How Jonah Hill Made It

November 24, 2011 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

Hollywood’s cuddliest funny-man has been quietly ascending the ranks of Tinseltown since his first screen appearance in 2007. His latest release sees him rubbing shoulders with A-list Royalty, King Brad of Pitt, in Moneyball. This guy has gone from gross-out teen comedy (complete with period-blood-stained trousers) to serious and bespectacled supporting actor in just five years.

How in the name of initially-unimpressive-minor-characters did he do it?

We think there have been some key manoeuvres undertaken by this lewd but shrewd funny man. Here is our best guess at Jonah’s six top tips for reaching the highest echelons of Hollywood stardom:

1. Get Fit Or Die Tryin’

Hill first crashed onto the comedy scene as a curly haired, lead comedy chunkster in Superbad and Knocked Up. We all love a funny fat guy and Hill had no issues with playing the comedy stereotype with gusto. Providing guaranteed LOL-age by working his wide-waistline alongside such comedy greats as Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Steve Carrell and Ben Stiller earned him plenty of comedy kudos.

But his killer blow was yet to be delivered. Having secured the respect of funny fans, Hill embarked on a crack weight loss campaign and buff-athon surely designed to build on his already formidable fan base and change the dynamic of his appeal. Fresh faced AND funny? A sure fire winner.

2. Get In Touch With Your Thespian Side

Guaranteeing yourself a place in the Hollywood history books is no mean feat. Merely being rotund and risible is unlikely to do the job. Even comedy giants such as Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell have had their straight-faced thespian moments. Whether a comedy star is successful at serious acting or not – it’s a necessary step in turning oneself into a movie virtuoso. Hill’s latest outing alongside Brad Pitt in Moneyball as a sparky economics graduate, Peter Brand, is a tres respectable role for the old curriculum vitae and will no doubt open the door to plenty more serious projects.

Take a look at him in action:


2. Be A Simpson

Being asked to do a voice in The Simpsons is the animated equivalent of pressing your hands into a soggy cement star outside Grauman’s Chinese theatre. You know you have made it when you have your voice dubbed over a small yellow cartoon person. Back in 2009, Hill lent his vocal chords to Andy Hamilton, the biggest prankster Springfield Elementary has ever seen. Previous celeb cameos include: Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin. Basically – anyone who is anyone in H-wood.

4. Make Friends In High Places

There is no denying that Jonah Hill is a talented guy. But there is also no denying that in his earlier days, some smart on-screen pairings helped to boost his career. His first appearance in a major motion picture was I Heart Huckabees (2004) for goodness sake. An outrageously high profile ensemble cast featuring the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Jude Law, Naomi Watts and Mark Wahlberg can hardly have done any damage to his prospects.  Getting in with the Apatow bunch was his next step towards conquering the comedy scene – cue brilliant cameo appearances in a range of funny films including Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum and Russell Brand’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Now he’s standing shoulder to shoulder with Brad Pitt. Next stop: Madame Tussauds.

Take a trip back in time and experience baby Jonah in his movie infancy…yet alongside Academy Award winners. Nice:

5. Anger Management

Will Ferrell is famous for his one-liners. Ben Stiller plays dim-witted dopes to perfection. Steve Carrell is king of deadpan nonsense-spouting and Jim Carrey is…a little bit nuts. The bottom line is, all great comedy actors know how to work their trademark “funny factor” and Jonah Hill is rapidly emerging as the supreme ruler of the rant. Once directors had cottoned on to the full comedic force of his angry outpourings, his talent was rarely wasted.

This sneakily deleted scene from Knocked Up shows Jonah going full throttle at Ang Lee and his “supposedly pro-gay movie” Brokeback Mountain. ROFL:

Or this Superbad rant which ends with one of the best bum/car collisions the silver screen has ever seen:

6. P-P-P-Pick Up A Pen

It’s all very well being one of the hottest young things to hit Hollywood. But if you really want to make it to the top, you need to earn your stripes scribbling out your own script. Next year will see the release of the very first feature film written by Jonah’s fair hand. 21 Jump Street will follow the (mis)fortunes of two underachieving cops who are sent undercover in a high school, in a calamity-laden bid to bring down a drugs ring. Hopefully these crap cops won’t be a reprise of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Superbad officers.

We believe in you Jonah, don’t let us down:

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