Jonah Hill might be Hollywood’s ultimate wingman. There was 2007’s Superbad, his dermatitis role, where he served as a round, boisterous bottom subsequent a reticent Michael Cera, combining a metaphorical exclamation point; Get Him to a Greek, where he was tasked with transporting Russell Brand’s heroin-smuggling rocker conflicting a Atlantic; his Oscar-nominated spin as Peter Brand, a immature sabermetrics consultant conflicting Brad Pitt in Moneyball; and as a high school-infiltrating clandestine patrolman alongside Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.
Now, he’s behind in his many despicable—and high-profile—role to date. In Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Hill plays Donnie Azoff, a coke-snorting, lude-popping, hooker-sexing broker conflicting Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) in a early ‘90s-set black comedy. Sopranos clerk Terence Winter blending a film from Belfort’s memoir of a same name. DiCaprio has described a film as “a modern-day Caligula”; a uninterrupted harmony of sum excess. It could be retitled The Gordon Gekko Chronicles, and offer as a disfigured prequel to Oliver Stone’s Wall Street.
And Hill entirely embodies Donnie, a implicitly broke jester with shiny, capped teeth, suspenders, and a gravelly voice. He’s an emasculated male who’s unexpected postulated a event to pitch his balls back-and-forth like a cocky pendulum, and his mutation is shocking.
“There have been unequivocally few times where I’ve gone, there’s no one else to play this partial though me,” says Hill. “Those times were Superbad, Cyrus, and Moneyball, and now this film. Everything else I’ve finished I’ve been unapproachable of and had a good time, though they weren’t situations where we thought: I have to play this part.”
The 30-year-old actor was essentially famous for his comedy chops—a product of a improv-heavy Judd Apatow talent factory. Then came his startling spin as a wandering son concerned in a Spanking a Monkey-esque attribute with his mother, played by Marisa Tomei, in a aforementioned Cyrus. That purpose led to a thespian event in Moneyball, that non-stop a doorway to serve thespian roles.
One day, Hill got a call from his representative observant he was on a list of actors in row to play conflicting DiCaprio in a Scorsese-directed instrumentation of The Wolf of Wall Street. Scorsese is his favorite filmmaker, and Hill aggressively followed a role, reading a book and screenplay mixed times, and insisting on a assembly with DiCaprio while a dual were in Mexico compelling conflicting films. When they met, Hill told him, “I have to play this part.” “Why?” asked DiCaprio. “Because we commend who this chairman is, and we consider they paint a lot of what’s wrong with certain elements of society,” Hill replied. “And while we don’t like this person, we know how to move him to life.”
DiCaprio relayed a information to Scorsese, who met with Hill a month later. Scorsese had requested a meeting, though Hill demanded he try-out for a part. “I wanted to uncover him what we could do with it,” he says. It was Hill’s initial try-out in 6 years.
“It was a many terrifying experience,” he recalls. “I went to Scorsese’s bureau and we went to this screening room and it was prohibited as hell, so we was so shaken and it was 100 degrees in there, and we started sweating. we had to forgive myself, go to a restroom and rinse my face, and afterwards come behind and go, ‘Guys, we know this sounds unequivocally weird… though is there any other place we can do this since it’s so hot,’ and Scorsese said, ‘Oh yeah, it is too hot! Let’s go to my office.’”
Using a thick Long Island accent (his relatives are from there), he acted out dual scenes: one where he initial meets Jordan in a diner, and a other where he berates an trusting man on a trade building before immoderate his goldfish. “I mimed eating a goldfish,” says Hill.
For dual months after a audition, Hill perceived unchanging calls from his representative saying, “Hey, you’re still in a running… they’re assembly with bigger actors, though you’ve still got a shot,” when finally, one night during dinner, he perceived a biggest phone call of his career. It was DiCaprio. “You’ve got it,” he pronounced to Hill. “Scorsese usually called me to ask my final suspicion on it, and we pronounced let’s do it.”
In sequence to execute Donnie, Hill fussed over a dentures with a props department, and tweaked a thick Long Island accent he employed in his try-out to a some-more gravelly one. And Donnie, like Belfort, is a wild id—a financial fraud intent in several pump-and-dump schemes, intrigue industrious people out of their pensions and life assets by utilizing penny stocks.
“The whole film is so unapologetic and so aggressive,” says Hill. “Donnie, while interesting to watch, is entrance from a flattering dim place. He has no incentive control, he’s a drug addict, he steals from people with no remorse. It was accepted going in that there was no holding back. Every day we were doing something crazy, and it’s fun and sparkling operative for Scorsese, and afterwards when I’d be pulling home during a finish of a day, I’d feel a call of shame come over me since we treated people so badly that day.”
One of a many noted scenes of a film involves Donnie. They’re during a celebration during Belfort’s ornate Long Island palace and Hill’s impression is luded out of his mind. He spots Naomi (Margot Robbie), a overwhelming blonde who has a whole trade team’s tongues wagging. So, Donnie whips out his cock and starts violence it in front of Naomi and a whole party.
“It was a prosthetic,” says a chuckling Hill. “There were a lot of credentials artists on set that day who hadn’t review a script, so they usually know that they’re in a stage and a man is pulling out his genitals and masturbating in front of them during a large party. So for them, it was unequivocally funny, though for a categorical characters, it’s unequivocally inapt and disturbing. So, we had to tell everybody that while their initial instinct was to laugh, we had to take it unequivocally severely so that we got a suitable response.”
Some, like The New Yorker’s David Denby, have been vicious of The Wolf of Wall Street’s joyous approach, fearing it might glamorize a excesses it seeks to abhor, and emanate a new era of wannabe Gekko’s—er, Belfort’s. Hill doesn’t see it that way.
“The summary of a film is that additional leads we down a wrong path, and if we indulge excessively, you’ll unequivocally remove steer of things,” he says. “Everybody inside of them, even a best of us, have a pinch that wants more, and wants to be rich, and wants excess, and this is a story about people who 100 percent wish that.”
He adds: “Fundamentally, people who work in finance, their usually idea is to be awfully wealthy; to be very, unequivocally rich. If your passion is usually creation a lot of money, it’s something we don’t know that much, personally. You’re not doing anything that fulfills we in a approach other than creation money.”
Hill was never that meddlesome in creation money. At 18, while attending Bard College, he began essay and behaving one-man plays during a Black and White bar in a East Village.
“I’d created a play about Hitler’s college roommate and how Hitler became immorality since a roommates never enclosed him in anything and really bullied him,” he says with a laugh. “Sometimes a plays were funny, and infrequently they weren’t. we was 18, so for me, when you’re during that age, it’s usually about being descent and pulling bounds in sequence to mount out.”
He shortly befriended Dustin Hoffman’s son, Jake, who introduced him to his father. Hoffman assured a afterwards 20-year-old Hill to try-out for a partial in David O. Russell’s I Heart Huckabees, that would symbol his underline film debut. A bit partial as a clueless eBay patron in Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin followed, that led to his inclusion in a “Apatow Gang.”
In reduction than a decade, Hill’s left from Huckabees to co-writing/producing/starring in a Jump Street films—a sequel, 22 Jump Street, is out subsequent summer—and portion as a Boy Friday to stars like Pitt and DiCaprio. When we surprise him of his lofty wingman status, he laughs.
“They’re all such talented, good people, and for me, it’s all about how they can make me better, and how we can hopefully make them better,” he says. “When you’re behaving conflicting someone like Leo, who’s a best actor of his generation, they really rouse you.”