‘Serious Actor’ Jonah Hill Reveals Desperate Need to Lighten Up

Mark Deming
Movie Talk
Jonah Hill, 'This is the End'
Jonah Hill, 'This is the End'

Jonah Hill is a serious man. Just ask him, he'll tell you.

Or better yet, check out the new issue of Rolling Stone and read the interview with Hill and his co-stars in the new stoner-apocalypse comedy "This Is The End."

"I've done one of the biggest challenges you can do in Hollywood, which is transition from being a comedic actor to being a serious actor, and I'm really prideful of that," Hill tells reporter Erik Hedegaard. "I could have made a billion dollars doing every big comedy of the last 10 years and didn't, in order to form a whole other life for myself. Now I have fulfillment doing both."

All well and good, and Hill did earn an Oscar nomination for his work in "Moneyball," and appears in Martin Scorsese's upcoming "The Wolf of Wall Street." But along the way, prideful Hill seems to have lost a bit of his sense of humor. It certainly wasn't on display the day he sat down for his interview.

In the story, Hedegaard chats with Hill, James Franco, Seth Rogan, and Danny McBride about their general manliness, survival skills, and enthusiasm for marijuana, which fits the funny-guys-face-the-end-of-the-world theme of "This Is The End." However, while the other actors are game to talk about their various misadventures (even the often tight-lipped Franco, who speaks enthusiastically about breaking wind on airplanes), Hill comes off as stiff and uninterested in talking at all, though the fact Hedegaard initially greeted him as "Seth!" probably didn't help. ("No, I'm Jonah," Hill replied. "That's a great way to start.")

When asked if he'd ever been in a fight, Hill replied, "I don't fight anymore … I'm an adult man. I use my words."

When questioned about self-reliance, Hill mentioned the time he was sunburned and had to put aloe vera on his own back using a Swiffer. Funny? Uh, no. "It was the most sad, dark, physically and emotionally painful thing I've ever had to do," Hill said.

And while his co-stars were happy to talk about passing gas, don’t try asking Hill about flatulence. "I'm not answering that dumb question!" Hill snapped. "I'm not that kind of person! Being in a funny movie doesn't make me have to answer dumb questions. It has nothing to do with who I am."

Note to Jonah Hill: You were in "Superbad," "The Sitter" and "21 Jump Street." Get over yourself. Sure you're a good actor, but we like you funny. And lighten up a little. If James Franco can make a fart joke, you certainly can.