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Jonah Hill on Get Him to the Greek

Published April 15, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Universal Pictures
Get Him to the Greek Get Him to the Greek

We’ve seen a lot of Jonah Hill since Superbad made him a star. Yet Get Him to the Greek is his first leading role since. Every other movie in between just featured him in a supporting role. On the set of Greek, at the actual Greek Theater in Los Angeles, Hill explained why he’s been so choosy.

On Set: Get Him to the Greek

“I was having a hard time finding a movie that I wanted to be the lead in after Superbad because I love that movie so much,” Hill said. “I kind of took smaller parts and writing and producing jobs because I didn’t want to jump out in front of a movie that I wasn’t going to be as proud of, because I really appreciate that movie. So I didn’t want to jump out to starring in movies and have them be not good. It’s scary to do a movie that people like because what if your next movie just sucks. This feels like a really natural next step. This feels like the next evolution to be the lead of a movie. It’s not only on me. I’m playing an adult. I have a girlfriend in the movie, I have a job. It just seems like the next step. I didn’t want to be like The Jonah Hill Movie, Jonah Hill is Boner Party or whatever. You just want to do things naturally and don’t do too much so people don’t get sick of you. My next job after Superbad was producing the Bruno movie. I just want to try and do as many different things as I possibly can.”

When he played a Hawaiian resort waiter in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hill stumbled onto a winner. Director Nicholas Stoller suggested Hill make a whole movie with Brand, who played rock star Aldous Snow.

“He’s like, ‘I think you and Russell are really funny together. I have this idea that we have 72 hours but he’s off the wagon and f*ckin’ crazy. You kinda have to deal with this insane person.’ I was like, ‘I can see that being really funny.’ So I was like, ‘Yeah, you should write it.’ We kind of pitched around ideas and four or five of the main set pieces we kinda came up with during that lunch, and then he just went off and wrote a million drafts of the script.”

Get Him to the Greek Get Him to the Greek

Since the Greek Theater is a concert hall, it was hardly a closed set. Some 5,000 extras filled the front rows of the auditorium to see the Aldous Snow performance. Since getting to the Greek is the climax of the movie, Hill’s character is pretty banged up by now.

“Yeah, he’s f*cked. He’s been run ragged for 72 hours. He hasn’t slept. All over, London, New York, Las Vegas. We detour from all these places we’re supposed to be going. He’s fully off the wagon on heroin and I’m a guy who’s used to normal people so he just takes me through the f*ckin’ mud. He just drags me through the mud with him and I’m not used to it.”

Hill plays a young record company intern who loved Aldous Snow and suggests his comeback. The comic misadventure colors his view of the rock star lifestyle. “I don't think he’s pissed. I think he’s just like f*ck, I don’t want to get fired, I want to do well and I love this guy’s music. I’m like a fan of his and I want him to succeed, but he kind of learns what a mess this guy really is underneath the persona. It’s like a lot of times when you meet some of these people that you really look up to, they’re a lot darker and weirder than you want them to be, and not as interesting. They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes because they’ll usually let you down. So it’s like this guy’s meeting a guy he really looks up to, part of the reason why he’s in the music business, and he’s a complete wreck.”

It is a different character from Hill’s Aldous stalker in Sarah Marshall. He just decided it would make more sense as a new character. “It was done early on because my character in Sarah Marshall is so weird and stalkerish, I wanted to play a normal [person]. I wanted to be the audience’s perspective. It’s like these people are f*ckin’ crazy. I’m you. I’m the people watching, like whoa, what if I was in that position or what if I was in this position. It would be weird to watch a weird stalker guy be the main character of a movie. It’d be kinda just hard to get an emotional depth to that at all.”

Get Him to the Greek opens to theaters on June 4th.

For the trailer, poster and more movie info, go to the Get Him to the Greek Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Universal Pictures

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