"Mid-90s" is released - directorial debut of Jonah Hill, who in recent years was able to finally get rid of the limiting role of "that very funny guy from Hollywood." By the time he was thirty-five, Hill had shown the industry what it means to truly be true to yourself. Here's how he did it.
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to noughties cinema is a stream of teen comedies, in which behind jokes about sex hides a tangle of problems familiar to any teenager. One of those films was Superbad, a gagged comedy about how to maintain friendship when adulthood lies ahead. The picture instantly made John Hill a star, transforming him from a young man who got minor roles in Judd Apatow's films ("The Forty-Year-Old Virgin" and "A Little Pregnant") to the number one comedian. However, the role that made Hill famous ended up playing a cruel joke on him. Despite box office success and two Oscar nominations for The Man Who Changed Everything and The Wolf of Wall Street, Hill remained a hostage to an image built, sadly, largely on the caricatured use of his appearance.
After thirty years, however, the actor's career reached a new level: it is no coincidence that, with a difference of several months, a work for Gus Van Sant and a psychological sci-fi directed by Carey Fukunaga appeared in Hill's filmography. In the biopic about grumpy John Callahan, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far, Hill is cast as spiritual guru Donnie Green, who sponsors discouraged people and gives some really valuable advice to the paralyzed cartoonist. In the ten-episode Netflix project "Maniac", Hill tried on several different images at once, from frankly absurd to unusually tragic. In a symbolic way, his longtime colleague on the set Emma Stone helped him in this: more than ten years after the release of "SuperFingers", the duo played together again, only the roles of the actors naturally matured with them.
And although, in addition to Stone, Hill has many friends in Hollywood, with whom he has appeared on the screen more than once (from Seth Rogen, a partner in seven films, to roommate Justin Long), he himself likes to call himself a family man. The first place in his life was always occupied by his parents, who encouraged their son's love for cinema, sister and brother. Beanie's younger sister followed in Jonah's footsteps: in 2015, she appeared in a cameo in the series Orange Is the New Black, and a year later in the sequel Neighbors. On the warpath. " She was successful with her role in the directorial debut of Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird," and Olivia Wilde's debut film "Booksmart", in which Beanie starred - he is already called the new "Superbad", is released in May. In social networks, John never ceases to rejoice at every success of his sister.
If we talk about family and friends, then Hill's childhood was in many ways happy: in the late 90s, when he was just finishing school, the guy spent all his free time in the Hot Rod skate shop in his native Los Angeles. Matt Solomon, the skate shop manager back then, said that the first dollar that hit the Hot Rod box office was from Hill. He went to the store so often that he ended up taking a part-time job there. Other store employees recalled that sometimes the mother of the future actor came to them and talked about her son's talent - even then she did not doubt his future success.
Logically, in his directorial debut for Mid-90s, Hill focuses on two things: nostalgia for childhood and self-acceptance. His hero, a thirteen-year-old teenager Stevie, lives with his mother, who cannot establish contact with him, and his older brother, who consistently resorts to physical violence in any conflict.One day, Stevie meets a group of skaters idly rolling around the city, and is immediately imbued with sympathy for their free lifestyle. So he becomes part of a company in which everyone has a heap of psychological trauma behind him and a number of emerging problems in the future.
“As a result, these children make terrible decisions: they stop communicating and in most cases their life and character breaks what they cannot say 'It hurts me.' And the other person can't say 'Me too,'”Hill says of Mid-90s. Speaking against stereotypical masculinity, it is no coincidence that Jonah Hill brings to the fore the quiet and at first timid Stevie. Together with him we live the first party, the first kiss and the first test of strength - the credits begin exactly at the moment when the hero has completed the first stage of growing up.
Hill is trying to convey his position in life not only through movies, but also on Instagram. In February, after the release of the film, one of the commentators accused him of "posturing" and said that as a child, the actor was a "fat nerd" with nothing to do with skaters. Hill, who could easily miss another hater, replied in his usual manner: “I was both a nerd and a skater. I was honest with myself about this. I understand that you are in a lot of pain. It must be awful. Let me know if you need someone to talk to about this. Anger is simply sadness that we have been holding back for too long. I'm with you dude,”he wrote, adding <3 at the end of the message.
Last October, John released the zine of the film company A24, which was responsible for the release of Mid-90s. “I truly believe that everyone has a teenage photo that they are ashamed of,” writes Jonah. "I asked twelve people whom I admire and respect, whether this idea is close to them and how they loved themselves." The zine includes interviews with Kim Gordon, Michael Cera, Q-Tip, sister Beanie and other celebrities - all of which are built around what the chosen photo means to them. In the foreword, John talked about the photo that was placed on the cover: in the photo he is fourteen, he is terribly worried about his weight and really wants to be accepted by his peers. According to the actor, it was only during the work on "Mid-90s" that he realized how he was offended by ridicule and comments about his appearance.
A few years ago, John literally began a different life, and it was not only about the choice of roles, but also the appearance. The first photos of the thinner actor appeared in 2016 - since then John has been consistently in shape, although he admits with ironic sadness that this is not easy. “I wish there was some kind of magic thing that I could use: for example, a pill, a genie in a bottle or something like that. But I went to a dietitian and he told me what I should eat to change my eating habits,”the actor explains in an interview. Hill practically does not mention the reasons for the sharp change in lifestyle in conversations with reporters. Usually he is limited to the general phrase that it was time for him to become a "responsible adult." One of the first interviews of this kind, Hill gave a year after his older brother passed away, who died of thromboembolism. One of the reasons for the development of the disease was just overweight, Jordan Feldstein was forty years old.
Smooth changes in appearance affected not only the physical form, but also the style that naturally followed from the hobby for skateboarding: along with Justin Bieber and Shia LaBeouf, Hill got into the “Scumbro” wave - the next step after the normcore, denoting a person who knows how to relaxedly combine brands like Supreme with something down to earth from the category of Patagonia. In the case of Jonah, you can almost always see one of the items of his favorite skate brand Palace on him, in which he even hosted one of the SNL issues in a sweatshirt.A couple of months after that, Hill took part in an advertising campaign for the Reebok x Palace collaboration, which was filmed in a shop-on-the-couch style. Now, as soon as he goes outside, Jonah's bows fly through the networks - not least because he also changes the color of his hair with enviable regularity, calmly dyeing it, for example, pink.
The actor, director and, apparently, just a good guy of Jonah Hill finally proved to the world and to himself that he is capable of many things and, most importantly, of what he himself wanted to do from an early age. Before the eyes of the audience, a new type of star has grown - not one that only shines with her face on the screen and the red carpet in beautiful clothes, but one that, among other things, shows by her example how to be not only a famous person, but also just a worthy person, ready to highlight important problems and help those who need it. And that's why no matter what John does next, it will most likely be worth keeping an eye on.
PHOTOS: Columbia Pictures, A24, BVSPR, Getty Images