Getty Images / Rich Polk

After having a sit-down with Na-Kel Smith to discuss how to be a better person, Jonah Hill is back in the spotlight once more, this time gracing the cover story in WSJ. Magazine‘s November 2018 issue, “The Innovators.”

Speaking on his directorial debut Mid90s, which follows a 13-year old boy who begins to hang out with a group of skateboarders while living in ’90s Los Angeles — Jonah Hill described the joy of directing and reminiscing about his youth into the comedy-drama, as he also revealed in our exclusive interview that the film infused skateboarding and hip-hop culture as the film’s main elements, and aimed to eliminate any clichés that are usually associated with each subculture.

Read on a few takeaways from the cover story below, and for its entirety, head on over to WSJ. Magazine.

On writing and directing films…

“I just want to make things from my heart. That’s all I care about, making things. If there’s a great part, I’m lucky enough to get a great part. If I’m lucky enough to write another film that means something to me and direct it…. I want to make things with people I love.”

On recalling how seeing the film Whiplash by then-29-year-old director Damien Chazelle, motivated him to pursue his dream of directing… (Jonah Hill saw the film with his friends Spike Jonze and Bennett Miller.)

“Bennett turned to me and said, ‘That guy’s younger than you…you better get to it.’ That’s what really kicked my ass into gear. I have to thank Damien Chazelle if I ever meet him.”

On comparing Mid90s protagonist, Stevie to his own life…

“It came into my life at a time where I really needed it. It was a group of outsiders who found one another.”

On the passion he witnessed from his Mid90s cast, notably skater/actor Olan Prenatt…

“I look down, and he has his rumpled-up script under the table, and he’s working his ass off. I went outside and cried. I was emotional. He worked so hard.”

On the filming of Mid90s to make it seem almost natural for the cast and crew…

“There’s lot of work in naturalism if it’s not naturalism.” Adding, “You do so much work to build this thing, that by the time the actors get there, they don’t even know a movie’s happening.”

On his emergence as a style icon…

“It’s really flattering, because I do love fashion, and I do care about style. And it’s been amazing to have your style recognized. It’s so personal, you know.”

Once more, read the full story on WSJ. Magazine.

Up next, watch the ‘Mid90s’ cast land fan-requested skate tricks.

Words by Renz Ofiaza
Staff Writer

scribbling by day, architect by night

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