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 such as Accepted (2006), Grandma's Boy (2006), Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him to the Greek (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), This Is the End (2013), 22 Jump Street (2014), and War Dogs (2016), as well as his 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 $16 million. As a screenwriter, he contributed to the stories of 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, Sausage Party and Why Him? (2016). In 2018, Hill starred in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac and made his directorial debut from a screenplay he wrote, titled Mid90s. Before being released in the United States on October 19, 2018, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2018 and was positively received.In 2019, Hill will play Lewis in The Beach Bum, and also reprise his roles as Snotlout Jorgenson in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Green Lantern in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Jonah Hill Feldstein was born on December 20, 1983 in Los Angeles, to Sharon Lyn (née Chalkin), a costume designer and fashion stylist, and Richard Feldstein, a tour accountant for Guns N' Roses. He has a sister, Beanie Feldstein, who is an actress, and an elder brother, Jordan Feldstein (1977-2017), who was a music manager of Robin Thicke and Maroon 5. 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 to this day, and attended the Center for Early Education, Brentwood School, and then Crossroads School, in Santa Monica. After graduating from high school in 2002, Hill attended Bard College, The New School and the University of Colorado Boulder. Hill is Jewish, and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
Career[edit | edit source]
Early work[edit | edit source]
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.
2007-2012[edit | edit source]
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 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). He guest-starred in an episode of Reno 911!, which aired on April 1, 2009.
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.
Also in 2011, Hill, alongside Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, created Allen Gregory, a cartoon series that received extremely negative reviews and was officially cancelled by Fox on January 8, 2012.
Hill received a Golden Globe nomination, his first nomination, for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for his performance in the 2011 sports film Moneyball, in which he portrayed his first dramatic role as Peter Brand. 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, and with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in the film The Watch. 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.
2013-present[edit | edit source]
In 2013, Hill appeared in This Is the End as himself and the biographical film The Wolf of Wall Street. Hill was nominated for his second Academy Award for his work in 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 has starred alongside 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 will make his directorial debut from a screenplay he wrote, titled Mid90s.
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.
Writing[edit | edit source]
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.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
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's older brother, Jordan Feldstein, managed Maroon 5 and Robin Thicke. Jordan died on December 22, 2017 of pulmonary thromboembolism.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Jonah Hill filmography