Jonah Hill is doing what is best to protect his mental health.
In case you didn’t know, the 38-year-old actor has finished directing and starring in an upcoming documentary called Stutz, named after his own therapist, which gives viewers honest conversations about his personal therapy sessions and longtime battle with anxiety attacks. Sounds so intimate!
While the film is launching at some Fall film festivals, he will not be hitting the media circuit to promote the piece — or any of his other future projects. This includes the upcoming Netflix comedy You People, which he co-stars in and co-wrote with director Kenya Barris.
Why? The 21 Jump Street star explained in a written statement to Deadline on Wednesday that throughout the process of working on this new doc, he discovered that his mental health issues were getting worse with the constant press and public appearance over the years. He wrote:
“Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events. I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling. However, you won’t see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself. If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film.”
Wow. That is a bold move in this industry. People have been fired for less — it’s a really big deal, and he’s being so brave for putting his health first.
While Jonah noted that he usually cringes at these kinds of open letters, he made an exception this time because he hoped his words will help normalize vulnerable conversations about mental health:
“I usually cringe at letters or statements like this but I understand that I am of the privileged few who can afford to take time off. I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety. With this letter and with Stutz, I’m hoping to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. So they can take steps towards feeling better and so that the people in their lives might understand their issues more clearly.”
Despite deciding to skip future press events, the Superbad actor ultimately wishes for “the work will speak for itself,” adding:
“I’m grateful to my collaborators, my business partners and to all reading this for your understanding and support.”
His well-being always comes first, no matter what project is happening at the time, and it’s nice to see him taking these steps to help himself. We also applaud Jonah for his candor in discussing such an important topic as mental health. You can read his entire statement to Deadline HERE.