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 in nearby Cambridge. “Oh my gosh, one of the best nights of my entire life,” he says.
He gets a little starry eyed. “It was very inspirational because not only have a lot of the great comedy writers of our time and before passed through there and were a part of that organization, but it was inspirational and moving in that I always felt like, displaced a lot. Because there weren’t very many film people or comedy people really in my high school and college was kind of the same. I just would have felt so at home there. I got the feeling that gosh, I just felt like I would have thrived in that environment.”
Regardless of oppressive environments of his past, Hill is thriving. He 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 CliffsNotes’ 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 the Video Music Awards you made a crack that “people keep saying, ‘now that you’ve lost weight, you’re probably not funny anymore.’” And 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 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.’ Hopefully there’s three or four in there that are just worthy of having said I spent my life doing something...
At what point did you know you wanted to try a drama?
I think I’ve always wanted to take this turn — it just had to be the right thing. … With all these talented people, I mean it was a no brainer. The truth is 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 this underdog, an unlikely star. 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.’