News Column

Mainer in cast of Emmy-nominated 'Veep'

July 18, 2013


July 18--Growing up in Readfield, Tim Simons had no dream of becoming an actor.

But on Thursday he reached the dream of many actors: Featured player on an Emmy-nominated TV show.

Simons, 34, plays White House liaison Jonah Ryan on the hit HBO show "Veep" starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The show was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series Thursday morning when the nominees for the 65th Emmy Awards were announced. The awards will be given out Sept. 22, live on CBS.

"Veep" also garnered a nomination in the category of Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series. The show features a large ensemble cast, with seven regulars, including Simons. The show also garnered nominations for Louis-Dreyfus (lead actress in a comedy) as well as for Tony Hale (supporting actor in a comedy) and Anna Chlumsky (supporting actress in a comedy.)

Simons didn't get nominated individually.

After graduating from Maranacook High School, Simons went to the University of Maine at Orono and ended up living in a dorm near the football field. In a Portland Press Herald interview last year, Simons said because he wasn't a "jock" he wanted to find a non-sports activity, so got involved in college theater productions. He fell in love with it.

After graduation from UMaine he worked in children's theater in Kentucky, and eventually moved to Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles a few years ago. In Los Angeles he supported himself doing TV commercials.

One of those commercials turned out to be life-changing and memorable: He played Abraham Lincoln in a spot for Geico insurance. The narrator asks if Geico can save you money on insurance and answers himself with "Was Abe Lincoln honest?" Then Lincoln's portly wife is seen asking Lincoln (Simons) if she looks fat in her dress. Simons mumbles, hesitates, and the spot ends.

That spot was later shown to the casting director of "Veep" and it landed Simons his first regular TV role.

Shortly after he finished his first season of work on "Veep," Simons' wife gave birth to twins.

"Veep" debuted on HBO in April 2012. Its competitors for best comedy series this year include: "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS); "Girls" (HBO); "Louie" (FX); "Modern Family" (ABC); and "30 Rock" (NBC).

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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