Getting comfortable in his own skin. Jonah Hill reflected on the biggest “turning point” he had when it comes to body image, confidence and his sense of style.
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The Mid90s director, 36, opened up about the comments he’s received about his body since his career first took off during a candid conversation with GQ magazine published on Monday, November 16. The California native has stepped into the fashion world with a new Adidas partnership — and hopes to encourage fans to express their individuality no matter their size.
“I think the biggest shift in my personal style was that I always had an interest in personal style and fashion, but I was always a bigger guy,” Hill explained. “It’s really hard when you’re overweight to dress a certain way, because clothes aren’t made for people who are overweight to have style. So, I think it surprises people. Even now, I’ll overhear someone discussing my place in the fashion world or whatever, and people are like, ‘That guy? The schlubby guy from Superbad?’”
While he always “had a passion for style,” Hill felt that he had a harder time finding clothes that allowed him to be his “true self” in an industry that caters to slimmer bodies. Instead of focusing on people’s perception of him, however, the Accepted star eventually “stopped caring [about] what the reaction is” to his looks.
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“For me, that was a big turning point of realizing: ‘OK, be yourself,’” he added. “You don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be. And if you’re really interested in fashion then you should be, don’t push that away. Lean into it. … I think I was conditioned for that based on my acting career. Because, (A) being overweight and (B) comedy, you’re not supposed to be into fashion on either of those sides.”
Despite being told to “stay in his lane,” the Moneyball star realized that pursuing an interest in fashion wasn’t the first time he’d pushed the limits of what people expected from him.
“When I started to do dramas as an actor, people were like, ‘Stay in your lane, dude, stay in your lane.’ And I bucked against that, even at a young age. … And then when people started writing about my fashion sense, same kind of thing,” he said. “And then I’m just like, ‘Wait, how many times do I have to tell myself I can’t do something? I’ve done all these things that I was told that I couldn’t do. Just keep going, just go on the journey of being into the s–t you’re into.’”
The Hail, Caesar! star, who recently split from fiancée Gianna Santos, has gone through a noticeable weight loss transformation in recent years. In October 2018, he opened up about his long journey to self-acceptance in the spotlight.
“I came up in goofy comedies and this kind of like curly-haired, overweight kid, and everyone had their own opinion on what I should be, how they could speak to me, how they could treat me,” he said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the time.
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As he’s grappled with his self-image, Hill has finally found his footing — and isn’t afraid of what other people might think.
“I think, as you grow as a person and as an artist, of course you have a better sense of self,” he told GQ. “The idea was realizing, whether I was big or small, that I really can define my own personal style. I think that’s a dope wave that’s happening right now in culture, too.”
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