Jonah Hill says his new movie 'Mid90s,' which he directed, is the first time in his career he's showing the public who he really is

Tobin Yelland/A24Jonah Hill on the set of ‘Mid90s.’
  • Jonah Hill says his directorial debut, “Mid90s,” marks the first time audiences will see who he really is.
  • “This is the first thing that represents me,” he told Business Insider.

Jonah Hill has been on screen since he was 18 years old, and in that time has given audiences some memorable roles, but he says it’s his directorial debut, “Mid90s” (opening in theatres Friday and nationwide the week after), that is a true peek into who he really is.

The movie centres around 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic), who finally finds acceptance when he befriends a group of skateboarders. Hill said that culture was a big influence on him as a kid and that he knew whenever he decided to direct a movie skateboarding would be a part of it.

You wouldn’t think skateboarding would be an interest for an actor who we know best from movies like “Superbad” and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,” but Hill made it clear while talking to Business Insider that the Jonah Hill we’ve seen on screen is far from how he is in real life.

“Mid90s” is the first time he’s pulling back the veil to show a glimpse at his personal aesthetic.

“The way I see it, the director is the painter and the actors are really an important colour in a painting,” Hill said. “So I have been a ‘green’ my whole life. I can be a pretty good green, but if the director wants to paint purple over it, then that’s up to them. To me, this is my first painting. This is the first thing that represents me.”

Hill compared “Mid90s” to the first films of legendary directors like Mike Nichols or Barry Levinson, who both had prominent career on Broadway and TV, respectively, before directing movies.

“When they made that first one it really had to mean something,” Hill said. “They had done all this incredible work that wasn’t personal beforehand, and, to me, that was my example. Don’t do it until you have something to say.”

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