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SXSW: Jonah Hill plans transition to directing


Jonah Hill thinks he’s typecast.

Talking to a handful of film writers at South By Southwest on Sunday, Hill said casual moviegoers probably only know him from his boisterous, foul-mouthed role in the teen comedy “Superbad.” And he’s OK with that, but it’s a thin slice of the career he’d like to have. That’s why Hill admitted to us that his ultimate goal is to direct films … and soon.

“That’s my intention,” said Hill, who was promoting his involvement in the dysfunctional comedy “Cyrus,” which played at the festival. “I feel lucky and blessed to be doing what I am doing now. But my intention, completely, is to become a director.”

Hill has a few writing credits to his name, having penned the screenplay for “The Adventurer’s Handbook,” which is in pre-production. He’s also rumored to be producing and possibly starring in a “21 Jump Street” remake. Until then, Hill said he plans to absorb knowledge from the directors with whom he collaborates and brush up his skills until his first opportunity comes along.

When asked if he’d tackle comedies similar to the broader, Judd Apatow-type films Hill has done in the past, the actor remained open and non-committal.

“I don’t want to define anything. Listen, ‘Cyrus,’ which I love, isn’t what I’d call a classic comedy. I would call it a drama that’s really funny. … I like Robert Zemeckis as much as I like Paul Thomas Anderson. I love ‘Back to the Future’ as much as I love ‘Magnolia.’ So I don’t ever want to say, ‘I’m going to be this kind of director. I think the coolest directors can do any type of movie. And when I write something that inspires me … enough to want to spend two years of my life making that story, that’s the movie I’ll direct. If I’m lucky enough that someone will let me!”

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • March 14, 2010 | Permalink |

    Love you Jonah. Keep on making movies.

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