Launching into the big screen over a decade ago, Jonah Hill won over audiences’ hearts with his continuous role as the funny, and fat, sidekick. From Superbad, to 21 Jump Street, and everything in between, thousands have laughed while Hill was left to bear the brunt of the joke. Whether is be through demeaning characters or inappropriate interview questions, Hill’s weight seemed to be a constant source of comic relief. However, underneath all of the layers, Hill was concealing a heaping pile of hurt.
With the premiere of Hill’s own self-written and directed movie, Mid90’s, Hill opened up about an issue that has been heavy on his heart ever since he can remember. In his youth, he was served a platter of insults regarding his weight, a matter that has only been exacerbated since stepping into the public eye. He told the LA Times, “If you’re funny and overweight, people can speak to you however they want.” He goes on to say, “I thought if I was funny, it allowed people to make fun of me… Being a young man coming up in this business, I didn’t have the self-love or self-understanding or strength to be myself.” The shame began to eat away at Hill, eventually getting to a point where he admitted: “All of that almost derailed my whole life. I didn’t want to act anymore. I didn’t want to do anything anymore.” Despite his characterization as the ‘funny guy’, Hill became motivated to make a serious change.
Jonah Hill now uses his platform to speak out about the struggles he encountered, both in the past and present, showing the world that body image is an issue for everyone, regardless of gender, profession, or age. He speaks openly about his positive experiences with therapy, and has written and published a magazine, Inner Children, which details his and his colleagues’ struggles with body image issues and their journeys to find self-love. In an interview with Ellen, Hill mentions the importance of taking time for self-care and finding a community of people that are unconditionally accepting. He mentions that the world is full of imperfections and imperfect people, saying “I’m under construction like we all are.” In writing and directing Mid 90’s, Hill reflects on his own struggles to love himself, and the significance of doing so. His story has been an inspiring tale to the large quantity of individuals that are striving to find self-love and acceptance, as well as being a cautionary tale warning people to be careful with their words and how they treat others.