Finding his happiness. In addition to embarking on new creative career endeavors over the years, Jonah Hill has been on a journey of self-discovery in order to find personal and professional happiness.
“I came up in goofy comedies and was this kind of, like, curly-haired, overweight kid, and everyone had their own opinion on what I should be, how they could speak to me, how they could treat me,” the Superbad star confessed during an October 2018 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I became famous in my late teens and then spent most of my young adult life listening to people say that I was fat and gross and unattractive, and it’s only in the last four years writing and directing my movie Mid90s that I’ve started to understand how much that hurt and got into my head.”
He continued: “I’m under construction like we all are, you know what I mean? We’re all just trying to figure it out.”
Two years later, Hill opened up about how his body image and the way people viewed him impacted his confidence and sense of style. “I think the biggest shift in my personal style was that I always had an interest in personal style and fashion, but I was always a bigger guy,” he told GQ in November 2020. “It’s really hard when you’re overweight to dress a certain way, because clothes aren’t made for people who are overweight to have style. So, I think it surprises people. Even now, I’ll overhear someone discussing my place in the fashion world or whatever, and people are like, ‘That guy? The schlubby guy from Superbad?'”
Hill wasn’t just being pigeonholed in terms of expressing his personal style — he was also struggling to break out of being typecast in comedic roles. “When I started to do dramas as an actor, people were like, ‘Stay in your lane, dude, stay in your lane.’ And I bucked against that, even at a young age. … And then when people started writing about my fashion sense, same kind of thing,” the 22 Jump Street star explained. “And then I’m just like, ‘Wait, how many times do I have to tell myself I can’t do something? I’ve done all these things that I was told that I couldn’t do. Just keep going, just go on the journey of being into the s–t you’re into.'”
After years of grappling with his self-image, Hill revealed that he has finally reached a point where he’s not afraid of what others think about him. “I think, as you grow as a person and as an artist, of course you have a better sense of self,” he told the outlet. “The idea was realizing, whether I was big or small, that I really can define my own personal style. I think that’s a dope wave that’s happening right now in culture, too.”
As the Knocked Up actor’s perception of himself shifted, so did his goals. “Work s—t comes easy to me,” he told GQ Style in August 2021. “I want to be happy. I literally want to be happy. That is the mission of my life, that I work hard at.”
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Keep scrolling to see Hill’s ups and downs over the years: