J.K. Simmons explains why he really looked so jacked in those workout photos

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J.K. Simmons Is 61 and Jacked

People instantly went nuts when photos of 61-year-old Oscar winner J.K. Simmons looking extremely ripped at the gym surfaced online.

They led to an internet sensation including, of course, lots of memes.

Every time we train together I forget he's 61 years old. So much respect for this guy. #JKSimmons #OldManCranking

A photo posted by Aaron Williamson (@aaronvwilliamson) on

Many assumed the actor was getting in shape for his role as Commissioner Gordon in the DC Comics "Justice League" movie that's currently shooting.

But while talking to Business Insider recently, Simmons said that wasn't the case at all.

The actor says his physique is strictly motivated by staying healthy.

"This is all coincidental," Simmons, who's doing press for the Blu-ray release of "Kung Fu Panda 3" (in which he voices the villain, Kai), told Business Insider. "After the second and final time that I got hugely fat in my life and when I lost that weight six or seven years ago, I pretty much decided that I was going to stay in decent shape for the rest of my life."

PHOTOS: J.K. Simmons through the years

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Actor J.K. Simmons attends the premiere of 'Worlds Apart' at the 2016 LA Greek Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre on June 5, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 360 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor J.K. Simmons during an interview with host Seth Meyers on April 27, 2016 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Actor J.K. Simmons enters 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on April 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons arrive to Sony Pictures Classics Los Angeles premiere of 'The Meddler' at Pacific Theatre at The Grove on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actress Alicia Vikander (R), winner of the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for 'The Danish Girl,' poses with actor J.K. Simmons in the press room during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Acor J.K. Simmons attends the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actor J.K. Simmons attends the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 27, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30: J.K. Simmons and Olivia Simmons arrives at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor J.K. Simmons speaks onstage at the 66th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 29, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 16: J.K. Simmons arrives at the Premiere Of 20th Century Fox's 'Kung Fu Panda 3' at TCL Chinese Theatre on January 16, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 16: (L-R) Producers Mireille Soria and Bonnie Arnold, director Jennifer Yuh, composer Hans Zimmer, actress Lucy Liu, producer Melissa Cobb, actors Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie, writer Jonathan Aibel, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, actor Jack Black, writer/producer Glenn Berger, director Alessandro Carloni and actors Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson and J.K. Simmons attend the premiere of DreamWorks Animation and Twentieth Century Fox's 'Kung Fu Panda 3' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on January 16, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor J.K. Simmons (L) and Michelle Schumacher attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Actor J.K. Simmons appears on Opie Radio at SiriusXM Studios on January 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Actor J.K. Simmons attends the AOL BUILD Series to discuss his new film 'Kung Fu Panda 3' at AOL Studios In New York on January 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: Actor J.K. Simmons attends the AOL BUILD Series to discuss his new film 'Kung Fu Panda 3' at AOL Studios In New York on January 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor J.K. Simmons attends the Sunshine Kids Foundation and LAPD host Young Cancer Patients with cast at the 'Major Crimes' set at Raleigh Studios on September 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 14: J.K. Simmons arrives at 'The Meddler' premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival held at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Actor J.K. Simmons attends a screening of 'Break Point' at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on August 27, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
J.K. Simmons during Landmark Club Restaurant Opening & Richard Belzer's Birthday Party - September 23, 2000 at Landmark Club Restaurant in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
J.K. Simmons & wife Michelle during 'Spider-Man' Premiere at Mann Village in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
JK Simmons and William H. Macy during Fox Searchlight Pictures presents the Los Angeles Premiere of 'Thank You For Smoking' at DGA in Hollywood, CA, United States. (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage for Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Charles Barkley and J.K. Simmons 11064_537.JPG during 2006/2007 TBS and TNT Upfront - After Party at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Actor J.K. Simmons arrives to the premiere of 'Rendition' at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on October 10, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 05: Actor Jason Bateman, director Jason Reitman, executive producer Daniel Dubiecki and actor J.K. Simmons attend the Centerpiece Gala 'Juno' after party during AFI FEST 2007 presented by Audi held at The LOFT at Arclight Cinemas on November 5, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Actor J.K. Simmons arrives at the 13th ANNUAL CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on January 7, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 18: (L-R) Writer/director Lee Toland Krieger, actress Brittany Snow, actors Adam Scott, Alex Frost, and J.K. Simmons pose for a portrait during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival held at the Film Lounge Media Center on January 18, 2009 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Christina Hendricks and J.K. Simmons attend The Rape Treatment Center's Annual Brunch Hosted By The Cast Of 'Mad Men' on September 25, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/WireImage)
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The photos were actually taken at the end of April. He has since shaved the beard, which was for his role in the movie his wife wrote and directed, "I'm Not Here," before "Justice League."

Simmons said his Jim Gordon will look very much like the other versions of the character we've seen.

"I'm not going to mess with something that iconic," he said.

Simmons said he first noticed how out-of-shape he was back in 1997 when he was playing the neo-Nazi character Vern in the landmark HBO series "Oz."

"I was not in good shape at all," he said. "I was overweight and soft and here I am playing the head of the Aryan Brotherhood in this maximum-security prison in the first-ever HBO original drama and I was watching the first season when it came out and I just thought, 'Wow, I don't believe this guy at all. I have to get my a-- to the gym and be a believable hard-a--.'"

Then around 2009, Simmons got up to 250 pounds and vowed to get in better shape. He teamed with trainer Dana Perry who got him down to the sleek look he showcased in his Oscar-winning performance in the 2014 film "Whiplash."

"I've gone back and forth with fine-tuning the kind of conditioning I'm doing," Simmons said. "Sometimes trying to shed weight and getting leaner and sometimes trying to pack on a little more muscle."

And Simmons isn't looking to show off his body in movies. While shooting "Terminator Genisys," in which he wears a suit in every scene he's in, he was working with trainer Aaron Williamson, who was also training the movie's leads Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney.

"I just had free time to go to the gym so I started training with him," Simmons said, adding that he still trains with Williamson and Perry in LA.

Simmons chuckles about the attention the pictures got.

"Those were shot at the end of April. I'm huge now!" Simmons joked.

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