Few television characters have had as many insults hurled at them as Veep’s Jonah Ryan (some of our favorites, in no particular order: “Scrotum Pole,” “Jizzy Galespie,” “One Erection”). Yet no one shrugs off the abuse as nonchalantly as the totally unlovable liaison to the Vice President's office. To Jonah, the hero is the villain of someone else’s story and the name-callers are just jealous of his primetime position, which he lords over all. Total Wadzilla, right?
Jonah is an undeniable sleazebag. And it would be easy to hate him if not for Timothy Simons’ nuanced performance. Veep was not just the actor’s first featured television role, but his first television role entirely — and he made the role his own and became as necessary to the show as Julia Lous Dreyfus, Tony Hale or Anna Chlumsky.
A Maine native, Simons cut his teeth in the vibrant Chicago theatre scene before moving to LA in 2008 with nary a connection. He’s kept busy between seasons, earning numerous film roles (maybe you caught him in The Interview, Draft Day or Inherent Vice) and raising four-year-old twins. He is no stranger to the long sleepless hours of Hollywood life, although domestic life provides some respite — when the kids cooperate, at least.
In his own words, here's Simons on fatherhood, Fallout 4 and sleep deprivation.
When I’m out of town on work I very rarely have a regular sleep schedule. Production schedules and call times vary wildly from day to day, and if you are shooting overnights, a sleep schedule is just a joke.
At home, I’m much more regimented because of the kids. We have twins, so a schedule is the only way you can survive. I tend to aim for 7 1/2 hours a night, waking up at 6:30 a.m. everyday. However, since Fallout 4 has come out, I’ve been operating on a sleep deficit, and I’ve been a nightmare shithead because of it.
I think the longest I’ve ever gone without sleep is 36 hours a few different times. One of those times I was working in Chicago building sets for plays and we had to work a 24-hour shift to get the play up in time. Looking back, I have no idea how we used power tools safely on that little sleep. Pure bloody mindedness was the only thing I remember being of any use to get you through it.
We’ve been pretty lucky to have both kids be good sleepers, with our son being great at it. So outside of those first few months when they were up every three hours, we’ve managed to be parents and still get sleep.
Every kid is different, but allowing your kid to learn to self-soothe is a good idea. Easier said than done.
I was on a gig last summer in Georgia, a super low-budget movie with an amazing group of people. As soon as I walked into the hotel I thought, "Someone has been murdered here." Stained towels. Roaches. All of that. But the group was staying there, and we all got along, so when the job is good, you don’t care about that stuff. Or for that matter, you do care, but are willing to ignore it. Also, I drank a shitload of wine.
Recurring dreams: I have that one where your neck is bent way back and you can barely see in front of you. Do other people have that one?
I also have the classic actor nightmare when you're about to go on stage and don’t know your lines four or five times a year, but that’s nothing special.
When I was young I had a dream my mom was run over by a tank. I still think about that. It was horrible.
My bedside table? I try to keep it clean. Phone and charger. Notebook and fountain pen. Book. iPad. That’s it. That’s the one place I’m not a fucking mess.