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Biography and Filmography of Jonah Hill

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Making it big in Hollywood is no easy task, although two-time Oscar-nominated actor Jonah Hill certainly gives that impression. This talented Los Angeles native also writes screenplays and produces his own films. While it might be difficult to make a name for yourself in L.A., at least Jonah Hill didn’t have a long commute!  

The actor now known as Jonah Hill was born Jonah Hill Feldstein in Los Angeles, on December 20, 1983. He is the offspring of Sharon Lyn Chalkin and Richard Feldstein. Chalkin is a clothing designer and stylist. Richard Feldstein is a tour accountant for the band Guns ‘N Roses. The family has a number of entertainment industry connections, including a very close relationship with actor Henry Winkler and his family. Jonah Hill spent his youth in Los Angeles, but chose to attend college in New York City.

Early Days

While studying drama at the New York School, Jonah Hill also started writing his own material, and performing his plays at a bar in the East Village. Among Hill’s small, but devoted group of fans were Rebecca and Jake Hoffman, the children of Dustin Hoffman. The younger Hoffmans were impressed enough by Hill to introduce him to their legend-father. Shortly afterwards, Hill’s first film role (I Heart Huckabees, 2004) was secured. Jonah Hill has worked (nearly) non-stop since completing I Heart Huckabees.  

Jonah Hill
Young Hollywood

Like many young people starting out in Hollywood, Jonah Hill was offered film roles that weren’t exactly Oscar-worthy. As a pudgy, average-looking young man, he didn’t exactly have classic Hollywood looks either. However, Hills looks made him perfect for films geared to young males – sophomoric comedies replete with bodily functions, drunken episodes and never getting the girl. Many of these were Judd Apatow projects. They were very successful, funny (to that audience) and well-done, although not widely seen by anyone over 30.

Some Apatow films including Jonah Hill:  

  • The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) – a very small role in this first of Apatow’s films
  • Knocked Up (2007) – a supporting role for Hill in this film starring his friend Seth Rogen
  • Superbad (2007) – Jonah Hill’s breakout film, his first leading role
  • Funny People (2009) – a supporting role for Hill under Adam Sandler and friend Seth Rogen.  

Something New

Actor Jonah Hill is obviously not a one-trick pony. Although most of his Apatow buddies seem to be happy working in the same (juvenile) genre of films and entertainment, Hill was already trying his hand at other opportunities in Hollywood from his earliest days in the industry.

Just a few of Hill’s alternative projects have been:   

  • The Invention of Lying (2009) – supporting role beside Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Louis C.K and Rob Lowe
  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010) – critically acclaimed animated movie (voice)
  • Cyrus (2010) – starring role in a seriously twisted comedy-drama about relationships and family  

Stretching His Wings

These last four years have introduced us to a new side of Jonah Hill. Much like the difference between high school work and college level work, Hill has shown us much more of what he’s really capable of and where his career is headed.  

  • Moneyball (2011) – nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work alongside Brad Pitt in this true story
  • Django Unchained (2012) – Hill was very happy to be asked to work in a Quentin Tarantino film, even expressing that it fit in nicely with his career plans[1]
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work on this Martin Scorsese film alongside Leonardo di Caprio

All three of these films were nominated for Best Picture! Hill is not content at just acting in one niche in the industry, but does in fact enjoy stretching himself in different areas to those that he is most associated with and, judging by the critical response and award nominations, this is something he is good at. Yet he is still willing to return to his roots.

What’s Old is New Again

Not to say that Jonah Hill has lost touch with his raunchy roots completely. Last year’s This is the End was as rude and successful (and funny!) as all the other movies - maybe more! This year he’s acting and producing 22 Jump Street and acting in a film with Seth Rogen entitled Sausage Party. But there’s also another animated children’s movie in the works.

Awards and Honors

In 2012, Jonah Hill was asked to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Besides his two Oscar nominations he has some minor acting award wins and numerous nominations and accolades.


2004 I Heart Huckabees
2005 Pancho's Pizza
2005 The 40-Year Old Virgin
2006 Grandma's Boy
2006 Click
2006 Accepted
2006 10 Items or Less
2007 Rocket Science
2007 Knocked Up
2007 Evan Almighty
2007 Superbad
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
2008 Strange Wilderness
2008 Horton Hears a Who!
2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall
2008 Just Add Water
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
2009 Funny People
2009 The Invention of Lying
2010 Cyrus
2010 How to Train Your Dragon
2010 Get Him to the Greek
2010 Megamind
2011 Moneyball
2011 The Sitter
2012 21 Jump Street
2012 The Watch
2012 Django Unchained
2013 This Is the End
2013 The Wolf of Wall Street
2014 The Lego Movie
2014 How to Train your Dragon 2
2014 22 Jump Street
2014 True Story
2015 Sausage Party


2004 NPYD Blue
2006 Campus Ladies
2006 Clark and Michael
2007 Human Giant
2007 Wainy Days
2009 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
2009 Reno 911
2009 Deep Inside
2009 The Simpsons
2010 Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon
2011 Allen Gregory


2011 Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury

Video Games

2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
21 Jump Street
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Jul 27, 2014 1:08pm
It's amazing the variety of roles Hill has played. I'm glad that even though he's had success with dramatic roles he hasn't turned his back on comedy.
Jul 28, 2014 3:08am
I admire him for being willing to try new things. It's probably going to stand him in good stead in his later career; he won't be pigeon-holed into one particular type of film, even with his association with comedy.
Jul 28, 2014 7:55pm
I agree with you on that. I'm just glad that he's willing to continue using his comedic gifts. Who would have thought that out of the entire "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" cast the kid in the eBay store would have been the biggest star?
Jul 29, 2014 10:52am
That was a film that didn't have many big names in it at all. Seth Rogen has also done pretty well since.

It is good that's he's still playing to some of his strongest abilities, whilst developing others.
Jul 29, 2014 2:32pm
You're right. None of the actors were really well known, although some of them - like Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Catherine Keener - had been around awhile. I just think it was unexpected for Hill to become the biggest star since he had about five lines in the entire movie. I think Carell is almost as big a star as he is, but not quite.
Jul 30, 2014 5:26am
Another film in which he had a very small part (it may have been uncredited) was Night at the Museum 2.
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  1. "‘Django Unchained’: Jonah Hill’s Cameo Explained." MTV. 4/06/2014 <Web >

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