Hill at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival
Jonah Hill Feldstein
December 20, 1983
|Relatives||Beanie Feldstein (sister)|
Jonah Hill Feldstein (born December 20, 1983) is an American actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. Hill is known for his comedic roles in films including Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him to the Greek (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), This Is the End (2013), and 22 Jump Street (2014), as well as his dramatic performances in Moneyball (2011) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), for which he received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Hill ranked 28th on Forbes magazine's ranking of world's highest-paid actors from June 2014 to June 2015, bringing in $16million. In 2020, he was found to have sworn on film more than any other actor. As a screenwriter, he contributed to the stories of 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Sausage Party and Why Him?. In 2018, Hill starred in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac and made his directorial debut with the film Mid90s, from his own screenplay.
Jonah Hill Feldstein was born on December 20, 1983 in Los Angeles, California to Sharon Lyn (née Chalkin), a costume designer and fashion stylist, and Richard Feldstein, a tour accountant for Guns N' Roses. He has a younger sister, actress Beanie Feldstein (born 1993); their elder brother, Jordan Feldstein (1977-2017), was a music manager of Robin Thicke and Maroon 5 until his sudden death at age 40 from a DVT/pulmonary embolism. His parents were originally from Long Island, New York, and the family vacationed in the Catskills. He grew up in the wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood of Cheviot Hills, where he continues to live, and attended the Center for Early Education, Brentwood School, and then Crossroads School, in Santa Monica. Hill worked at Hot Rod Skateboard Shop on Westwood Blvd in Los Angeles. After graduating from high school in 2002, Hill attended The New School and the University of Colorado Boulder, but did not earn a degree. Hill is Jewish, and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
In college, Hill began writing his own plays and performing them in the Black and White bar in the East Village neighborhood of New York City. His plays developed a small following and helped him realize that his true desire was to act in films. Hill was befriended by Dustin Hoffman's children, Rebecca and Jake, who introduced Hill to their father. The elder Hoffman asked him to audition for a role in I Heart Huckabees, in which Hill made his film debut.
Hill then made a brief appearance in Judd Apatow's directorial debut The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which eventually led to his appearing in the role of a virgin video game tester in the comedy Grandma's Boy (2006) and featuring in the comedies Accepted and Click, playing Adam Sandler's character's son in the latter film. Hill was featured in a larger supporting role in the Apatow-directed Knocked Up (2007). On television, Hill played the "RA Guy" on the first season of the Oxygen Network sitcom Campus Ladies. He guest-starred in an episode of Clark and Michael.
His first leading role was in the Apatow-produced comedy Superbad. Hill starred in the film alongside Michael Cera, in roles based on the film's writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The film is often cited as the film that launched the careers of the two actors. He followed it with an uncredited role as Dewey Cox's grown-up brother, Nate Cox, in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story in December 2007. He hosted Saturday Night Live on March 15, 2008, which featured musical guest Mariah Carey.
He next starred in Judd Apatow's third directorial feature, Funny People (2009), which also starred Adam Sandler, Eric Bana and Seth Rogen. He was an associate producer of the 2009 Sacha Baron Cohen mockumentary Brüno. He guest starred on an episode of The Simpsons called "Pranks and Greens", portraying an immature man named Andy Hamilton who was hailed the best prankster in Springfield Elementary School history. He turned down a role as one of the three principal comedic actors in The Hangover so he could work with directors Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass in Cyrus (2010).
In July 2011, Hill appeared at ESPN's ESPY awards sporting a much slimmer physique. He stated he had lost 40 pounds. In November 2011, Hill, along with Sam Worthington and Dwight Howard, starred in commercials for the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, making his first appearance with his new look. Also in 2011, Hill created the Fox animated series Allen Gregory alongside Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, which received extremely negative reviews and was officially canceled by Fox on January 8, 2012.
In 2011, Hill starred in Bennett Miller's Moneyball alongside Brad Pitt, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The film gained favorable reviews and critics noted Hill's performance in particular as a departure from his usual comedy roles. He received a Golden Globe nomination, his first nomination, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. In late January 2012, Hill received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in Moneyball.
In 2012, Hill co-starred with Channing Tatum in the film 21 Jump Street, the film received an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus "A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite." Later that year he starred in the film The Watch with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn.
In 2011, it was announced that Hill was in talks to appear in Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained. Hill almost had to decline a possible role due to his prior commitment to The Watch, lamenting that to act in a Tarantino movie was "the perfect next step" in his career. Hill later rejoined Django Unchained, which was released in 2012. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other individuals.
In 2013, Hill appeared in This Is the End as himself and the biographical film The Wolf of Wall Street. Hill received his second nomination for an Academy Award for his work on the latter film. In an interview with Howard Stern on January 21, 2014, Hill said he earned US$60,000 for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street because Hill took SAG's "minimum wage". Hill told Stern he did not mind getting minimum pay because he "would have done anything in the world" for a role in a Scorsese film.
He voiced the Green Lantern in the adventure comedy The Lego Movie in February 2014, which blends computer animation and live action. Hill reprised his role as Morton Schmidt in 22 Jump Street (2014), the sequel to 21 Jump Street. His next performance was as Michael Finkel in True Story (2015), a mystery thriller, alongside James Franco. In 2016, he played a surety agent for a production company in the Coen brothers' period comedy Hail, Caesar! and starred alongside Miles Teller in the biographical crime war comedy-drama War Dogs, playing arms dealer Efraim Diveroli, in August 2016. In The Guardian, Wendy Ide wrote of his performance, "Jonah Hill is so repellent - all swagger, sweat and unapologetic sexism - in War Dogs, that for a while, you don't immediately realise what a blitzkrieg of a performance he delivers." Hill also co-starred as a sausage named Carl in adult computer-animated comedy film Sausage Party, alongside Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, and James Franco, in the same month.
Hill starred opposite Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot directed by Gus Van Sant. He directed the music video for Danny Brown's song "Ain't It Funny" in 2017, featuring Van Sant. Hill made his directorial debut from a screenplay he wrote with the film Mid90s, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2018, and was positively received. It was theatrically released in the United States on October 19, 2018. Also in 2018, Hill starred as Owen Milgrim in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac. In the October 2018 issue of Vanity Fair, he was named in the magazine's best dressed list. In 2019, Hill played Lewis, a heavily Southern-accented book agent, in the comedy The Beach Bum.
On September 23, 2019, it was reported that Hill was in final negotiations to play the villain in Matt Reeves's The Batman. However, an agreement was not reached and Hill eventually departed the project.
Hill wanted to be a writer since he was young, dreaming of joining the writing teams of The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live and The Larry Sanders Show. At one point, Hill was writing a screenplay with close friend and I Heart Huckabees co-star Jason Schwartzman. At another, he was writing Pure Imagination, a comedy for Sony about a man who develops an imaginary friend after a traumatic experience. Filming was expected to begin in 2008, but it has been in development since then. Hill was a co-producer on the movie Brüno, and did some writing for Sacha Baron Cohen, who "taught him how to become a better writer". Hill co-wrote the treatment for the 2012 film 21 Jump Street with screenwriter Michael Bacall.
In July 2011, he appeared at the 2011 ESPN ESPY Awards, having lost a significant amount of weight. He did this by consulting with a trainer and a nutritionist, and changing his diet to mainly eating sushi in order to obtain serious roles.
Jonah Hill: "I'm a nice Jewish boy."
Jonah Hill: "Being someone who's Jewish"