The Reason Jonah Hill Wanted to Hit “Pause” and Change His Life

The Reason Jonah Hill Wanted to Hit

If you’ve been following Jonah Hill on Instagram as of late, he looks like he’s, in a word, thriving. 

The 37-year-old two-time Oscar nominee’s hair is noticeably blond, he’s taken up surfing and he’s become one of the internet’s go-to body-positivity champions. As he proclaimed to Adam McKay—the director of Hill’s upcoming Don’t Look Up—for a GQ Style interview, “What is great without chasing being young and on trend? That’s my energy. I’m 37. Not that I’m old, but I’m not young. I’m not 25. And I don’t chase youth, and I don’t chase trends.”

But, as he explained in their newly published chat, he didn’t always enjoy this level of apparent confidence. As a kid, he made himself the butt of the joke to compensate for what he felt he lacked, even if that meant injury. 

“I sucked at skateboarding. But I would throw myself down 10 stairs to make my friends laugh, knowing I couldn’t ever do any trick that would be good. Or in comedy, I would be brutal to myself, or allow brutality to me, because I felt like that was my seat at the table,” he recalled to McKay. “And what making Mid90s did for me personally was make me understand that I can just be a good person and have value and sit at the table. I don’t need some supernatural thing to offer that is beyond just being a good dude.”

Hill started seeing a therapist around the time he began making the coming-of-age film, about an abused 12-year-old who seeks solace in the skateboard scene. He wrote and directed the 2018 movie, which offered some healing. “It was just very therapeutic to watch a kid go through that and maybe at the end of the movie, almost in a fantasy way that I didn’t have, have someone older than him say, ‘Yo, you’re enough,'” he explained. “That’s how I look at that film and what it’s about.”

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