Jonah Hill interview: “I hate it when someone complains how hard Hollywood is”

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I read this Jonah Hill interview prepared to ignore it, since my feelings about him are pretty much neutral/uninterested. He said some stuff that was really humble and funny, though, and had me nodding in agreement. Kaiser just saw Moneyball, in which Hill costars with Brad Pitt, and she loved it. The film is getting overwhelmingly positive reviews, with a lot of praise for Hill’s performance. We know him as the fat funny guy, but he’s shown he can play the straight man just as easily as he’s seemed to shed the weight. Here are some of my favorite quotes from his NY Magazine interview. Jonah has a new animated series he created premiering on Fox at the end of October. The guy is living the dream and he knows it.

How did your upcoming animated show, Allen Gregory, come about?
Comedically, I am a product of The Simpsons. I went to the school of The Simpsons. It’s how I learned about comedy, and a lot about life. I think that show has had, at times, the most brilliant writing ever. I truly believe that it’s influenced anyone interesting in the last twenty years. So, when I was 6 or 7, my parents asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I said, “I want to live in Springfield.” So my parents explained that that was not a possibility, and so I said, “Well, then, I wanna work on The Simpsons.” And they said, “Who’s your favorite character?” And I said, “Homer.” And they said, “Well, there’s a guy who does the voice of Homer, and there are other people who write what Homer says.” And I said, “That’s what I want to do.” So I had a pretty firm idea that I wanted a job as staff writer on The Simpsons when I was 6. And then in high school the first stories I would write were spec episodes of The Simpsons. Not with a screenwriting computer program or anything, just, like, in Word. Like a book! So, years later, Fox asked me to be a voice in a pilot they were working on, and I thought, Well, I’ve always wanted to create my own animated show, and if I’m the voice in someone else’s vision, then they already have me so why would they want me to create something else for them? So I politely declined.

I lived above Jarrad Paul and Andy Mogel, they’re really talented writers, and we’d write in each other’s apartments a lot. They had written a script I really liked called Himmelfarb. I walked in their apartment and said, “We’re going to create an animated series together.” And after three or four weeks, we had Allen Gregory, which is going to follow The Simpsons this fall. And the significance of that is so beyond even a childhood make-a-wish/what-the-f&$# kind of occasion that I cannot believe it’s real.

You must be a good multitasker.
I don’t sleep very often! I come from a very hardworking entrepreneurial background, and I would hate myself so much if I looked back on the golden opportunity that people like Judd Apatow gave me and felt I wasted it. I’m not going to be in Tahiti having a money fight with someone! I hate it when I read a Hollywood interview where someone complains how hard it is. That’s all bullshit. We’re so lucky to do this. I just want to work as hard as I can while there’s opportunity to work.

Is it strange to think that if it’s a hit, unlike a movie, this show could be a part of your working life for a long time?
It would be so joyous. Jarrad and Andy and I have a wonderful connection. And the whole writing staff — there’s fifteen of us, all young, energetic, crazy, fun. Fox calls us the traveling party.

But you’ll also be running what could turn into a big business enterprise.
It’s funny. I always say that Superbad and all the early Judd days was my college. For myself and Seth [Rogen] and Michael Cera, that was college because a lot of us didn’t go or only went a little. And this show, I feel, is like my law school. We’re a little older and busier and more stressed out, but we’re still trying to have fun. If I could be with these people for however many years, it’d be so cool. And I’m so proud of the show. This is the first thing where people can really come down hard on me if they hate it. I can’t pass the buck; I can’t blame anyone else.

That doesn’t make you nervous?
No! F&$# being nervous, man! It’s amazing! If you believe in it, who cares? It’s so easy to judge stuff, but, you know, put stuff out there! When Conan left NBC, he gave this beautiful last speech on his show. I literally was crying, because it was, “Don’t be a judgmental asshole. Put something out there, and then even if everybody hates it and it sucks, you say, ‘Okay, I’ve got something else — how about this?’” It’s so easy to judge. So I’d rather put myself out there and be judged than be too scared to put anything out there.

[From NY Mag]

Later on Jonah talked about how he’s 28 now, and basically had to grow up in front of the public. He explained that he finds his interviews from when he was 21 “horrifying” and that “if you had a public record of yourself at 21, you’d sound like an idiot. You think you know everything about the universe and you’re the wisest person in the world.” That’s pretty self aware for a 28 year-old. I also loved what he said about people complaining about Hollywood, and how we’re not going to find him “in Tahiti having a money fight with someone.” He’s funny, he seems nice and he’s trying to work hard and not let fame get to his head.

So I really want to like that Allen Gregory animated series that he created, but I saw the trailer (below) and it’s just bad. It doesn’t look funny at all. The concept, a kid who is wise and smooth-talking beyond his years, quickly gets annoying and seems like it will be played out within five minutes. It premieres on Sunday, October 30th and there will be 13 episodes.

He looks like a totally different person now that he’s thin, doesn’t he?

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photo credit: Fame and WENN

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27 Responses to “Jonah Hill interview: “I hate it when someone complains how hard Hollywood is””

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  1. Bite me says:

    The laugh lines is that what’s it’s called… He needs to inject some fat into those suckersp

  2. Lindy says:

    I’m just not a fan of anything animated, ever. So I doubt I’ll be tuning in. That said, I do like his interview–it really does seem like he’s genuinely humble and self-aware. Compare that to someone like Shia Lewhatever… He seems like a good guy.

  3. mln76 says:

    I used to find him really annoying buy he did great in MB I think he should segway into a dramatic film career.

  4. Happymom says:

    I loved that he moved back home with his parents so he could be around right before his younger sister went off to college.

  5. brin says:

    He sounds like a nice guy and I like that he is taking on a variety of roles.

  6. gee says:

    I think he looks so hansome now. I wonder if he’s going to get his tummy tucked now that it’s probably just loose skin. If it was me, I would.

  7. Boo says:

    I’ve always been neutral on him…but I heard him on Howard Stern last week, and he was one of the worst interviews ever. He kept yammering on and on, talking coke-fast, and saying things like “this is the FUNNIEST STORY EVER!” and then going on to tell a story that is NOT funny. For instance, one charming story he told was about how he had planned when he was in high school to go to the prom with his date and then lose his virginity with her later that night. Instead–insert heavy chortles–he got so drunk that he-oh my gosh, I can’t contain the hilarity–**he threw up in her mouth!** So then she wouldn’t have sex with him and went to stay in a friend’s hotel room, so his date “cockblocked” another couple, too. Isn’t that story a riot?!

    What a disgusting little pig he showed himself to be.

  8. the original bellaluna says:

    How wonderfully refreshing that someone in H-Weird is NOT complaining about how HARD it is to have a career they CHOSE.

    Now, if only we could whack-the-bejeebers of that into Goop and about a hundred other whiners…

  9. Waldemar says:

    “He looks like a totally different person now that he’s thin, doesn’t he?”

    Am I they only one who sees his bulging belly in the last pic? He sure has lost weight, but that is not thin.

  10. Auds says:

    No Hollywood isn’t hard if you’re connected and nepotism is at work.

  11. Jam says:

    @Boo…IT’S HOWARD STERN? Why are you listening to Howard Stern and expecting anything BUT perverse stories? Listen to NPR if you want class. Jesus.

  12. mln76 says:

    @Auds who is he related to?

  13. Naya says:

    Speaking of connections, wasn’t Jonah good friends with Dustin Hoffman’s kids and that is why he got his first acting job?

  14. Boo says:

    Yes, Jonah grew up with Dustin Hoffman’s kids.

    And I listen to Howard Stern all the time, because he is a masterful interviewer. I won’t apologize for it; Howard doesn’t always play to the highbrow audience, but his interviews are better than anyone’s. Listen to recent interviews he did with Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and Billy Joel–none of them came off looking like a dickhead or a douchebag simply by virtue of being on Howard’s show. Jonah did. Everyone here is saying what a great guy he seems like, but get him talking, and he reveals that he is, as I said before, a disgusting little pig.

  15. lucy2 says:

    Auds, I thought the same thing – if you get a break, through connections or just dumb luck, and your career takes off, it’s not hard at all.
    But there are a LOT of people who struggle for a long time, and it sounds like there’s a lot of rejection and nonsense that goes along with that.
    Jonah was fortunate to start young and work steadily. I don’t know what he’s like otherwise, but it is good that he appreciates what he has and knows it’s a good deal.

  16. Shannon says:

    He seems like a really genuine person who hasn’t let the fame get to his head. I could actually see him being nice to the “little people” who aren’t famous in person. Whereas most people in Hollywood wouldn’t give you the time of day. Yeah, he obviously has a crass sense of humor. But nobody’s perfect.

  17. mln76 says:

    Having connections can get you chances but it doesn’t get you everywhere- if it did Rumor Willis would have an Oscar.

  18. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    But he wasn’t talking about how hard it is to get noticed and make a name for yourself, he was talking about people who are in a position to be interviewed by major publication and so are largely past the struggling stage. Hollywood is all one giant circle jerk and both the P.A. and the mogul a powerful relation and connection in their pockets. Make sure Christa Miller thanks her auntie Susan St. James for the career. So, can the complaints be coming from difficulty? Sure. Bet I’ll wager there are a spoiled babies too who have a skewed definition of ‘difficult’ living in their brains.

  19. Carolyn says:

    @Min78 right on! My first ripsnorting laugh of the day (it’s 7.37am here in Aus). I’m really neutral about this guy. I think any actor who has continued success is darn lucky and should be genuinely humble and appreciative. No-one is that irreplaceable and uniquely special. They’re certainly not worth the millions they are paid.

  20. poiup says:

    Huh, he looks odd with the loose skin under his chin, he should have that fixed

  21. Ramie says:

    I hate it when he opens his mouth. Period.

  22. Luckylilgem says:

    I like the trailer, looks like a Family Guy kind of humor. Stewie…just older and not an alien.

  23. wresa says:

    Ahh, as an aspiring novelist, this was inspiring to read! He’s lookin’ kinda cute suddenly… :)

  24. Nikki Girl says:

    “I hate it when I read a Hollywood interview where someone complains how hard it is. That’s all bullshit. We’re so lucky to do this.”

    One of the best quotes of the year. I hope all the stupid, self-absorbed celebrities who act like they suffer so much for their careers will read this.

  25. dj says:

    I like him! He seems humble and hardworking. He really is handsome too.

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