Jimmi Simpson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jimmi Simpson
Simpson in 2017
Born (1975-11-21) November 21, 1975 (age 48)
Years active2000–present
  • (m. 2007; div. 2014)
  • Sophia Del Pizzo
    (m. 2019; div. 2021)

Jimmi Simpson (born November 21, 1975) is an American actor. Known for his work in film, television, and theatre, he came to prominence with his portrayal of Liam McPoyle on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005–2023), and has since had roles in series such as Psych (2009–2013), Breakout Kings (2011–2013), The Newsroom (2014), House of Cards (2014–2015), Hap and Leonard (2016), Westworld (2016–2020), Black Mirror (2017), Unsolved (2018), Perpetual Grace, LTD (2019), The Man Who Fell to Earth (2022), and Pachinko (2022). Simpson is the recipient of Emmy, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

Simpson made his feature film debut in Loser (2000). Other credits include Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Zodiac (2007), Date Night (2010), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), White House Down (2013), Under the Silver Lake (2018), and Unhinged (2020). On stage, Simpson's portrayal of Philo Farnsworth in The Farnsworth Invention (Broadway, 2007–2008) earned him a Theatre World Award.

Early life[edit]

Simpson was born in Hackettstown, New Jersey, on November 21, 1975.[1] He has two older brothers.[2] He attended Hackettstown High School, where he took his first acting class.[3] After graduating from Bloomsburg University with a BA in theater, he acted for four seasons at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts.[4]


2000–2007: Film debut and early roles[edit]

Simpson made his film debut at age 25 when he played Noah in Loser (2000), a teen romantic comedy directed by Amy Heckerling. This was followed by a supporting role in the Stephen King miniseries Rose Red in 2002, and appearances on television shows such as 24, NYPD Blue, Cold Case, Carnivàle, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where he played the recurring character Liam McPoyle over several seasons, beginning in 2005.[5] Film credits during this period included the sports comedy Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), the revisionist Western Seraphim Falls (2006), and the critically acclaimed David Fincher thriller Zodiac (2007).[6] In an appraisal of the latter's final sequence, where Simpson appears as Mike Mageau, a surviving victim of the real-life Zodiac Killer, Jim Emerson of RogerEbert.com wrote, "Mageau … is nearly a ghost, a deeply wounded soul who is 80 percent certain of his own certainty but, like everyone else, wishes he could be sure".[7]

2008–2015: Stage, television, and film work[edit]

In 2008, Simpson starred as Philo Farnsworth in a production of Aaron Sorkin's The Farnsworth Invention on Broadway. His portrayal of Farnsworth was described as "superb" by the Chicago Tribune,[8] and earned him a Theatre World Award.[9] That same year, he made the first of several appearances as Lyle, a fictitious intern, on The Late Show with David Letterman; a role he frequented until November 2009.[10] During that time he made guest appearances on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, My Name is Earl, House, M.D., and Psych, and played supporting parts in the 2009 comedy The Invention of Lying—the directorial debut of Ricky Gervais—and the big-budget romantic comedy Date Night (2010). Next, he appeared in one of the principal roles—Dr. Lloyd Lowery—on the A&E crime drama series Breakout Kings, which ran from 2011 to 2012. The show drew a mixed reception, but critics agreed that Simpson's performance was its best asset.[11][12]

Simpson's next projects were the films Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), The Truth About Emanuel (2013), Knights of Badassdom (2013), and the Roland Emmerich action thriller White House Down (2013), where he played a villainous computer hacker. He then joined the cast of the Netflix political thriller series House of Cards, playing Gavin Orsay between 2014 and 2015.[13] For this, Simpson was nominated on two occasions—alongside his co-stars—for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.[14][15]

In 2015, Simpson headlined a Circle X Theatre production of Trevor, a play written by Nick Jones. His portrayal of the title character, a full-grown chimpanzee, was roundly praised, with KCRW commenting, "You can't imagine the humanity that [Simpson] brings to Trevor. Yes, it's a funny play and, yes, there's some 'monkey business' but Mr. Simpson's gift is restraint. Instead of playing for broad laughs, he plays Trevor's struggle for just that: an honest struggle".[16]

2016–present: Westworld and career progression[edit]

Simpson starred on the first season of SundanceTV's dark comedy-drama Hap and Leonard in 2016. Den of Geek felt he displayed a "raw, manic energy" in his portrayal of Soldier—a psychotic drug dealer—that was "by turns infectious and terrifying", adding, "Seriously, [Simpson] is such a great bad guy".[17] That same year, he appeared in a principal role on the debut season of HBO's science fiction drama series Westworld. His portrayal of William, a businessman who visits the titular Wild West-themed amusement park and falls in love with one of its android inhabitants, was described as "spellbinding" by Maureen Ryan of Variety.[18] Simpson was once again nominated alongside his co-stars for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2017,[19] while his work on the show's second season[20] earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[21] Speaking of the pressure he felt being part of the hit show, Simpson said, "I think [a lot of us fear] that we won't be able to sleep at night if we deliver work that we're not happy with … Westworld [is] a lot of responsibility. It's a huge show. There's so much money and publicity behind it … and [the creators] need us to show up and be as amazing as possible. So the fear is a factor, because you look over and you see Anthony fucking Hopkins … It leaves me wondering: "How the hell did I get here?"".[22]

In 2017, Simpson appeared as Walton, a lieutenant aboard the titular spaceship ("USS Callister") in the opening episode of the fourth season of British anthology sci-fi series Black Mirror. In their review, Den of Geek called Simpson "one of [television's] best-kept secrets" and remarked that his performance "pops off the screen".[23] His portrayal of Walton earned him a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor the following year.[24]

Simpson starred as the real-life Russell Poole in Unsolved, a ten-part miniseries based on the 1990s murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, which ran on the USA Network between February and May 2018. IndieWire praised the "elevated artistry" of Simpson's portrayal of the LAPD detective,[25] while Vulture said in their review:

In an ensemble this solid, it can be challenging for one performance to emerge as a standout. But Simpson's does because he so carefully calibrates Poole's intensity, dialing it up by slight degrees in each episode until he's radiating with panicky determination ... Simpson physically and emotionally illustrates [the character's] internal struggle beautifully.[26]

Simpson's next roles were in David Robert Mitchell's neo-noir black comedy Under the Silver Lake (2018), the action thriller Unhinged (2020), and the comedic crime drama Breaking News in Yuba County (2021). He also headlined the ten-part Epix series Perpetual Grace, LTD in 2019, earning strong reviews for his portrayal of James Schaeler,[27] an ex-firefighter embroiled in a conspiracy to scam a corrupt pastor; Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly described him as "an endearingly slippery protagonist, looking terrified, sad, amused, and exhausted all at once".[28]

Between April and July 2022, Simpson appeared as CIA agent Spencer Clay in Showtime's adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth, which ran for a single season.[29] In a mixed review of the series, Vulture commented that it felt "unsure" of itself, but said of Simpson, "[he tears] into the material [in] amusing and engaging ways".[30] In March that same year, he began playing Tom Andrews on the Apple TV+ drama Pachinko. Chronicling an immigrant Korean family across four generations, the series was universally praised and is due return for a second season.[31][32]

Following a guest voice role—as Doctor Royce Hemlock—in four episodes of the Disney+ animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch,[33] Simpson received positive notices for his portrayal of an alcoholic father in the 2023 coming-of-age film The Starling Girl,[34][35][36] an independent drama about fundamentalist Christianity that Peter Debruge of Variety felt was "refreshing" and "rigorously realistic".[37]

Personal life[edit]

Simpson met New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey in 2001 during the filming of Rose Red, in which they both appeared. They became engaged in 2005 and married on April 14, 2007, in a chapel on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand.[38] Lynskey filed for divorce in September 2012, citing irreconcilable differences.[39] It was finalised in May 2014.[40]

Simpson married English actress Sophia Del Pizzo in April 2019.[41] It was announced in July 2021 that the pair had split and that Simpson had filed for divorce.[42]



List of films and roles
Year Title Role Notes
2000 Loser Noah
2001 Slo-Mo Alex Short film[43]
2003 The Academy Direct-to-video
Final Draft Chad
2004 D.E.B.S. Scud
2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded Crash
2006 Stay Alive Phineus
2007 Seraphim Falls Big Brother
Itty Bitty Titty Committee Chris
Zodiac Older Mike Mageau
2008 A Quiet Little Marriage Jackson
2009 The Mother of Invention Martin Wooderson
The Invention of Lying Bob
Taking Chances Charlie Cabonara
2010 Miss This at Your Peril Frank Corral Short film[44]
Good Intentions Kyle
Date Night Armstrong Gold
2011 The Death and Return of Superman Mad Scientist Short film[45]
The Big Bang Niels Geck
2012 Hello I Must Be Going Phil
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Joshua Speed
Tracer Gun Ben Short film[46]
2013 The Truth About Emanuel Arthur
White House Down Skip Tyler
Knights of Badassdom Ronnie Kwok
2014 The Last Time You Had Fun Jake
2015 Gravy Stef
2018 Under the Silver Lake Allen
2020 Unhinged Andy
2021 Breaking News in Yuba County Petey Buttons
Night of the Animated Dead Johnny Voice role
Silk Road Chris Talbert
2022 Studio 666 Venue person
Green Lantern: Beware My Power Green Arrow / Oliver Queen Voice role
A Little White Lie Detective Karpas
2023 The Starling Girl Paul Starling
Fool's Paradise Talk Show Host
2024 Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Green Arrow / Oliver Queen Voice role[47]
TBD Audrey's Children Dr. Dan D'Angio Post-production[48]
Home Delivery TBA Post-production[48]
Denotes films that have not yet been released


List of television appearances and roles
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Rose Red Kevin Bollinger 3 episodes
2002 The Division Sean Townsend Episode: "Forgive Me, Father"
2002 24 Chris 3 episodes
2003 NYPD Blue Mike Episode: "Bottoms Up"
2003 Cold Case Ryan Bayes Episode: "Churchgoing People"
2005 Carnivàle Lee 2 episodes
2005–2013; 2023 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Liam McPoyle 8 episodes
2006 My Name Is Earl David Hayes 2 episodes
2007 Girltrash! Valentine 1 episode
2008 Eleventh Hour Will Sanders Episode: "Resurrection"
2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Thomas Donover 2 episodes
2008–2009 Late Show with David Letterman Lyle the intern 15 episodes
2009 House Father Daniel Bresson Episode: "Unfaithful"
2009 Virtuality Virtual Man Pilot
2009–2013 Psych Mary Lightly 5 episodes
2010 Party Down Jackal Onassis / Dennis Episode: "Jackal Onassis Backstage Party"
2011 How I Met Your Mother Pete Durkenson Episode: "The Naked Truth"
2011–2012 Breakout Kings Lloyd Lowery 23 episodes
2013 Unsupervised Matthew / Dean Jacobs (voice) Episode: "The Great Traveler's Road"
2013–2016 Person of Interest Logan Pierce 2 episodes
2014 The Newsroom Jack Spaniel 3 episodes
2014–2015 House of Cards Gavin Orsay 17 episodes
2016 Hap and Leonard Soldier 6 episodes
2016 This Is Us Andy Fanning Episode: "Last Christmas"
2016–2020 Westworld William Main role (season 1)
Recurring role (season 2)
Guest role (season 3)
2017 Psych: The Movie Mary Lightly Television film
2017 Wormwood CIA Agent 2 episodes
2017 Black Mirror James Walton Episode: "USS Callister"
2018 Unsolved Detective Russell Poole 10 episodes
2018–2020 Dream Corp LLC Patient 21 2 episodes
2019 Into the Dark Peter Rake Episode: "Treehouse"
2019 Perpetual Grace, LTD James 10 episodes
2020 The Twilight Zone Phil Hayes Episode: "Meet in the Middle"
2020 Psych 2: Lassie Come Home Mary Lightly Television film
2021 Solar Opposites Ethan (voice) Episode: "The Apple Pencil Pro"
2021 Ultra City Smiths Detective David Mills (voice) Main role
2021–present Star Trek: Prodigy Drednok (voice) Main role
2022 Pachinko Tom 8 episodes
2022 The Man Who Fell to Earth Spencer Clay Main role
2022 Somebody Feed Phil Himself Episode: "Oaxaca"
2023 Star Wars: The Bad Batch Doctor Royce Hemlock (voice) 4 episodes
TBD Dark Matter Ryan Main role, upcoming series[49]
Denotes series that have not yet been released

Video games[edit]

List of video game voice roles
Year Title Role Ref.
2008 Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wesley "The Killer II" Gibson [50]
2022 Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova Drednok [51]


Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2008 Theatre World Awards Theatre World Award The Farnsworth Invention Won [9]
2013 Ashland Independent Film Festival Best Acting Ensemble The Truth About Emanuel Won [52]
2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series House of Cards Nominated [14]
2016 Nominated [15]
2017 Westworld Nominated [19]
2018 British Academy Television Awards Best Supporting Actor Black Mirror (Episode: "USS Callister") Nominated [24]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Westworld Nominated [21]


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Modesto Bee. The Associated Press. November 21, 2017. p. 2A. Actor Jimmi Simpson is 42.
  2. ^ Herzog, Kenny (November 23, 2016). "Westworld's Jimmi Simpson Is Having a Hell of a Year". Paste. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Newman, Melinda (March 1, 2016). "Jimmi Simpson, Hollywood's Favorite Creep". New Jersey Monthly. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  4. ^ Gelt, Jessica (April 22, 2015). "Jimmi Simpson goes ape for his 'Trevor' theater role". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Sonn, Barrett (September 19, 2022). "Hey, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Bring Back The McPoyle Family!". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  6. ^ "Zodiac (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  7. ^ Emerson, Jim (January 25, 2008). "Three kinds of violence: Zodiac, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Jones, Chris (December 6, 2007). "Broadway's 'The Farnsworth Invention' is pure Sorkin". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Theatre World Award Recipients". Theatre World Awards. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  10. ^ Leopold, Todd; Hanks, Henry (May 15, 2015). "David Letterman's cast of characters". CNN.com. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Lowry, Brian (March 2, 2011). "Breakout Kings". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  12. ^ Pehanick, Maggie (March 7, 2011). "'Breakout Kings' Premiere: Cops and criminals unite! Also, clichés galore". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  13. ^ Nededog, Jethro; Sneider, Jeff (June 10, 2013). "'Breakout Kings' Alum Jimmi Simpson Joins 'House of Cards' (Exclusive)". Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Nominations Announced for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAG-AFTRA. December 10, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Nominations Announced for the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. December 9, 2015. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Byrnes, Anthony (March 31, 2015). "The Monkey on Our Backs". KCRW. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  17. ^ Zapanta, David (March 24, 2016). "Hap and Leonard: Trudy Review". Den of Geek. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Ryan, Maureen (April 13, 2018). "TV Review: 'Westworld' Season 2 on HBO". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Nominations Announced for the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. December 14, 2016. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  20. ^ Houghton, Rianne (July 24, 2017). "Westworld season 2 brings back Jimmi Simpson aka Young William, but why?". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Jimmi Simpson". Television Academy. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Mullin, Kyle (January 23, 2020). "Jimmi Simpson on "Perpetual Grace, LTD," "Westworld," Morrissey, and Bill Callahan". Under the Radar. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  23. ^ Bojalad, Alec (December 29, 2017). "Black Mirror Season 4 Episode 1 Review: USS Callister". Den of Geek. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Bakare, Lanre (April 4, 2018). "Bafta TV awards 2018: full list of nominations". The Guardian. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  25. ^ Travers, Ben (February 17, 2018). "'Unsolved' Review: 'The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.' Has Big 'Ambitionz' But Fails to 'Hypnotize'". IndieWire. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  26. ^ Chaney, Jen (February 17, 2018). "Unsolved Is Still Worth Watching Even If You Know Everything About Biggie and Tupac". Vulture. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  27. ^ Goodman, Tim (May 31, 2019). "'Perpetual Grace, LTD': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  28. ^ Franich, Darren (June 28, 2019). "Perpetual Grace, LTD is a scuzzy-dreamy border noir worth the price of Epix Now". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  29. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 10, 2022). "'Man Who Fell to Earth' Will Not Return for Season 2 at Showtime (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  30. ^ Hadadi, Roxana (April 24, 2022). "The Man Who Fell to Earth Doesn't Know Where to Land". Vulture. Retrieved July 11, 2023.
  31. ^ "Season 1: Pachinko (2022)". RottenTomatoes. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  32. ^ Lash, Jolie (April 29, 2022). "'Pachinko' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+". The Wrap. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  33. ^ Young, Bryan (March 1, 2023). "The Bad Batch Continues An Important Storyline From Star Wars The Clone Wars". Slash Film. Archived from the original on March 14, 2023. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
  34. ^ Walsh, Katie (January 21, 2023). "'The Starling Girl' Review: Repressed Young Woman Seeks Freedom in Assured Indie Debut". The Wrap. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  35. ^ Magidson, Joey (May 10, 2023). "Film Review: 'The Starling Girl' is a Gentle and Well Realized Coming of Age Story". Awards Radar. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  36. ^ Castillo, Monica (May 12, 2023). "The Starling Girl". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  37. ^ Debruge, Peter (May 12, 2023). "'The Starling Girl' Review: A Small-Town Teen Questions Her Faith in Nonjudgmental Indie Drama". Variety. Retrieved November 16, 2023.
  38. ^ "Celebrity Wedding: Melanie Lynskey and Jimmi Simpson". InStyle. 2009. Archived from the original on June 10, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  39. ^ Johnson, James (October 7, 2012). "Melanie Lynskey Files For Divorce From Jimmi Simpson". Retrieved October 7, 2012.
  40. ^ "'Two & A Half Men' & 'Always Sunny' Stars – Nicest Divorce Ever". TMZ. May 23, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  41. ^ "Celebrity Weddings 2019: Jimmi Simpson and Sophia Del Pizzo". Us Weekly. April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  42. ^ "'Westworld' Star Jimmi Simpson Files For Divorce From Wife Sophia Del Pizzo". The Blast. July 29, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  43. ^ "Feature: School's Out: The Best Shorts from the Big Schools". Indie Wire. July 29, 2002. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  44. ^ "Miss This at Your Peril". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  45. ^ "The Death and Return of Superman". TV Guide. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  46. ^ "Shorts". New Hampshire Film Festival. October 17, 2013. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2023.
  47. ^ "Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One: Exclusive Clip and Voice Cast Reveal". December 4, 2023.
  48. ^ a b Grobar, Matt (September 12, 2022). "Jimmi Simpson & Clancy Brown Among Latest Additions To Healthcare Hero Biopic 'Audrey's Children' From Director Ami Canaan Mann". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  49. ^ Otterson, Joe (September 29, 2022). "Alice Braga, Jimmi Simpson Join Sci-Fi Series 'Dark Matter' at Apple". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  50. ^ Fritz, Ben (March 31, 2009). "Wanted: Weapons of Fate". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  51. ^ Orquiola, John (December 22, 2022). "Star Trek Confirms The First Sighting Of The Defiant Since DS9". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  52. ^ Martinez, Vanessa (April 9, 2013). "'The Retrieval', 'God Loves Uganda' Win "Best" Jury Awards at Ashland Indie Film Festival". IndieWire. Retrieved July 14, 2018.

External links[edit]