When you think of Jonah Hill, you might think of 2007’s Superbad, the laugh-out-loud coming-of-age film about two teenagers on the pursuit for a good time. But since then, Hill has demonstrated versatility as an actor, jumping back and forth from comedy films like 21 Jump Street to dramas like The Wolf of Wall Street. Throughout his impressive career, the actor has struggled with a personal issue that many of us can relate to: weight. For years, the actor’s body has been a topic of conversation by fans and publications. Did he lose weight? Did he gain weight? Here’s the real story on Jonah Hill’s weight loss and how he has learned to love himself over the years.
Jonah Hill Has Struggled With His Weight His Whole Life
In 2018, Hill released his directorial debut, Mid90s. The movie tells the story of a young teenager struggling to fit in with a group of skateboarders. Hill also wrote the film, and he drew from his own life as inspiration. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres to promote the movie, he talked about his experiences growing up.
“I think everybody has a version of themselves ― I call it a snapshot ― at some point in life… [you’re] trying to hide from the world. Even if you get success or grow up or become good-looking or whatever … you kind of carry some part of that with you,” he told DeGeneres. “For me, it’s definitely being like this 14-year-old kid, being overweight, wanting to fit in with these skaters and hip-hop kids, and just feeling lonely and maybe not understanding my own worth.”
He’s come a long way both personally and professionally. Hill got his start in showbiz by landing small parts in various comedy films, like Adam Sandler’s Click and Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. His big break came with Superbad in 2007.
In an interview with Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, Hill described his time filming Superbad as living a “frat lifestyle” where he drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of pizza. He was in his early twenties then, and the film went on to be a blockbuster hit. Hill was on the map as a burgeoning comedic actor. But with great success came great criticism.
While reading an expert from an essay he wrote, he told Ellen, “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.”
He Has Gained And Lost Weight For Roles
Four years after Superbad, Jonah Hill decided he wanted to get healthy and be a “responsible adult,” as he told Kidd Kraddick. “I went to a nutritionist, and I started physically running instead of emotionally running,” the actor joked.
In 2011, he starred in Moneyball alongside Brad Pitt. It was his first big break outside of comedy, and he earned his first Oscar nomination. But as he promoted the film and popped up at award shows, fans were shocked to see a dramatic weight loss. There was a noticeable difference between the body audiences saw in Moneyball and what they saw at the awards shows. Tabloids speculated that pressure from his Moneyball co-star Brad Pitt prompted the downward trend in his weight, or perhaps he was doing a drastic diet to prepare for a film. But Hill told ABC News at the time that he was just sticking to a diet.
His performance in Moneyball added a new kind of energy to Hill’s career. He was no longer the portly funny guy popping up in comedies to deliver a few one-liners. He became a serious force to be reckoned with in the acting world. And paparazzi became obsessed with photographing him.
A few years after debuting his big weight loss, tabloids and fans were buzzing with criticism because it was starting to look like he was gaining the weight back. But it turned out, the weight gain was related to his role in War Dogs. He gained 40 pounds for the role, where he played a drugged-out arms dealer. By the time War Dogs premiered, Hill was already looking for solutions to shed the weight again.
Jonah Hill Asked Channing Tatum For Weight Loss Advice
By 2016, Jonah Hill had made headlines both for losing weight and gaining it. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the actor admitted that he turned to his 21 Jump Street co-star for advice. “I wanted to get in better shape, so I called Channing Tatum and said, ‘Hey, if I ate less and go to a trainer, will I get in better shape?’” According to Hill, Tatum responded to the question by saying, “Yes, you dumb [expletive], of course you will. It’s the simplest thing in the entire world.”
So, he started boxing, doing push-ups, and running. Over time, photos of the actor revealed a leaner, more athletic build. By the time he starred in Netflix’s Maniac alongside Emma Stone, he was back to his slim physique.
But of course, exercise is only part of a weight loss journey. The other side is diet. So what food fueled Jonah Hill’s weight loss? According to Men’s Health, first, he started limiting his beer intake. He also grew an inkling for sushi, which, if ordered correctly, can be a great source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3s.
Working with a nutritionist, he had to keep a food journal and email it every week. Fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products mainly built up his daily diet. But in a hilarious fail, he accidentally emailed his food diary to Drake instead of his doctor.
He’s Learning How To Accept Himself
With the release of Mid90’s, Hill became more in tune with himself and shed the self-doubt that has clouded his life. And he definitely isn’t going to let paparazzi pictures and online commentators control his body image.
He shut down Daily Mail in 2021 when they published pictures of him shirtless and surfing in a wetsuit. He posted a screenshot of the headline with a heartfelt caption to let us all know, once and for all, how he feels about the constant judgment surrounding his weight. “I don’t think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid 30s even in front of family and friends,” he captioned. “Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren’t exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers.”
“I’m 37 and finally love and respect myself,” he stated. Well said.