Jonah Hill is understandably a little hoarse when we meet up with him at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. The night before, he had been partying with the staff of the Harvard Lampoon. “Oh my gosh, one of the best nights of my entire life,” he says. “It was very inspirational, because a lot of the great comedy writers of our time and before passed through there and were a part of that organization.”
These days, Hill is thriving. The recently slimmed-down actor is starring in his first dramatic role, playing opposite Brad Pitt in the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ 2003 book, “Moneyball.”
I know you must be sick of talking about your weight, but could you give me a Cliffnote’s version?
I completely understand people’s interest in it. I went to a nutritionist. I wanted to be healthier. It’s really as simple as that. It’s not that talking about it bothers me; it’s just how uninteresting my answers are. I wish I had something more interesting to say.
At what point did you know you wanted to try a drama?
I feel very similar right now at this moment in my career to how I did when “Superbad” was coming out, because “Superbad” was my introduction to people. ... I was saying “Hey, I’m Jonah. I’m in this movie. I’d like to do more of this and I hope you accept me.” I got really lucky and it was really popular. ... So now I feel the same way because I’m re-introducing myself by saying “Hey, I’m Jonah and I’m in this different kind of movie that you’re definitely not used to seeing me in, a different kind of performance. And I’d like to do more of this and I hope you accept me.” So it’s a very surreal, dreamlike experience.
At the Video Music Awards late last month, you made a crack that “people keep saying, ‘Now that you’ve lost weight, you’re probably not funny anymore.’” Then you go and do a dramatic film!
I just like all kinds of movies. To me it’s about making good movies. I’m lucky enough to spend my life doing this, and I’d like to do it when I’m an old man. I’d like to have a few DVDs — or whatever space technology they have — to show to my grandkids and go, “This is what I spent my life doing.”
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