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Jonah Hill turned down ‘The Hangover’

The actor passed on the comedy blockbuster to focus on more dramatic work.
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Jonathan Doyle, June 27, 2013 12:28:12 PM

While doing the press rounds for This is the End, Jonah Hill has done everything in his power to make one point clear: he is a serious actor. Coming off an Oscar nomination for Moneyball and a colourful role in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street, he’s feeling pretty good about himself. When journalists ask lightweight questions, he refuses to reply—and if he’s criticized, he’s not afraid to play the “S” card. In a recent interview with Bullett magazine, he said, “You can dis me all you want on a blog, or write whatever you want in this magazine and I’ll just be like, ‘Whatever, man. Scorsese thinks I’m awesome.’”

In Bullett’s profile of Hill, the actor explains how he made the transition to drama. In order to pursue this new direction, he had to turn down two high profile projects in favour of one that is still relatively unknown. First, director Todd Phillips approached him to play one of the three central roles in The Hangover. Around the same time, he was courted to play Shia LaBeouf’s sidekick in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. “They were both really big decisions, and ones that most people didn’t understand,” he said, alluding to the no-brainer aspect of these offers.

Rather than accept a lucrative Hollywood job, Hill decided to pursue a more dramatic role. However, he knew he couldn’t go “from Superbad to Schindler’s List,” so he decided to pursue a drama with a sense of humour. After reaching out to writing-directing team Jay and Mark Duplass, Hill landed the lead in Cyrus—and the rest his history. While he sees this as a crucial step in his career trajectory, a case could be made that Hangover stars Zach Galifianakis and (especially) Bradley Cooper are doing even better. Whatever, man. Scorsese thinks he’s awesome.

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