J.K. Simmons was once down to his ''last $20'' when he was trying to make it as a young actor in New York City.

The 'Whiplash' star - who won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Movie Awards for his role in the movie this month - struggled to get a job as a waiter when he was trying to make it as a star in the Big Apple so had to bed down for the night in ''s***holes'' and on his friends' floors because he had no money.

When asked how tough things were when he was a young actor, he replied: ''Pretty bad. I had the balls to move to New York City and give it a try there but I wound up living on people's floors and subletting s***holes in Hell's Kitchen.

''I was going to cattle calls but I wasn't getting hired. I couldn't even get a job waiting tables or tending bar.

''I was down literally to my last $20.''

The 60-year-old star - who was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor yesterday (15.01.15) - recalled one instance when he got emotional after his pal, Gregg Edelman, who is now a Broadway star, left him $40 because he was so hard up.

He added to Metro newspaper: ''I remember when times were really tough, a friend of mine and I were hanging out and I was lamenting my fate.

''After he left I went to use the phone to call my parents.

''My buddy, a guy named Gregg Edelman, who is now well-known on Broadway but was another struggling actor then, had left 40 bucks under my phone.

''I was really moved by that.''