Jonah Hill was on a quest to veer off the comedy course when he apparently turned down roles in two major blockbusters.
After his star turn in the breakout 2007 hit “Superbad,” he was offered “any one of the three main parts in ‘The Hangover,'” he tells Bullet magazine. In other words, Hill could’ve played Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), or Alan (Zach Galifianakis) in the second highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever.
But that’s not all: He also declined the opportunity to star as Shia LaBeouf’s sidekick in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” the second most successful film of 2009, right behind “Avatar.”
“They were both really big decisions, and ones that most people didn’t understand,” he admits. “I knew I could be a dramatic actor, but I also knew I couldn’t go from ‘Superbad’ to ‘Schindler’s List.'”
His ballsy tactics have paid off, leading to his Oscar-nominated supporting part opposite Brad Pitt in 2011’s “Moneyball” and a prime role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese drama “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a money-hungry stockbroker.
On his competition for his “Wolf of Wall Street” part, Hill says, “I knew that I was being considered among a list of other actors, but not my contemporaries — Andrew Garfield or Joseph Gordon-Levitt — people who are usually up for the same stuff as me. I was hearing names like George Clooney.”
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, for which the “This Is the End” star received some flak for seeming standoffish, Hill said, “I’ve done one of the biggest challenges you can do in Hollywood, which is transition from being a comedic actor to being a serious actor, and I’m really prideful of that. I could have made a billion dollars doing every big comedy of the last 10 years and didn’t, in order to form a whole other life for myself. Now I have fulfillment doing both.”
[via Rolling Stone, Bullet h/t Indiewire]
Gallery | Funniest Moments From ‘This is the End’ Cast
- James Franco: ‘Look at All My Sh*t!’ (‘Spring Breakers, 2013)
While his stoner character, Saul, is unforgettably hilarious, his “Spring Breakers” persona is on an entirely different level. As Alien, Franco dons cornrows, flashes his grill, and invokes the gangster swagger of the real-life ATL Twins, giving us a whole new side of the actor-artist-professor-everything. When Alien shows off his crib to the girls — colored shorts, guns-on-guns-on-guns, and nunchucks included — his unwavering commitment to the ridiculous role is so hilarious it may well leave you in tears. Sadly this clip is cut short, but check out our favorite Franco quotes from “Spring Breakers” for more laughs.
- Seth Rogen: ‘High as a Kite’ (‘Pineapple Express’ 2008)
One of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced may be choosing Seth Rogen’s funniest moment. While we love his Star Wars sex puns in “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” his wise advice in “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and his ridiculous “Superbad” cop, it is Dale’s freak-out in “Pineapple Express” that makes us laugh out loud every time. Dale is certainly high as a kite, but not from birdwatching.
- Jonah Hill: Seth’s Divine Miracle (‘Superbad,’ 2007)
Seth (Jonah Hill) wants Jules (Emma Stone). Jules wants alcohol. Jules asks Seth to buy it. Seth thinks Jules wants more. Through his very methodical analysis of Jules’s request, Seth gets a little too excited (and misguided) thinking that his night is going to end in some “P and Vagi.” While “Superbad” is a goldmine of great Hill moments, this scene is undoubtedly the greatest (and probably full of the crudest sexual humor).
- Danny McBride: Baking a Cake (‘Pineapple Express,’ 2008)
All of McBride’s crazy characters are hilarious, but his Red has by far the funniest lines of any in “Pineapple Express.” The drug dealing, kimono-wearing, cat-mourning Red somehow manages to survive getting bashed into the sink, a bong breaking across his head, a gunshot to the stomach, and much more. But his funniest moment (besides his infamous “Thug Life” line) is his sincere dedication to baking his dead cat a birthday cake.
- Craig Robinson: ‘Ah! Like the Terminator!’ (‘Hot Tub Time Machine,’ 2010)
We know some of Robinson’s best lines are as Matheson in “Pineapple Express,” but there’s another equally funny (perhaps forgotten) moment from one of his other comedies. In this scene, Robinson’s Nick, a failed singer who works at a dog spa, jumps up after snorting a giant pile of cocaine to explain the time-travelling hot tub via the “Terminator” movies. This is Robinson at his craziest, and we love it.
- Jay Baruchel: Dirty Pillow Pink Eye (‘Knocked Up,’ 2007)
Baruchel has played the charming geek (and even the modest shy guy), but he proved he could keep up with the big guys in “Knocked Up.” As Jay, Ben’s (Seth Rogen) roommate, who has severe attachment issues and has been on Ritalin most of his life, he mixes his usual charm with characteristic Apatow-Rogan crude humor. In this scene, he shamelessly admits to instigating the fart-pillow-pink-eye chain. (Don’t try this at home).
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse: ‘It’s 10:33′ (‘Superbad,’ 2007)
The moment the world was introduced to Fogell (a.k.a. McLovin, a.k.a. Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was an unforgettable one. The nerdy, scraggly white dude that tries to act like a badass (fake ID, almost hitting on girls) ends up being the coolest dude in the film. But this scene was the first, best, and probably most-quoted of McLovin’s, where he flashes “West Side” like it’s no big deal and — get ready — tells a girl what time it is (ohh yeah!).
- Michael Cera: ‘These Eyes’ (‘Superbad,’ 2007)
What do you do when you’re stuck in a room of guys on drugs who think you’re somebody else? You don’t accuse them of being “ill-informed” and you play along. Cera’s Evan, pretending to be “Jimmy’s brother,” sings his way out of trouble with a classic The Guess Who song. He gets really into it, flailing his hands and hitting the high notes. Sing, Cera, sing!
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