Superbad actor Jonah Hill admits he wants to “challenge traditional masculinity” as he looks to step behind the camera and take on the role of director for the first time.
The now thirty five-year-old actor spoke to Variety while he was in Berlin to promote his latest project Mid90s. The film is about a 13-year-old boy who joins a group of L.A. skater punks in the middle of the 1990s.
Hill detailed what his belief of traditional masculinity is:
“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.”
He explained that he wants to show in his film that this type of behavior is bad and he does that in his film.
“These kids speak to one another in such a harmful way, such a misogynistic way, such a homophobic way. 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.’”
The irony doesn’t escape Jonah Hill as he recognizes that “bro comedies” are what cemented him as an actor in Hollywood. One of the first films I remember the actor in was 2006’s [easyazon_link identifier=”B001KN9D72″ locale=”US” tag=”boundingintocomics-20″]Grandma’s Boy[/easyazon_link].
While Hill admits he still enjoys those films he admits he needs to “unlearn a lot of stuff.” He also puts a descriptor on masculinity describing it as “bro masculinity.” It’s unclear if he sees bro masculinity as the same as traditional masculinity.
“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.”
“It’s not like a responsibility. It’s where my heart is, and what I want to make. 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.”
While Hill appears to be making a change, he’s obviously trying to promote his new film as well. The actor apologized for shouting a homophobic slur at a paparazzi photographer back in 2016. Hill shouted, “Suck my d***, you f*****.”
Hill would address the comments in an appearance on The Howard Stern Show:
“This is a heartbreaking situation for me…I’m upset…From the day I was born, and publicly, I’ve been a gay rights activist…This person had been following me around all day saying hurtful things. I played into exactly what he wanted and I said a disgusting word…It’s bulls**t and I shouldn’t have said that. I’m happy to take the heat for using this disgusting word.”
He would add:
“What I won’t allow is for anyone – it would break my heart to think that anyone – especially with all the work that I’ve done and all the loved ones that I have – that I would be against anyone for their sexuality.”
Hill also starred in 2016’s Sausage Party as Carl. It’s hard not to describe that film as one giant bro animated movie.
What do you make of Hill’s comments on traditional masculinity? Do you agree with him? Do you plan on joining him on a journey to “unlearn a lot of stuff?”
Let me know what you think!