Jonah Hill may be thriving now, but it wasn’t always like that for the 37-year-old actor.
In a new interview with GQ Style published on Tuesday, he reflected on how becoming an “overnight” star in his early twenties had actually stunted his personal growth, so much so that he felt like he needed to take a break from his fame in order to become the person who he is today.
Jonah recalled his popularity following Superbad:
“It was very overnight for me. Michael Cera and I talk about it all the time. We just had this really rare experience: One day life was one way, and then one day life was a different way.”
He continued, admitting that a part of him struggled to adjust to his new world for a long time:
“I was a kid. I had probably too much power for a young person, and too much autonomy, and not enough life skills. I dropped out of college, and I used to not get why people would go to college. Because if you’re ambitious, why would you spend four years just idling? And then I didn’t realize until I turned 30 that what those four years gave all my friends was this wobbling period of how to be a person.”
It truly is a time of self-discovery for many adults. Unfortunately, the 21 Jump Street star never had that time to figure out who he was while also “running towards success.” Hill expressed:
“I was really advanced professionally but really behind personally. All my 20s, I wasn’t really looking inward. I was just running toward success. Or trying to find success. And when I was 30, I was like, I’ve always wanted to be a director, but if I don’t get off this train now and write Mid90s, I’m not going to do it. And I hit Pause. I took three or four years to reshape things. I was like, I could just do this for 10 more years, and I’m not going to evolve as a person.”
Good on him for recognizing the need to pull back! Not a lot of celebrities have that kind of self-awareness.
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Part of the reason for his self-growth was his time creating Mid90s — the 2018 coming-of-age film about an abused 12-year-old who finds comfort through skateboarding. The now body positivity champion explained:
“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. 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.”
He even started seeing a therapist while making the movie, which he found to be 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.’ That’s how I look at that film and what it’s about.”
And to think that we may not have had the Jonah Hill fans have grown to know and love today if the director never stepped back for a bit. Wild! Thoughts on his candid talk with GQ, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below). Also, you can ch-ch-check out the entire conversation between him and Adam McKay HERE.
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