64-year-old J.K Simmons stars in the new film, “I’m not Here,” which his wife of 22 years, Michelle Schumacher directed, produced, edited and co-wrote. J.K jokingly said that working with Michelle felt natural because just like at home, he does as he’s directed.
Despite living in the same house, the couple’s only time to talk to each other when they were filming the movie was when they were on set. They’d go home really exhausted, and get ready for the next day.
Simmons’ role in “I’m Not Here” is an aging alcoholic, Steve, who is reflecting on the trauma and struggles of his life and how these events isolated his soul. Steve looks back at his life, remembering life’s events that led him to his current state. Sebastian Stan and Iain Armitage play Steve’s younger self with Max Greenfield and Mandy Moore playing his mom and dad.
Tony Cummings, Schumacher’s writing partner, penned the scripted with Simmons in his mind. J.K will not speak in the majority of the scenes; he will be voiced over by Stan and Iain. The actor felt like the role was a challenge because the old Steve won’t talk in the script.
Schumacher and Simmons met 30 years ago as the two starred in a “Peter Pan” stage tour. Simmons played Captain Hook while Schumacher’s role was Tiger Lily. They eventually got married in 1996 and two children: Joe, 20, and Olivia, 17.
Simmons and Schumacher together on set. “I’m Not Here” explores inter-generational family dynamics that will get people to slow down and pay attention to their loved ones. In this fast-paced world, we often forget what life is all about, and that’s to make a human connection.
Their daughter Olivia appeared in a bar scene, their son Joe lent a hand in scoring, and Michelle’s brother, Randle, was a producer. Schumacher also says that there are scenes inspired by her love story with Simmons but refused to share which ones.