Jonah Hill is tired of facing criticism about his body, People is reporting. Hill has taken some time to reflect after directing his first film, Mid90s, which is about a 13-year-old boy who struggles with his self esteem. This prompted him to create a magazine called Inner Child, where contributors to the publication explained how it was that they learned to love themselves. He read his introduction in the magazine out loud while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on October 19.
“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 says in the magazine. “And it’s only in the last four years writing and directing my movie, Mid90s, that I’ve started to understand how much that hurt and got into my head. 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, who listened to hip-hop and who wanted so badly to be accepted by this community of skaters.”
After reading his piece, Hill admitted to DeGeneres that even though he’s no longer a kid, he still struggles with insecurities about his appearance. He said he’s only recently embraced being himself, ending his quest to be someone else. DeGeneres, who the public typically perceives to be cheery and endlessly confident, confessed that she understood exactly the feelings that Hill was talking about.
“We enter into this business — especially actors and actresses — first of all looking for approval, looking for love, to fill a void and also to kind of become other people to avoid being exactly who we are,” said DeGeneres. She went on to congratulate Hill on his success, and in finding out how to love himself. Hill responded by saying that, like many people, he is still “under construction.”
Hill has experienced many weight fluctuations over the years. He gained weight to portray an overweight man in the 2016 film War Dogs, but then slimmed down once the movie ended. He has credited his 22 Jump Street costar Channing Tatum — who is known to have a strong and fit body — for helping him to lose the weight by offering some funny motivation. When Hill contacted Tatum and asked if eating less and getting a trainer would help him on his journey, Tatum reportedly responded “Yes, you dumb motherf****r!”
While Hill has been through some drastic weight changes in the past, he seems content at where he is now, and has gained a renewed sense of confidence in himself.