When he was growing up in Readfield, Tim Simons had no dream of becoming an actor.
But on Thursday, he realized the dream of many actors: to be a 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. The 65th Emmy Awards will be given out Sept. 22, live on CBS.
“Veep” also was nominated in the category of Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series. The show has a large ensemble cast, with seven regulars, including Simons.
The show also got nominations for Louis-Dreyfus (lead actress in a comedy), Tony Hale (supporting actor in a comedy) and Anna Chlumsky (supporting actress in a comedy.) Simons was not nominated individually.
After graduating from Maranacook High School, Simons went to the University of Maine and lived in a dorm near the football field. In an interview last year, he told the Portland Press Herald that because he wasn’t a “jock,” he wanted to find a non-sports activity so he got into theater. He fell in love with it.
After graduating from UMaine, he worked in children’s theater in Kentucky, and moved to Chicago, before moving to Los Angeles a few years ago. In Los Angeles, he supported himself doing TV commercials.
One commercial 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. Simons mumbles, hesitates, and the spot ends. That spot was shown to the casting director of “Veep” and it landed Simons his first regular TV role.
Shortly after he finished his first season on “Veep,” Simons’ wife gave birth to twins.
“Veep” debuted on HBO in April 2012. Its competitors for best comedy series this year are: “The Big Bang Theory (CBS); “Girls” (HBO); “Louie” (FX); “Modern Family” (ABC); and “30 Rock” (NBC).
Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: