Jonah Hill: People Said I was “Fat and Gross”

Jonah Hill
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JAN 5: Jonah Hill at the 10 Directors to Watch brunch at The Parker Hotel on January 5, 2014 in Palm Springs, California (Joe Seer /

In a recent interview on The Ellen Degeneres Show, actor Jonah Hill openly discussed his weight loss and how it has inspired him for his directorial debut Mid90s.

During the chat with DeGeneres, Hill shared a magazine he created to showcase his upcoming feature film. In the magazine, he reflects on his past as being “this 14 year old kid, being overweight wanting to fit in with these skaters and hip hop kids… not understanding (his) own worth.”

Hill read from the magazine saying, “I became famous in my late teens and then spent most of my young adult life listening to people say that I was fat and gross and unattractive.”

Hill said it was only in writing and directing Mid90s, which made him realize “how much that hurt and got into my head.” He added, “I really believe everyone has a snapshot of themselves from a time when they were young that they’re ashamed of. For me, it’s that 14-year-old overweight and unattractive kid who felt ugly to the world.”

Jonah Hill’s weight varied at different times in his acting career, and it has been documented by the paparazzi.

“I came in goofy comedies…(as) this kind of curly haired, overweight kid,” the actor-turned-director told DeGeneres. “Everyone had their own opinion on what I should be, how they could speak to me, how they could treat me. “

Overall the movie he directed centers around acceptance and growth, Hill said his work depicts the Los Angeles skating scene in the 1990s.

Jonah Hill included scenes in his movie that touch on the environment he knew personally at the time. He told Slate’s Jeffrey Bloomer that he had his actors use homophobic slurs to portray the ugly behavior that young people growing up in the 90s may have had to unlearn.

Jonah Hill
NEW YORK, AUGUST 1: Jonah Hill is seen walking in East Village on August 1, 2016 in New York City. (Liam Goodner /

“We’re talking about language that is ugly, behavior that is ugly,” said Hill. “I felt it was more important to tell the truth and have that be the lesson, and show it in its ugliness, than to go back and change history.”

Hill added, “To me this movie is about learning to love yourself and finding a community of people that accepts you and how imperfect life is,” Hill said.  “I’m under construction like we all are.”