By Mike Fleming Jr
EXCLUSIVE: We’ve watched Jonah Hill rise from broad comedies like Superbad and the 21 Jump Street franchise to awards-caliber work in films from The Wolf of Wall Street and Moneyball to Don’t Look Up. Hill has finished directing and starring in a documentary he shot in secret called Stutz. The title is derived from his therapist, and the film features frank discussions about mental health in general and the progressive worsening of anxiety attacks involving the promotion of films that has made a dream job something of a nightmare for Hill.
So while Stutz will make its debut at the fall festivals, Hill has made a decision to try and let the work speak for itself. He’s getting off the promotional merry-go-round and has issued a statement to Deadline explaining why (read it below). He is not retiring, but Hill also won’t be promoting other work of his that includes the Kenya Barris-directed Netflix comedy You People, which Hill co-wrote with Barris and produces with the first-time director. He also co-stars in the film.
“I have finished directing my second film, a documentary about me and my therapist which explores mental health in general called “Stutz.” The whole purpose of making this film is to give therapy and the tools I’ve learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film.
“Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events.
“I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling. However, you won’t see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself. If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film.
“I usually cringe at letters or statements like this but I understand that I am of the privileged few who can afford to take time off. I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety. With this letter and with “Stutz,” I’m hoping to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. So they can take steps towards feeling better and so that the people in their lives might understand their issues more clearly.
“I hope the work will speak for itself and I’m grateful to my collaborators, my business partners and to all reading this for your understanding and support.
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