“21 Jump Street” star Jonah Hill is on the cover of GQ Style and has a conversation with “The Big Short” director Adam McKay.
In the interview, Hill looks back on his 20s and his sudden success in the wake of “Superbad” in 2007.
“It was very ‘overnight’ for me,” Hill recalls. “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. Right after ‘Superbad’, I took a writing job on Brüno [with Sacha Baron Cohen]. I was 23 and they asked me to host ‘SNL’ for the first time. And I didn’t want to leave the writers room. I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t know what to do.’ It was my first job working for Sacha. And Sacha was like, ‘Dude, you should go host “SNL”.’ To me, having a writing job for Sacha Baron Cohen was as rad as hosting ‘SNL’.”
Hill also talks about stepping back to reset after directing his film “Mid90s” in 2018.
“All my 20s, I wasn’t really looking inward,” he says. “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.’”
Now, at 37, Hill looks at younger generations and sees the effects of social media.
“So, Instagram. Instagram—as I smoke a cigarette—is the cigarettes of this time,” he theorizes. “It is the biggest killer. It is death. And I fully participate in it, like I smoke cigarettes. Again, it’s a spectrum of what you find healthy. I have to have really limited interaction with it.”
Hill continues, “And so for me, I’m not dissing anybody. I’ll post a selfie on Instagram. I don’t give a f**k. I’m just as hypocritical as everybody else. So the point being is, it’s all maybe a work in progress to get towards happiness. But the real truth of it is, we’re out here selling a movie. You like me, but you can get lunch with me. You’re doing this to help your movie out. I’m doing this because they asked me to be on the cover of a fashion magazine. And ultimately I think that’s cool. My ego is stroked in some way, so I said yes. And cool! Today I’m playing a different game. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be less self-involved.”