Jonah Hill Calls Instagram ‘Biggest Killer,’ Reveals How Therapy Changed His Life

The actor/writer/director goes deep with his 'Don't Look Up' collaborator Adam McKay in a new interview touching on meditation, therapy, and much more.


Image via Getty/Stephane Cardinale/Corbis


Jonah Hill, who will later this year be seen in Adam McKay’s star-stacked apocalyptic comedy Don’t Look Up, is in an inspiringly good place these days. And in a new interview, the repeatedly proven multi-hyphenate goes deep on what’s gotten him there.

Speaking with McKay for a special GQ Style cover story, complete with photos by Ed Templeton and styling from George Cortina, Hill made multiple mentions of therapist Phil Stutz. As Hill explained, he first began seeing Stutz—who is also now part of an upcoming documentary directed by the Mid90s auteur—a few years back thanks to a suggestion from his Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot collaborator Joaquin Phoenix

“[Stutz] invented a set of visualization techniques that greatly changed my life,” Hill said. “Netflix let me make a doc on therapy and Phil’s teachings, and then it became about Phil’s life, and then it became about how insane it is that I am making a movie about my therapist, and now it’s become…I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s become very collapsed on itself. The person that I vent to while I’m making a film, I now can’t vent to, because the film is about him, and I can’t let him know it maybe isn’t going to work.”

Zooming out a bit, Hill and McKay went deep on the sustaining myth—particularly in the U.S.—that artists must be entrenched in misery in order to function at their highest level. Both adamantly dispute this, with Hill using the opportunity to reveal the first thing he learned from his therapist. Hill even goes further, stating he’s never seen misery equate to “better art” for anyone he knows.

“You know what the first thing Phil Stutz said to me was? First thing. He said, ‘You’re not a good artist because you’re fucked up. You’re a good artist in spite of being fucked up,’” Hill said. “It’s all a dumb mythology that you’re supposed to be miserable to be talented, and it’s so absurdist. It’s genuinely: I got healthier, my art got better, and I was happier. Straight up. I haven’t seen misery bring better art out of anybody. I just haven’t.”

Elsewhere, Hill reflected on his personal relationship with social media, specifically Instagram. While Hill is sporadically active on the platform, he was careful to note that—for his own health—he must maintain a disciplined approach to utilizing it. This approach also extends to what Hill lets in his head at all, with “negative shit” only allowed at a slow pace.

“Instagram—as I smoke a cigarette—is the cigarettes of this time,” Hill said. “It is the biggest killer. It is death. And I fully participate in it, like I smoke cigarettes. Again, it’s a spectrum of what you find healthy. I have to have really limited interaction with it.”

The full piece is well worth a close reading, especially if you’re currently considering therapy and/or a general overhaul of the mental health upkeep process in your own life. Peep the full thing here.

In Don’t Look Up, out this December in theaters and on Netflix, Hill plays the son of the current U.S. president who also functions as Chief of Staff. The highly anticipated McKay entry sees Jennifer Lawrence and Hill’s Wolf of Wall Street partner Leonardo DiCaprio portraying scientists who are tasked with attempting to get humankind to understand that a comet will soon destroy the planet.

Below, catch a very brief clip of the film as part of a larger tease of Netflix’s 2021 slate:

View this video on YouTube

Latest in Pop Culture