When Did Jonah Hill Get So Zen?

Photo: John Sheene/Ace Pictures/Shutterstock

Much like Lady Gaga, Jonah Hill loves to metamorphize. Every so often he retreats into a cocoon that doubles as a hotbox, only to emerge a beautiful, stunningly evolved butterfly. Three years ago, he shape-shifted into a grungy skater and made a movie about skating. His latest evolution? Extremely Zen Guy.

It started with his style, which has recently taken on a Beatnik edge. He grew an enormous beard. He got a bunch of new tattoos. He started wearing square-shaped sunglasses and vintage mushroom T-shirts. He debuted this look, fashioning himself as a sort of modern, Bode-wearing Allen Ginsberg. He got really into surfing. He started dating a surf instructor!

Also, he began to exhibit a truly aspirational level of mental health. He started talking about learning to love his body and even got a tattoo about body positivity, which would be annoying on most people but is nice on him. He pretended to be 50 (he’s 37), which is mostly beside the point but proves he’s not too shroomed out to make fun of himself. It is all, at the risk of sounding like the man Hill has become, extremely enlightened.

The many facets of Zen Jonah Hill really solidified in this new interview with GQ, where he says the word “dude” nine times. He also sings the praises of Transcendental Meditation (which he refers to simply as “TM”) and talks about aspiring to be like his neighbor Geoff, who moved to the beach to become truly happy. My personal favorite part is when Hill says he’s “just chasing humanity” instead of chasing trends. Like I said, enlightened stuff.

More details about Hill’s enviable mental health also emerged, like the fact that he no longer thinks you have to be miserable to be a good artist and a lengthy discussion about his therapist, who he apparently made a documentary about. Hill is in fact so devoted to his own mental health that he confessed to the creator of Succession (the interviewer and his frequent collaborator Adam McKay) that he cannot binge watch Succession because “it’s letting too much negative shit into my brain.” An honest king who respects the serialized format of HBO shows? Hard to find!

I look forward to hearing about Hill’s therapist even more (does he call him “dude” too?) and beholding his crunchy outfits until his next rebirth, perhaps as a Guy Who Loves Camping. Only time will tell!

When Did Jonah Hill Get So Zen?