In promoting his directorial debut, “Mid90s,” a sweet, perceptive look at teen skateboarders in the titular era, Jonah Hill
has spent a lot of time explaining himself. He’s touched on the 20 drafts he wrote over four years to craft a passion project that draws from the nostalgia of his youth, and why his skateboarding movie is “the anti-‘Kids,'” but more than that, a lot of people keep asking him about his comedy roots.
He’s endured this several times before, with each of his Oscar-nominated performances (in “The Wolf of Wall Street
” and “Moneyball
”), and it kicked off again this fall. A dramatic New York magazine cover story presented Hill in a grave black-and-white portrait, with the actor casting a provocative gaze at the camera under the dramatic headline: “Jonah Hill, filmmaker.”
Indeed. That transition comes out of careful brand management that, to date, yielded mixed results.