Personality Test: Henry J. Simonds |

Personality Test: Henry J. Simonds

Henry J. Simonds
Squirrel Hill native and artist and filmmaker Henry J. Simonds

Squirrel Hill native Henry J. Simonds is an artist and filmmaker living in New York City with his wife, Colleen Daily Simonds, and two boys — John, 3, and George, 8 months.

He works collaboratively in Pittsburgh and New York on various multimedia, photography and film projects, including “Rachel Is,” a film he produced that aired last month on WQED. His multiyear artistic exploration of the iconic toy the Super Ball has included shows at the Charles Bank Gallery and British Airways Headquarters in New York and The Mine Factory — and now, at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, which houses the exhibit “Bounce: Inspired by the World’s Most Amazing Ball.”

Middlebury College (Vt.) recently acquired the work “Global Impact” — a portfolio of 21 Super Ball photos — to been installed at 21 locations around the world.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

According to a survey on, Jennifer Lawrence. Sadly — on Zimbio — I got Will Ferrell. Great talent, but not a real looker. I suppose if there were a hybrid of the two, that’d be about right. I would prefer someone like Tom Hardy. Not too handsome but can really nail the part. But without the Bain breathing apparatus.

Childhood hero:

My brother. He let me play with all his toys and didn’t mind (until eighth grade).

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

Between me and my mother, we pretty much kept everything. But I suppose it would be nice to see my old P.O. again. He was my stuffed elephant pillow. We went on vacation when I was 8, and he never made it back.

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

Flight. Um, because you could fly! Of course, my power of flight would be because I could control matter. So, more like The Force. With flight!

Favorite season:

Water season — those times throughout the year when I am primordially drawn to bodies of water.

Favorite ethnic food:

Fried pork dumplings

I spend the most time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other:


The song I want played at my funeral:

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the ukulele version

Pick one: “Veep,” “House of Cards,” “Scandal”:


Something I would do over if I could:

Nothing big. Those choices make me who I am.

Favorite guilty pleasure:


Show I have or want to binge watch:

Have to: “Game of Thrones.” Want to: “True Blood” and “Breaking Bad”

The Disney character that represents me:


My favorite cable channel:

Toss up between Food Network and HBO

The dessert that matches my personality:


My favorite TV or movie villain:

Heath Ledger as “The Joker”

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

“Miller’s Crossing”

The movie that always makes me cry:

“The Fox and the Hound”

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

“Beast of Burden”

I wish I had more time to:

Do everything!

The first band I saw in concert:

Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Tour at the Civic Arena

The best concert I’ve ever seen:

Roger Waters’ “The Wall” at Yankee Stadium

Top thing on my bucket list:

Ride a bike in all 50 states

Celebrity crush:

Too many for this brief questionnaire

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

I am gluten-free, so this question makes me sad. 🙁

My most embarrassing junk food:

I am most embarrassed that I lived with a buddy in college who spent our house food money on Funyuns.

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:


Pick one: Cheetos, Cheezit or Cheerios:


The most dangerous thing I’ve ever done:

Jump out of a plane

Best vacation ever:

Honeymoon in the Maldives! I had my own dinghy!

Place I’d most like to visit:

South America

In five years, I’d like to:

Still make my boys laugh

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

The spirit of collective good will

Three people I’d love to have dinner with:

Anthony Bourdain, Tom Waits and Johnny Depp — that would be one hell of a night!

My quirkiest inherited trait:

Can’t help but chat up store clerks and waitstaff

One word my mother would use to describe me:


When I was 10, I wanted to be:

Not sure when, but I once told my mother I wanted to be a cow.

In high school, I was:

In the B Group. Played sports, but hung out with musicians and theater folk, too.

If I could go back, I’d tell my teenage self:

Ask the girl out!

My childhood nickname:

Bones, Hambones, Hammer, Hammy Jams, Bonzer, Mr. B, Hambone, Hank

My first job:

Suit-and-tie summer intern at the family business

My worst job:

They all had their ups and downs, but I learned from each of them.

I’m deathly afraid of:

Box jellyfish

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Cathedral of Learning

The person I’m most often mistaken for:

Up North: Zach Galifianakis; down South: Zac Brown

My most memorable fashion mistake:

Zipper-front golf shirts. Loved ’em for way too long.

What you’ll always find in my glove compartment:


If I weren’t an artist, I’d be:

A chef

The last book I read:

“Seven Days in the Art World”

My favorite website:

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

A cow

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:

“Don’t Stop Believin’!” Because you have no choice.

Happiness is:

Baby snuggles

My personal motto:

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Overused phrase you hate most?


My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Brett Keisel

People would be surprised to know that I:

Am a colorblind artist. Sorry … person first: artist who is colorblind

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