Interview: Jonah Hill Talks Getting In Matches Of "FIFA" On The Set Of "21 Jump Street"

It's serious business when the funny man picks up a controller. Just ask Channing Tatum.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Actor Jonah Hill, fresh off an Oscar nomination for his work in Moneyball, returns to comedy in 21 Jump Street. The actor also served as a producer on the reboot of the ‘80s TV hit, which starred Johnny Depp. This time around, Hill and Channing Tatum go undercover at a high school as cops. Hill, who can still be seen in the commercials for Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, is a big gamer. He grew up playing games and never really quit. He even kept busy on the set of 21 Jump Street playing Xbox 360. The actor talks about his love of FIFA in this exclusive interview.

What games do you play these day?
The only game I’ll allow myself to play is FIFA.

Who is your team?
I play with France usually and sometimes Brazil.

Do you get much time to play when you’re on set?
On 21 Jump Street, Channing Tatum and I would have Epic FIFA matches. That’s one of the big things we did. We would play and there would literally be screaming heard from our trailers because we’d have so much arguing going on.

Who is the better FIFA player?
If you ask Channing about it, he’ll say he is -- and he is better than me.  He plays more than I do, but there have been a few times when I have taken him down.

It’s always good to have a challenge when you’re playing a game.
I’ll be honest because he’s my friend and I care about him a lot. He’s better than me at FIFA but I have embarrassed the shit out of him at times.

As someone who’s starring in 21 Jump Street and producing the Fox TV show “Allen Gregory,” what are the challenges of making games funny?
You know that’s something that I’ve brought up to Bobby Kotick (CEO of Activision Blizzard) before. I think there are action, horror, and sports games, but why isn’t there a really, really funny video game?

Did he ever explain why there isn’t one?
He said, “Well, give me an idea for one.” That's something that I would totally be open to. I mean it’s a really interesting idea, you know.

As someone who’s played games your whole life, would you be interested in getting involved in one?
I’m open to doing all types of creative endeavors. People try to align too much by what’s-this-going-to-look-like-for-me, blah, blah, blah. For me it’s very important to just focus on being creative and doing good stuff. Everything else is what it is. Those things are going to constantly shift just like with video games, Facebook and the Internet. The things we knew like TV shows and movies may not even exist one day because of progression. I want to keep those art forms alive. That’s why I make movies because they’re the purist art form. But you have to adjust with the times and as long as you’re being innovative and keeping the same principles of creativity and making art, then the format isn’t as important as what the principle of what you’re doing. That goes for any sort of thing, including games.


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