Jonah Hill wants to make one thing absolutely clear.

“I really don’t want to sound pretentious. That’s like my main goal,” he says. “I was like, ‘If I ever do a dramatic movie and people don’t hate it, I’m not going to become one of those people who just starts talking about acting all pretentiously.’”

Hill now finds himself in that difficult position, receiving high praise for his performance in Cyrus as the title character, an emotionally stunted adult son threatened when his mother (Marissa Tomei) falls for a new man (John C. Reilly).

“It’s definitely more of a dramatic stretch for me,” he says. “It was the first time ever it was difficult for me to go home at the end of the day and shake off what I was doing earlier in the day and just hang with my friends or my girlfriend and be normal after playing such a severely affected guy.”

Known for comic turns in Superbad, Knocked Up and Get Him to the Greek, Hill always hoped he’d get a chance to do something different.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this but never knew if I’d get that opportunity. Which is fine, because I love all the movies that I’m known for greatly,” he explains.

But moving into more dramatic territory — and going up against co-stars like Tomei and Reilly — was definitely daunting.

“I was obviously very intimidated going into it,” Hill admits. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

“It’s like anything I’ve done in my career. I could’ve either been intimidated and not gone for it and be at home watching this movie on TV or just really take chances and go for something really different and use that intimidation to fuel your performance in a way,” he says.

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