Jonah Hill, 38, reveals he is ‘taking time off’ from the spotlight to ‘protect’ his mental health after suffering from anxiety attacks for 20 years: ‘I wouldn’t be acting true to myself if I made myself sicker’
- The Oscar-nominated actor released a statement on Wednesday in which he shared his reasons for taking a break from his media obligations
- Hill, who recently wrapped filming on a mental health-focused documentary called Stutz – which he stars in and directed – said he will not promote the movie
- The actor shot the film in secret and announced that it will debut at ‘a prestigious film festival this fall’ but he will not attend the event
- Hill’s new project documents his 20-year struggle with anxiety and he said the movie made him realize media appearances ‘make him sicker’
- The Wolf of Wall Street star will also not take part in any media appearances or promotion for other upcoming projects, including Netflix comedy You People
Jonah Hill has revealed he is taking a step back from the spotlight in order to ‘protect’ his mental health after a 20-year struggle with anxiety attacks, which he says were ‘exacerbated’ by his public appearances.
The 38-year-old Oscar-nominated actor shared the news on Wednesday while announcing that he will be premiering a mental health-focused documentary called Stutz that he shot in secret with his therapist, and which sees Hill opening up about his anxiety issues.
He revealed that the movie will premiere ‘at a prestigious film festival this fall’, but noted that he will ‘not be out there promoting this film, or any of his upcoming films’ because he will be ‘taking time off’ in an effort to ‘protect himself’.
As well as his own documentary, which Hill directed and stars in, the actor also has a new project for Netflix – comedy movie You People – that is due to premiere later this year.
In his statement, which was obtained by Deadline, Hill noted that his decision to take a break from showbusiness was prompted by his documentary, which brought him to ‘the understanding that he has spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events’.
Jonah Hill has revealed he is taking a step back from the spotlight in order to ‘protect’ his mental health after a 20-year struggle with anxiety attacks. The actor is pictured this month
The 38-year-old, seen in December, will not promote any of his upcoming movies, he has revealed, including a documentary about mental health and therapy, which he directed
‘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,’ he said.
Noting that he is ‘so grateful the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall’, he went on: ‘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.’
Hill continued by acknowledging his position of great ‘privilege’, conceding that he is one of the lucky few who are able and can ‘afford to take time off’ without fear of losing their job or struggling to make ends meet.
‘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,’ he admitted. ‘I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety.’
The actor, who has appeared in dozens of movies over the past 18 years, did not say when he plans to return to the limelight, however he made clear to Deadline that he is not retiring from acting permanently.
He ended his statement by sharing his hope that his upcoming documentary will help to ‘make it normal for people to talk and act on’ their mental health struggles, saying: ‘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.’
He concluded: ‘I hope the work will speak for itself and I’m grateful to my collaborators, my business partners and to all reading this for your understanding and support.’
This is the first time that Hill has publicly spoken out about his anxiety struggles, however he has previously detailed his body image issues, asking fans last year to stop commenting on his weight loss.
The star, whose weight has fluctuated dramatically over the years, wrote on the social media app: ‘I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.’
The title of the documentary came from Hill’s therapist and it will include discussions about mental health and how he’s past had anxiety attacks while promoting his projects
Hill is the latest in a growing line of celebrities who have taken ‘breaks’ from their careers of their social media accounts in order to deal with their mental health issues.
Spider-Man star Tom Holland, 26, announced earlier this month that is is taking a break from social media because he believes it is ‘detrimental’ to his mental health, noting that he ‘spirals’ when he reads things about himself online.
Last month, singer Shawn Mendes, 23, canceled the remaining dates on his Wonder world tour after struggling to cope with the ‘toll of being back on the road’.
”I started this tour excited to finally get back to playing live after a long break due to the pandemic, but the reality is I was not at all ready for how difficult touring would be after this time away,’ he said in a statement shared on Instagram.
‘After speaking more with my team and working with an incredible group of health professionals, it has become more clear that I need to take the time I’ve never taken personally, to ground myself and come back stronger.’
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