Well known for both his fantastic comedic timing and impressive dramatic acting chops, Jonah Hill is no stranger to exposing his inner self on the big screen. Despite that, like all human beings, there certainly are things about him that he would rather not be the focus of conversation.
Somebody that seems to be amazingly forthright about a lot of things, Jonah Hill is surprisingly open about many things he has done in his life, including the good and the bad. However, even though he clearly is comfortable with addressing many aspects of his life, that doesn’t mean that he wants the conversation about him to focus on those aspects of his life. In fact, in the past, he has spoken about being embarrassed by things he said and done in the past. As such, it seems like a great time to look at 20 little known details about Jonah Hill he doesn’t openly share with his fans.
In order for a piece of information to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to relate to Jonah Hill in one obvious way or another. Next, it has to seem like he typically doesn’t go out of his way to point it out to his legions of fans. That said, it is perfectly okay if he has spoken about these things in the past, as in many cases, the world would have no idea about them otherwise. However, from the outside looking in, it seems like he is unlikely to go out of his way to speak about anything listed here on any kind of regular basis.
20 He Turned Down a huge role
A surprise smash that became the talk of the comedy world in 2009, The Hangover made more than 13 times its production budget back at the box office. The kind of figure that the bean counters in Hollywood love to see, that level of success allowed it to receive 2 sequels which made starring in the series a boon to its 3 main stars. A star making film for Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and most of all Zach Galifianakis, one of them almost missed out on it because Jonah Hill was offered a lead role in the project. Well known for starring in Superbad at the time the part was offered to him, his fear of typecasting inspired Hill to turn down the project.
19 His French TV Tour Went Poorly
The kind of thing that celebrities are asked to do whenever one of their projects is about to hit the market, when an actor has a film come out, they tour the world speaking to the press. Meant to give them the opportunity to convince audiences to give their project a chance, many stars will admit that it is a tedious experience at best. Sent to France to promote his film War Dogs in 2016, the whole thing went awry when he appeared on the French nightly talk show Le Grand Journal and Ornella Fleury offended him. Saying that she’d want Hill to introduce her to Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, he was so unamused that he called her out on it and then cancelled the remainder of his appearances in France.
18 He Wanted to Live in Springfield
Born in 1983, Jonah Hill and children of his generation were in the sweet spot in terms of The Simpsons. Still young when the show hit its stride and just old enough to understand the more mature jokes once the series became a rerun staple, they were coming of age during its best years. For that reason, it should come as no surprise at all that Jonah Hill was a huge fan of the show. However, it is pretty unique that when he was 7 years old and was asked what he wanted to do with his life, he responded that he wants to live in Springfield. Obviously, a life’s ambition that has no chance of coming true, he did experience the closest thing possible when he voiced the character Andy Hamilton in a 2009 episode of the show.
17 He And Justin Long Were Bad Roommates but Great Friends
The first film in Jonah Hill’s career that he played an important enough part in to be called a star, unfortunately, Accepted underwhelmed at the box office. Still, he and the movie’s main star, Justin Long, really hit it off. In fact, in the mid-2000s the pair was tight enough that they ended up becoming roommates for a short period of time. Unfortunately, Long has revealed that living together did not go well for them. In fact, he revealed that Hill “left the bathroom door open” and “didn’t clean up after himself,” so before too long, they were “like an old married couple” and it was “time for a separation.” However, they are still good friends to this day.
16 Why His Arm is Scarred
Something of a mystery to those that took note of it, Jonah Hill told the backstory behind his distinctive arm scar in a single interview for Rolling Stone magazine. Revealing that at 15 years old he and a friend snuck out in an SUV, Hill made the mistake of holding his arm out the window while his friend drove the vehicle. A real safety hazard that everyone should avoid, on that night the vehicle flipped over while his arm was still exposed. As a result, his arm was dragged between the SUV and the ground and was almost completely severed. Waking up in the hospital, “he heard two doctors discussing whether or not to amputate his arm,” but they obviously were able to repair the damage but not without significant scarring.
15 He is a Grandma’s Boy
If there is one thing that is abundantly clear about Jonah Hill it is this, when he cares about something he seems to do so with near absolute abandon. As a result, during interviews, he is known to speak of his love for things whether they are on trend or not. One of the best possible examples of how deeply he cares about things, he has two tattoos on his body that relates to the importance of some of the women in his life. Both placed on his forearms, he got a "Hello Beanie" tattoo as a tribute to his sister after the brother they shared passed away prematurely. On top of that, the other one features the words "Nancy Rules" enclosed in a heart in reference to his beloved grandmother.
14 A Lot Went Into That Goldfish Scene
A film that features its fair share of over-the-top behavior, one of the most memorable scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street features Jonah Hill’s character consuming a goldfish on screen. The kind of thing that decades ago they would have captured on film simply by having the actor actually eat the animal, thankfully that kind of thing is no longer common practice. However, Hill revealed that “I want everything that could be real to be real [but] PETA wouldn’t let me eat a real goldfish”. As such, under the strict observance of PETA representatives, Hill put a real goldfish in his mouth but then spit it out.
13 His Dad Was an Accountant to the Stars
The kind of job that is of great importance to our modern world but sounds extremely boring from the outside looking in, being an accountant seems like it would be an extremely tedious gig. However, in the case of Jonah Hill’s father Richard Feldstein, it seems a lot more glamorous because of the clients he has kept the books for over the years. Working to ensure that musicians like Madonna, Dr. Dre, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, and Guns ‘N” Roses guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin are well informed of their financial situation, it sounds pretty cool. Of course, in reality, numbers are numbers at the end of the day and his famous clientele shouldn’t make much of a difference.
12 He is Not Afraid to Stick Up For Himself
A tedious process, stars go on press junkets where they proceed to be asked the same questions worded slightly differently over and over again by various people. Still, each interview is important as it represents the opportunity to promote your latest project to a slew of potential customers that you need to pay their money to enjoy it. As such, even when many stars are asked unfortunate questions they turn the other cheek so as to not come off poorly. Not of that ilk, Jonah Hill stuck up for himself when in one interview he was bluntly asked if he “still feels like the fat guy”. Not at all hiding his disgust at the question, Hill responded with a question of his own, “do you have any other questions that are smart”?
11 He Finds His Early Interviews Embarrassing
From one entry related to the many interviews Jonah Hill has given over the years to another, this time around it is time to look at the times that he came off poorly in his own mind. Still relatively young when he began to garner attention, even though people tend to think they’ve matured by the time they reach their early 20s the truth is that they still have a long way to go. For that reason, once people reach their 30s and beyond, they tend to think back at some things they said and did earlier in life with embarrassment. Bad enough for regular folks, Jonah Hill revealed that when he read an interview of his from his early 20s he thought to himself, “I sound so stupid”.
10 He Took a low salary to Be in The Wolf of Wolf Street
Without a doubt, the most prestigious project Jonah Hill has ever been a part of, The Wolf of Wall Steet offered him the opportunity to work with director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Desperate to be cast in the movie, Jonah Hill insisted on auditioning for his role in the movie even though he hadn’t gone through that process in the previous 6 years. On top of that, he also offered to be paid scale for his part in the movie, which is the absolute minimum an actor can be compensated for working on a movie. Requiring him to be on set for the seven month shoot, that meant he was paid only $60,000 before taxes and the fees he had to pay his representatives. A pretty good pay day for most people, for a famous actor that is nothing.
9 He Appeared to Learn a Valuable Lesson
Oftentimes put on an unreasonable pedestal, in realty, famous people are just as human as anyone else. For that reason, it should be expected that they will make mistakes that become public. Of course, not all errors in judgment are created equally and each one should be viewed individually by the masses. Revealed to have made a pretty egregious choice in 2014, while mad at a paparazzi, Jonah Hill lashed out in a profanity-laced homophobic tirade. Known to have fought for LGBTQ rights, especially in Russia, it went against everything he seemed to be. Addressing the incident during interviews with Howard Stern and Jimmy Fallon in the aftermath, he offered up no excuse for his behavior and a heartfelt apology. Largely forgiven, he seems to have grown as a human being from the entire awful incident.
8 His Connections Earned His First Major Role
An adage that absolutely is grounded in reality, a lot of the time, it really is who you know and not what you know that matters most. Especially true in Hollywood at times, when there are so many people vying for every job, any little advantage you have can make all the difference in the world. A perfect example of just that is Jonah Hill who landed his debut on screen role because he is really close friends with the children of a moviemaking powerbroker. Extremely close with Rebecca and Jake Hoffman, they got him his first film audition for a tiny role in a movie their father starred in, I ♥ Huckabees. Able to land the gig, even though it was only a small part it was still the starting point of his entire acting career.
7 He Made Leonardo DiCaprio eat way too sushi
An arduous process, when Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio spent months working on The Wolf of Wall Street, they became good friends with one another. In fact, there is a series of images in which DiCaprio sneaks up on him while he is out and about and pranks him by pretending to be a fan looking for an autograph. Far from the only time DiCaprio has gotten the better of Hill, Jonah was quoted as saying, "We had fight scenes in the movie” and “he basically beat the crap out of me for six months.” Happy to have the opportunity at revenge, later on, they filmed a scene where DiCaprio had to eat sushi during each take. Taking full advantage of the moment, Hill made sure that 100 takes had to be taken and DiCaprio ate so much sushi that it made him vomit.
6 Adam Levine is His Longtime Close Friend
Another example of Jonah Hill’s ability to create really strong and lasting friendships, long before either of them were famous, he grew really close to Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine. Actually, their bonds run so deep that even though both of them have extremely busy schedules, their lives remained intricately connected into adulthood. One such example of that, up until his untimely demise, Jonah Hill’s brother Jordan served as the manager for Maroon 5. An even better indicator of how deeply they care about one another, when Levine married Behati Prinsloo in 2014, it was Hill that officiated their ceremony.
5 Don’t Ask Him About His Birth Name
When he came into this world, his full name was Jonah Hill Feldstein. A change that you’d probably think is not all that meaningful, judging by the reaction he was described as having when asked about the change during an interview, there may be more to it. Described by a writer as changing the entire tone of their interaction as soon as the subject of his birth name came up, his only response was said to be, “Can we just not?” Probably just a reaction to an intrusion into his privacy, it was still an interesting response.
4 He sometimes pushes himself too far on the Set
Only the second movie that Jonah Hill appeared in, his time appearing on screen in The 40-Year-Old Virgin was pretty memorable. Part of a scene in which he futilely attempted to buy a flashy pair of boots from a business that only sold things online, he radiated utter confusion with his inability to just buy the item in question. Even though his character in the movie had no real influence on the story of the film, he was still memorable enough that the decision was made to include him in the dance sequence at the movie’s end. A great sign for his budding career at the time, it took a toll on him personally as he ended up in the hospital after suffering from heat stroke during the filming of that scene.
3 He Doesn’t Want to Be Asked About Brad Pitt
The final entry on this list that pertains to the various relationships he has with his famous friends, it is abundantly clear that Jonah Hill would be happy to drop any discussion of that subject. Starring with Brad Pitt in Moneyball, they brought out the best in each other to such a degree that both were nominated for Academy Awards for their work in the movie. On top of that, their connection was so strong that Pitt inspired Hill to lose weight and he also let Jonah live with him for a few months. However, that in no way means that Hill wants to be quizzed about his buddy, especially when he is taking part in an interview that has nothing to do with him.
2 He Wrote Some Strange Plays
A piece of information that a lot of people don’t realize, the fact that Jonah Hill initially had his eye on being a writer instead of an actor could warrant an entry on this list of its own. Instead, that tidbit is included as a part of this entry because some of his attempts at writing were so odd, his efforts have to be focused on. Starting out his career in front of crowds by reading plays he wrote aloud in a New York City bar, he was actually able to accumulate a following since his work was so unique. For instance, one of his plays focused on Hitler being bullied by three roommates he lived with and becoming evil as a result.
1 His Moneyball Character Had One Notable Critic
The movie that helped change the way many moviegoers perceived Jonah Hill, he played his dramatic role in Moneyball so well that people began to look at him in a new light. Despite that, there was one observer that did not like the character Hill played in the movie, Paul DePodesta, the real-life person the character is based on. Feeling disappointed as he felt like what he saw on the big screen was nothing like himself, personality wise it was no match in his mind and since DePodesta is very thin, that did not fit either. That said, he was also very complimentary about how Hill treated him personally and also thought he performed the part as written fantastically.