Making space for himself. Jonah Hill revealed he will not be promoting his upcoming films after recognizing that press tours have a negative effect on his mental health.
“Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public-facing events,” Hill, 38, wrote in a Wednesday, August 17, open letter, which was initially published by Deadline.
The Superbad actor has a variety of upcoming projects, including Netflix’s comedy You People, which Hill co-wrote with director Kenya Barris. He also has Sputz, a documentary that he directed that is set to debut at upcoming fall festivals. In the movie, Hill and his therapist openly discuss mental health issues.
“You won’t see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself,” the Wolf of Wall Street actor explained in his letter. “If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film.”
The California native went on to admit that while he usually would “cringe at letters or statements like this” he is also one of the “privileged few who can afford to take time off” and hopes to “make it more normal for people to talk and act” on their mental well-being. Hill concluded his letter by saying that he hopes those suffering from similar struggles will “take steps towards feeling better” before thanking his “collaborators, my business partners and all reading this for your understanding and support.”
While the Maniac actor has made a few on screen appearances in 2022 — including in the Oscar-nominated Don’t Look Up alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as serving as director for the second episode of HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty — he’s largely been out of the spotlight over the past year.
This isn’t the first time Hill has taken a step back to focus on his health. He has also been on a longtime weight-loss journey that first began in 2011 was resumed in 2017, after he worked hard to lose the 40 pounds he gained for his 2015 role in War Dogs.
In February 2021, the Knocked Up star, who has been dating Isabelle McNally since 2013, made headlines when a shirtless photo of him surfaced online and Hill took the opportunity to share a body-positive message.
“I don’t think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid-30s even in front of family and friends. Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers,” he wrote via Instagram at the time. “So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can’t phase [sic] me anymore is dope. I’m 37 and finally love and accept myself. This isn’t a ‘good for me’ post. And it’s definitely not a ‘feel bad for me post.’ It’s for the kids who don’t take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You’re wonderful and awesome and perfect. All my love.”