J.K. Simmons, for his turn as a ruthless music teacher in "Whiplash," captured the Screen Actors Guild Award on Sunday for best performance by a male actor in a supporting role.
With the win, Simmons solidified his status as a favorite to win an Oscar next month. He took home a Golden Globe for the role two weeks ago and has won several critics awards.
FULL COVERAGE: SAG Awards 2015
Simmons beat out Robert Duvall in "The Judge," Ethan Hawke in "Boyhood," Edward Norton in "Birdman" and Mark Ruffalo in "Foxcatcher" for the SAG Award.
Backstage at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles after accepting his victory, he jokingly cited an inspiration.
"I think it's every actor's inner ninth-grade jock's fantasy to be Arnold Schwarzenegger," he teased a reporter who praised his buff physique. Simmons added that he spent plenty of time at the gym in anticipation of the film. "I'm continuing to fight Father Time as best as I can."
The subject of the Academy Awards didn't take a backseat for long. Asked what it's like to be considered a front-runner in the race for supporting actor, Simmons — who appears on TV in Farmers Insurance commercials — didn't deny it was nice.
"I honestly don't know what I'm supposed to do between now and then," he said. "I already did my job. Hopefully, this gets more people to see the movie.... It is delightful to be considered the front-runner."