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. He is known for his comedic roles in films including Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Funny People (2009), 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 was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Hill ranked 28th on Forbes magazine's list of highest-paid actors from June 2014 to June 2015, at $16 million. 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, he starred in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac; and made his directorial debut with the film Mid90s, from his own screenplay.
Early life and education
Hill 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. He worked at Hot Rod Skateboard Shop on Westwood Blvd in Los Angeles. After graduating from high school in 2002, he 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.
2000s: comedy roles
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. He was befriended by Dustin Hoffman's children, Rebecca and Jake, who introduced him 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 led to his appearing in the role of a virgin video game tester in the comedy Grandma's Boy (2006), and roles in the comedies Accepted and Click, playing Adam Sandler's character's son in the latter. He had a larger supporting role in the Apatow-directed Knocked Up (2007). On television, he played the "RA Guy" on the first season of the Oxygen Network sitcom Campus Ladies, and guest-starred in an episode of Clark and Michael.
His first leading role was in the Apatow-produced comedy Superbad, where he appeared with Michael Cera, in roles based on the film's writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It is often cited as the film that launched both actors' careers. He followed it with an uncredited role as Dewey Cox's grown-up brother Nate in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story in December 2007. He hosted Saturday Night Live on March 15, 2008, featuring 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 then played Cooker in Fred Wolf's Strange Wilderness. 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.
In July 2011, he appeared at ESPN's ESPY awards sporting a much slimmer physique, stating he had lost 40 pounds (18 kg). In November 2011, along with Sam Worthington and Dwight Howard, he starred in commercials for the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, making his first appearance with his new look. Also in 2011, he created the Fox animated series Allen Gregory with Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul. It received extremely negative reviews and was canceled by Fox on January 8, 2012.
In 2011, Hill starred in Bennett Miller's feature film Moneyball with Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman. It got favorable reviews, and critics particularly noted Hill's performance as a departure from his usual comedy roles. He received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture; and in late January 2012, received his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the role.
In 2012, Hill co-starred with Channing Tatum in the film 21 Jump Street. It received an 84% rating 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, Hill 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. Citing a possible conflict with his commitment to The Watch, Hill lamented that to act in a Tarantino movie was "the perfect next step" in his career. He was able to join the Django Unchained cast, and it was released in 2012. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012.
In 2013, Hill appeared in This Is the End as himself, and in the biographical film The Wolf of Wall Street, and received his second Academy Award nomination for his work on the latter. In an interview with Howard Stern on January 21, 2014, Hill said he had accepted SAG's minimum wage of US$60,000 for Wolf of Wall Street.
He voiced the Green Lantern in the adventure comedy The Lego Movie in February 2014, which blends computer animation and live action. He 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 the mystery thriller True Story (2015), with 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 (2016) playing arms dealer Efraim Diveroli. 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." That month, Hill also co-starred as a sausage named Carl in adult computer-animated comedy film Sausage Party, with Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, and James Franco.
Hill starred with 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 (2018) starring Sunny Suljic, Lucas Hedges, and Katherine Waterston. 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 alongside Emma Stone. 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.
It was also announced that Hill was cast in Adam McKay's political comedy satire Don't Look Up alongside Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Lawrence. Streep let it be known on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that she will be playing the President of the United States, with Hill playing the role of her son and Chief of Staff. The film is set around a global catastrophe and is described by Streep as a Dr. Strangelove type of satirical film and a "metaphor for global warming". The film is currently filming in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be released on Netflix in 2021.
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, Hill appeared at the 2011 ESPN ESPY Awards, having lost a significant amount of weight, which he later stated he had done to seek more serious roles. He explained that he had consulted with a trainer and a nutritionist, and had changed his diet to mainly sushi. He is also known to train Brazilian jiu jitsu, and described it as "humbling.” In October 2019, he became engaged to Gianna Santos, but they ended the engagement in October 2020.
Filmography and accolades
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Jonah Hill: "I'm a nice Jewish boy."
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Jonah Hill: "Being someone who's Jewish"
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