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Jonah Hill says he took four years off work to ‘reshape’ himself

Actor says he rarely paused for introspection when he was in his twenties as he was always striving for success

Peony Hirwani
Thursday 26 August 2021 07:49 BST
Jonah Hill on 22 Jump Street

Jonah Hill has revealed that he needed to “hit pause” and take “three to four years” to “reshape things” after his sudden rise to fame in Hollywood.

The 37-year-old actor, who became famous after starring in the movie Superbad alongside Michael Cera, told GQ Magazine that he found himself “running toward success” instead of focusing on other areas in life.

In a conversation with Hollywood filmmaker Adam McKay for the magazine, Hill said his early success in a string of hit comedies had happened “very overnight for me”.

“Michael Cera and I talk about it all the time,” he continued. “We just had this really rare experience: One day life was one way, and then one day life was a different way. 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?”

The 21 Jump Street actor admitted he didn’t realise until he turned 30 that “what those four years gave all my friends was this wobbling period of how to be a person.”

“I was really advanced professionally but really behind personally,” he said.

Hill said he rarely paused for introspection when he was in his twenties because he was always reaching out for success.

“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 [his 2018 feature-length directorial debut], I’m not going to do it.” So Hill “hit pause” and took some years off 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,” he said.

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