Noah is one of the roommates) and booted from the dorm, falls in love with a coed who has eyes for their condescending professor. The feature was directed and written by Amy Heckerling. It had a Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) of PG-13 for drug content, crude sexual material and language. Filming of the feature occurred in New York and Canada. A fun fact of the film is the music video of the song “Teenage Dirtbag” from Wheatus features the characters of this film, and the song is part of the soundtrack. Also that year, in theater, he starred as A pizza guy in The Hot L Baltimore, Fred Bailey in The Skin of Our Teeth and Jimmie Horlick in Star Chamber in Tonight at 8:30. He also appeared as the character Richard in the UPN series The Beat.
During 2001; He starred as Alex in the short film Slo-Mo. In theater he starred as Apartment Hunter/Fred Cullen in Street Scene, as A lord in The Winter’s Tale and as A brilliant mute in The Stranger. In 2002; Jimmi starred in one mini series, one short film. two television series as well as one theater project. Television included Jimmi as Sean Townsend in the episode “Forgive Me, Father,” for the Lifetime series The Division and the character Chris in the Fox series 24 for three episodes. Theater included him as Damis in the production of Tartuffe at the La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California. Additionally, he starred as Kevin Bollinger in the mini series Rose Red about a group of people with psychic powers that are invited to spend the night in a haunted house. The series is scripted by horror novelist Stephen King. He also starred in a 24 minute length short film titled Slo-Mo as Alex, the short film was directed by John Krokidas, written by Zeke Farrow and John Krokidas and his co-stars include Katherine Moennig and Leslie Marotz.
In 2003, Jimmi starred as Mike in the episode “Bottoms Up” of series NYPD Blue, Brian Baye in the episode “Churchgoing People” of CBS series Cold Case. The episode is about an Alzheimer’s inflicted widow of a slain church organist who begins having flashbacks about her husband’s murder. This leads the main character of the series Lilly to reopen the case. Once the widow is returned home it is discovered that years ago her husband, the victim, Mitchell Baye, was found stabbed, left in an alley in a seedy part of town. Mitchell’s widow, Charlotte Baye, remembers that she was suspicious that he was cheating on her with a fellow church member. Charlotte’s son, Ryan, who is also her keeper, asks Lilly to close the investigation, and Charlotte’s estranged daughter, Tina, who hasn’t seen Ryan who she was so close to in years, also wishes to keep the case closed. He also starred as Chad in Final Draft which had been directed and written by Oren Goldman and Stav Ozdoba and an unknown character in a short entitled The Academy that centers around three parking lot attendants who look like morons but speak like philosophers that burn away the midnight hours by debating life and the existence of God. Jimmi also starred in a short film titled Boldfish; A 16mm MOS short film shot while at Brooks Institute of Photography. Directed by Josh Trank.
During 2004, one film starring Jimmi released. It was Angela Robinson’s D.E.B.S., which had previously been a short film. The feature centers around four plaid-skirted schoolgirls who are groomed by a secret government agency to become the newest members of an elite national-defense group. He starred as the character Scud; alongside Jordana Brewster’s Lucy Diamond. The film had been given a Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) of PG-13 for sexual content and language and had been filmed entirely in California.
In 2005, Jimmi had a film and two series release. The film; Herbie Fully Loaded starred Jimmi as Crash alongside the Lindsay Lohan’s Maggie Peyton. The premise centers around Maggie Peyton, the new owner of Number 53 – the free-wheelin’ Volkswagen bug with a mind of its own who puts the car through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor. The film had been given a Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) of G. Series’ included – First: two episodes of HBO’s Carnivàle as Lee a member of a bizarre moonshiners’ camp that Nick Stahl’s ‘Ben’ stumbles upon while setting out to find some people who knew Scudder. And second: One episode of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Liam McPoyle who seems to, in this episode, live with his brother Ryan McPoyle. In the episode Charlie finds out that the two of them are planning to send their elementary school gym teacher to jail.
During 2006; Jimmi starred as David Hayes in two episodes of Greg Garcia’s NBC comedy series My Name Is Earl, as Big Brother in the feature film Seraphim Falls based around the end of the Civil War, where a colonel hunts down a man with whom he has a grudge. The film is directed by David Von Ancken and also stars Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson. As Phineus in the thriller/horror feature film Stay Alive directed by William Brent Bell and also stars Jon Foster, Samaire Armstrong, and Frankie Muniz. And reprized his role as Liam McPoyle for another episode of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in which Liam decides to stab Charlie with a form to pay him back for turning on them in the previous episode that Jimmi had starred in. This year six short film like videos were published to youtube starring Jimmi and some of his friends, entitled Beer; “2 guys have a visitor while drinking a beer”. Drug Lord; “Three fucked-up hoods meet up to deliver a package to the man. Based on the novella “Eat My Shit Everybody!” by Germ Hansem. Comedy. Charlie Day, David Hornsby, Logan Marshal-Green, Jimmi Simpson” Mousey; “A dog wanders into a dark basement and recalls the ritual death-fights practiced by it’s previous tenants. Featuring the music of GoodShirt. Starring GoodShirt. Directed by the Stitch Brothers.” Killer Apartment; “A madman is looking to rent out his apartment. He gets violent. Comedy.” Speedwagon; “A video for lovers of the REO.” and Quit Smoking; “A man attempts to quit smoking… it’s very hard for him. He goes apeshit.”
In 2007; Jimmi starred as Philo T. Farnsworth in The Farnsworth Invention in which he won a Theatre World Award for. The project is a stage play by Aaron Sorkin adapted from an unproduced screenplay about Philo Farnsworth’s invention of television signal transmission and David Sarnoff, the RCA president who stole the design. The first preview of the play was held on October 15, 2007. There were a total of 34 previews. The play opened to the public on December 03, 2007. The play was produced by Dodger Properties, Steven Spielberg and Rabbit Ears, LLC. Written by Aaron Sorkin with original music by Andrew Lippa and Des McAnuff directed the project. He starred in a web series titled Girltrash! as the character Valentine. In the feature film Zodiac as Mike Mageau; also Itty Bitty Titty Committee as Chris and two additional episodes of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Liam McPoyle.
During 2008; Jimmi continued his portrayal of Philo T. Farnsworth in The Farnsworth Invention until March 3rd of 2008. He also received a nomination from The Drama League Awards for Distinguished Performance and won a Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Philo T. Farnsworth in The Farnsworth Invention. He went on stage for Don’t Quit Your Night Job in February. Created and hosted by writer/performers Steve Rosen, David Rossmer, Sarah Saltzberg and music director Dan Lipton it is known as the late night happening where Broadway goes to let its hair down. He starred in one episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Thomas ‘Tom’ Donover. As Jackson, the wayward brother of Cy Carter’s Dax, in A Quiet Little Marriage. As Will Sanders in the pilot episode of Eleventh Hour, a season 3 short of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia titled ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 3: Meet the McPoyles’. He was featured in 10 episodes of Late Show with David Letterman as Lyle the Intern. And two shorts that were uploaded to youtube titled ‘The Other Mall‘ as Officer Eddie and ‘Barbara’ where he portrayed three different characters.
In 2009; Jimmi joined the social networking platform twitter. He starred in another episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Thomas ‘Tom’ Donover. As well as in the film Taking Chances as Charlie Carbonara. Had a cameo in The Invention of Lying as Bob during a Coca-Cola commercial. And as Virtual Man in the tv movie Virtuality, which had originally been intended to be a series. He reprised his role as Lyle the Intern on the Late Show with David Letterman for 5 additional episodes. He starred in the mockumentary The Mother of Invention as Martin Wooderson. He also voiced Wesley Gibson in Wanted: Weapons of Fate the video game. And starred as Daniel Bresson in an episode of House and Mary Lightly in an episode of Psych. A video titled reason #831 was uploaded to youtube.
During 2010; Jimmi starred as Niels Geck in comedy The Big Bang alongside Antonio Banderas, Thomas Kretschmann, and William Fichtner , as Jackal Onassis / Dennis in an episode of Starz’ Party Down, as Armstrong in Date Night alongside Steve Carell, Tina Fey, and Mark Wahlberg , as Kyle in Good Intentions alongside Luke Perry, Elaine Hendrix, and Jon Gries, as Frank Corral in the short film Miss This at Your Peril. He also reprised his roles in Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Liam McPoyle and in two additional episodes of Psych as Mary Lightly. During this year he also acted as speaker for ‘Psych’ at PaleyFest and had a part in the Funny or Die skit ‘iPhone 4 Video – The Deleted Scenes‘.
In 2011; Jimmi starred in the short film The Death and Return of Superman as Mad Scientist – a behind the scenes video also released of this. He also starred in an episode of Carter Bays and Craig Thomas’ How I Met Your Mother as Pete Durkenson. The first season of A&E’s Breakout Kings aired in which Jimmi portrays the character Lloyd Lowery who is highly intelligent but can come off as rude, disrespectful, and obnoxious. Lloyd is a gambling addict, an addiction that lead him to being put in prison for 25 years. He acts as the “Brains” of the team. He sat down with Bloomsburg University (BUTV) for an exclusive interview. He attended the Knights Of Badassdom comic con panel. He also participated in BTE’s story collection project in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks titled Where Were You?.
In 2012; Jimmi joined the social networking image sharing site instagram. He also starred in the theater production of You Are Here, a short scene for the novel by Nick Santora titled Fifteen Digits as Spade. He had a scene in the film Hello I Must Be Going as Phil. In the short film Tracer Gun he portrayed the character Ben alongside Heath Cullens, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and Katie Leavitt and in the short Wake he portrayed the character Jimmi alongside Breakout Kings co-star Serinda Swan. A video titled Auld Lang Syne was uploaded to youtube featuring Jimmi singing a for a short time and a surprising ending. He reprised his role as Lloyd Lowery in the second season of A&E’s series Breakout Kings as well as Liam McPoyle for an additional episode of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Jimmi voiced the character Matthew for the animated comedy Unsupervised. And starred as Joshua Speed in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Jimmi attended ‘2nd annual 18 for 18 Celebrity Skydive & Awareness Campaign’, ‘Friends To Mankind’s 2nd annual #18for18 CharityEvent’, ‘Beyond Hunger: A Place at the Table’ during this year.
During 2013; Jimmi won alongside his co-stars in The Truth About Emanuel ‘Best Acting Ensemble: Feature’ at the Ashland Independent Film Awards. The film Knights of Badassdom where Jimmi portrayed Ronnie Kwok released. The film surrounds a group of live-action role players that conjure up a demon from Hell by mistake and they must deal with the consequences. He also starred in the films White House Down as Tyler alongside Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, and Maggie Gyllenhaal and in the Truth About Emanuel as Arthur alongside Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, and Frances O’Connor. In television he reprised his roles as Liam McPoyle in an additional episode of Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Mary Lightly in Psych The Musical in which he sang on the track ‘Promised Land’. He also starred as Logan Pierce in an episode of Person Of Interest. Jimmi attended ‘3rd annual 18 for 18 Celebrity Skydive & Awareness Campaign’ and ’18for18: Summer Soiree Honoring Somaly Mam Foundation’ during this year.
In 2014; Jimmi portrayed the role of Jake in Hal Haberman’s The Last Time You Had Fun alongside Kyle Bornheimer, Eliza Coupe, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. He guest starred as Jack Spaniel in The Newsroom for three episodes. And as Gavin Orsay in six episodes (one uncredited) in Netflix’s House Of Cards season two. He also did a video titled Our House for WME. A video titled ‘Jimmi Simpson for Colt Coeur’ was uploaded to youtube. It was a video message recorded for the spring benefit held on May 21st.
During 2015; He performed in the theater production Trevor as Trevor alongside Malcolm Barrett, Bob Clendenin, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. The play was held at: Atwater Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California from March 05, 2015 through April 19, 2015. This performance gained him a nomination for Lead Performance at The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards as well as an award for Lead Actor in a Play at the 2015 Oviation Awards. He reprised his role as Gavin Orsay in nine episodes in season three of House Of Cards, this time as a series regular. House of Cards recieved a nomination for the entire cast for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Jimmi also starred alongside Michael Weston and Sutton Foster in James Roday and Todd Harthan’s Gravy as Stef. A video was uploaded to youtube titled ‘Jimmi Simpson Fractured Clavicle Surgery’ it features Jimmi discussing how Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia repaired his broken clavicle after a previous surgeon had failed to fix the compound fracture.
In 2016; Jimmi starred in the theater production Empathitrax as the character Him by Colt Coeur held at the HERE Arts Center in New York. It ran from September 10, 2016 through October 1, 2016. The cast of House Of Cards received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. He reprised his role as Logan Pierce in an additional episode of Person of Interest. He starred as the character Soldier in the first season of SundanceTV’s Hap and Leonard. With this he appeared on the ‘Hap and Leonard’ AOL Build Speakers Series. He also starred as William in HBO’s series Westworld. With this he appeared on ‘The Build Series Presents Jimmi Simpson’ also speaking with Hollywood Today Live, CTV and other outlets. Various interviews and articles released around this time centering on his play ‘Empathitrax’ and his role in the HBO series ‘Westworld’. Jimmi had a cameo in Dan Fogelman’s NBC series This Is Us as Andy Fannan. Filming for ‘Under the Silver Lake’ completed in December of this year.
In 2017, Jimmi was nominated along with his Westworld co-stars for Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also spent January in London filming a project that has yet to be announced. Under the Silver Lake went into Post-Production. Jimmi attended the ‘Women’s March’ in London [link]. Jimmi had an interview (as well as a photoshoot) with Rogue Magazine in Issue #5 where he tells about his origin story and also discusses Westworld, Hap and Leonard as well as teasing a secret project and his role in the Errol Morris Netflix mini-series. News about Jimmi being cast as Detective Russell Poole in USA’s upcoming Tupac Drama ‘Unsolved’ happened in February. Filming began in March. GQStyle featured Jimmi in their Spring Issue in an editorial titled Chill Suits. A quote is featured, “No matter which job you’re doing in acting, you have to be doing something different, or else you’re not doing your job.“ in the magazine and the interview is posted digitally online as well as a video featuring what Jimmi had in his pockets at the moment.
Having been an avid reader since he was 7 years old, Jimmi turned to writing to fill gaps between acting jobs early in his career, basing some characters on people he has known. He writes TV pilots and screenplays and works toward getting them produced. He also plans to direct the projects.
An additional project, unknown year, he portrayed a sketchy security guard in the series The Third Degree.
Although we do not know the date of the following stage appearances, here is a list of other various roles he has portrayed in stage productions. Jimmi also appeared as a maid, The Maids; the ultimate lover, Molly’sDream; an usher, Skin of Our Teeth; a sickly man, Mud; a young man, Atom & Devorah; Schloyme, God of Vengeance; understudy slow kid and farmhand, The Rainmaker; in The Secret Garden; Assassins; The Sound of Music; Jesus Christ Superstar. [from filmreference]
Jimmi’s previous jobs include inspecting incoming vehicles at the dock of Newark, N.J. and Bloomsburg’s Napoli Pizza, known as “Naps”. As well as pub dishwasher grocery bagger, movie usher, and carpenter. [?]