‘Superbad’ star Jonah Hill explains why he hit ‘pause’ on Hollywood after ‘overnight’ fame: 'I was a kid'

“It was very overnight for me,” the star told GQ Style for their Fall/Winter cover story. “[Co-star] Michael Cera and I talk about it all the time. We just had this really rare experience: One day life was one way, and then one day life was a different way. Right after ‘Superbad,’ I took a writing job on ‘Brüno’ [with Sacha Baron Cohen].”

“I was 23, and they asked me to host SNL for the first time,” the 37-year-old continued. “And I didn’t want to leave the writers room. I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t know what to do.; It was my first job working for Sacha. And Sacha was like, ‘Dude, you should go host SNL.’ To me, having a writing job for Sacha Baron Cohen was as rad as hosting SNL.”

Actor Jonah Hill arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures' ‘Superbad’ held at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 13, 2007 in Hollywood, California. 

Actor Jonah Hill arrives at the premiere of Sony Pictures’ ‘Superbad’ held at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on August 13, 2007 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

The actor said he had “too much power” at such a young age. As a result, Hill said he needed a break from Hollywood.

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“I was a kid,” he explained. “I had probably too much power for a young person, and too much autonomy, and not enough life skills. I dropped out of college, and I used to not get why people would go to college. Because if you’re ambitious, why would you spend four years just idling? And then I didn’t realize until I turned 30 that what those four years gave all my friends was this wobbling period of how to be a person.”

“I was really advanced professionally but really behind personally,” Hill told the outlet. “All my 20s, I wasn’t really looking inward. I was just running toward success. Or trying to find success. And when I was 30, I was like, I’ve always wanted to be a director, but if I don’t get off this train now and write ‘Mid90s’ [his 2018 comedy] I’m not going to do it. And I hit pause. I took three or four years to reshape things. I was like, ‘I could just do this for 10 more years and I’m not going to evolve as a person.'”

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Jonah Hill attends the ‘Mid90s’ press conference during the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 10, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. 

Jonah Hill attends the ‘Mid90s’ press conference during the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 10, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Today, Hill still considers himself to be a “workaholic.” However, he has found a greater balance in his 30s juggling fame and his personal life. Hill also credited the power of therapy and the many lessons it has taught him on having a more fulfilling life.

“I still write and direct and get all my projects in order and stuff. But then I also surf every day,” he said. “I make myself surf every day. I don’t know if dropping out is kind of the accurate word, but I kind of dropped out a little bit. I still love my creativity and my work. But I definitely live a very quiet lifestyle, where I surf, hang with my dog, hang with my nephews. Just keep it mellow.”

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