Jonah Hill has officially moved on from being the “bro comedy guy.” In Berlin with his directorial debut “Mid90s” — which at times plays like an inversion of the comedies that made him a star a decade ago — the actor-turned-filmmaker said of his earlier work, “I love those films, but I also think that if you look back at those films, a lot of what they’re showing is major bro comedy, and bro masculinity.”
He now wants to “illuminate” fans of “Superbad” and the like to the fact that much of the behavior portrayed in those films shouldn’t be emulated. “It’s not like a responsibility. It’s where my heart is, and what I want to make,” Variety reported him saying. “But at the same time I’m learning I’ve got to unlearn a lot of stuff, and maybe some of the people that liked ‘Superbad’ will come with me on that journey.”
The overarching point of that journey is to “challenge traditional masculinity,” Hill said. “Traditional masculinity was not to show emotion, not to show sensitivity, not to show vulnerability, because it’s ‘feminine’ or, God forbid, ‘gay’ to do so. What that does, and what we’ve seen, is that it leads to a lot of horrible behavior, and a lot of bad actions.”
Speaking about the characters in “Mid90s,” Hill said that “I just wanted to show that that’s problematic, and really explore that. Because these kids end up making terrible decisions, their friendships end up getting fractured with one another, their lives end up getting fractured, most of the time because they can’t just say I’m in pain. And because the other person can’t say, ‘I am, too.’”
Hill most recently appeared in the Netflix series “Maniac” and, in addition to lending his voice to this month’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” will next be seen in Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum.”
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