Jonah Hill helped by directors

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 March 2019
Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill sought advice from the likes of Martin Scorsese and Ethan Cohen before making 'Mid90s'

Jonah Hill has praised Martin Scorsese as being "beyond helpful" in offering directorial advice.

The '21 Jump Street' actor has moved behind the camera for the first time with 'Mid90s' and he spent hours talking about the project with his 'Wolf of Wall Street' director, who also approved the use of a brief scene from 'Goodfellas' in Jonah's movie.

He said: "I cashed in all my chips. We spent about four hours at his house in New York talking about the film.

"He was beyond helpful."

And Scorsese wasn't the only director who the 35-year-old star turned to for advice as he also spoke to 'Hail, Caesar!' filmmaker Ethan Coen, who told him to embrace the experience.

He recalled to Empire magazine: "Ethan said, 'I was so stressed making my first movie, I didn't enjoy any of it.' "

Jonah decided to direct the movie thanks to some encouragement from his friend Spike Jonze after they saw 'Whiplash' together, which was directed by Damien Chazelle, who was 28 at the time.

He said: "[Spike was like], 'Man that guy's younger than you! You're always saying you want to be a director – get to work.' "

When it came to making 'Mid90s' – which is about a young teenager who befriends a group of older skateboarders – Jonah was hugely inspired by Shane Meadows' 'This Is England'.

He explained: "I am obsessed with Shane Meadows. 'This Is England' is one of my favourite films.

"I didn't know anything about skinheads in England. He handled a very specific subculture I didn't know about and it didn't matter, it was about this kid and his life experience."

And it was the only film he showed to his cast, including lead actor Sunny Suljic, ahead of filming.

He added: "Sunny was 11 when he was cast. I don't think he knew acting that could be that natural."

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