John Simm

John Simm


7/10/1970, Leeds, England

Birth Name


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out of 10
User Rating
97 votes


John Simm was born in Leeds, Yorkshire and grew up in the town of Nelson, near Burnley. His father was a local musician, who taught John to play guitar and they played together in working men's clubs before John was ten, calling themselves Us2.

At the age…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • John: (on narrowly escaping a serious car crash): I was actually travelling up to see them play last week, the Man Utd versus Chelsea game last Sunday when I was involved in a car accident, so I never made it. It was on the M1 and that's why my hand is in this bandage. I'm OK but I was very lucky to walk away from it. I'm fine now.

    • John Simm: (on if he'd come back to Doctor Who): I'm not, by the way, ruling out a return to Doctor Who in the future. It's too exciting a show to be a part of for me to do that.

    • John: (on his role in The Devil's Whore): Oh, he's a horrible, nasty piece of work - a really feral, stubborn bastard, The minute I read the script, I was bowled over by it and by him. It's a hell of a part and I'm really, really honoured that they gave it to me. I had to fight for it though. I had to audition - which was something I hadn't done for ages - and I won it, which was really great.

    • John: (with some advice for aspiring actors) Be honest with yourself and confident, but not misguidedly so. Then walk into interviews and auditions as if you're doing them a favour by doing the job.

    • John: (on his worst job) Working in a bar in the West End during the late Eighties where I had to serve drinks and do dance routines to Greased Lightnin' wearing cycling shorts.

    • John: (on the success of Life on Mars) I didn't think for a minute it was going to be massive. I didn't even know if it would work. Let's face it, the premise is ridiculous!

    • John: (on taking his role in Doctor Who) The hardest thing about it was I had to leave to start filming in Cardiff just three days after my daughter was born, which was a pain in the arse. I was very tired and obviously my wife wasn't ecstatic.

    • John: (on accepting his role in Doctor Who) "It's a great honour. I'm not a sci-fi maniac or anything but I enjoy it."

    • John: (on appearing in Life on Mars) I've never done anything so mainstream and glossy before.

    • John: (on Life on Mars) If it had been a hazy, nostalgic 1970s trip with Noddy Holder running around and funny accents going on, I wouldn't have done it. There were some very dark things going on in the 1970s - racism, strikes, the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four - and we need to reflect that in Life on Mars.

    • John: I was born in 1970 so my personal memories of the Seventies are a bit vague. I do remember bits of it very well, 1977 for some reason – I remember a specific t-shirt that I wore, which had a Starsky & Hutch yellow transfer on the front.

    • John: I do like doing comedy, I was in Spaced and I did a sketch thing with Steve Coogan once, and I've worked with Ricky Gervais.

    • John: (on the appeal of Life on Mars) Everyone dreams about going back in time and meeting their parents when they were young. It's that thing of 'could you change the future?'

  • My new favourite actor!

    John Simm is an amazing actor. So far I have only seen him in Life on Mars. He plays DI Sam Tyler, a police officer from 2006 who wakes up after being in an accident in a 1973 that he may, or may not, be imagining. I think he captures the feelings of someone sent 33 years into the past very convincingly, bringing a sense of reality to a concept that could have been ludicrous in the wrong hands. He conveys Sam's emotions extremely well with his facial expressions, especially during the 'pigs in space' moments where he had to pretend to hear disembodied voices. He is even convincing when crying over sock puppets and men talking to him out of the television. Any actor who can make eight hours of compelling television out of all that and more has to have some talent. John Simm certainly has.moreless