Jonah Hill has criticised the fashion industry’s exclusion of overweight people.
The Wolf of Wall Street actor has been stretching his wings beyond his goofball comedy origins in recent years. In 2018, he made his directorial debut with Mid90s, a super-nostalgic time capsule steeped in skating culture. He also starred in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Maniac on Netflix, a surrealist, dystopian miniseries.
Sure, he rocked his blue western and plaid trousers in Superbad. Yes, he would have looked dynamite in the eBay store boots in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. However, fashion is a closer component of Hill’s personality than many realise.
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In a recent interview with GQ, the two-time Oscar-nominee discussed his relationship with ‘style’ and how he’s allowed himself to embrace it more as his career developed.
Hill explained: ‘I think I was conditioned for that based on my acting career. Because, (A) being overweight and (B) comedy, you’re not supposed to be into fashion on either of those sides. When I was coming up in comedy, you would get made fun of if you cared about fashion, but I always did.’
One quick browse online, and you’ll see lots of articles and Instagram posts hailing him as a newfound ‘king of style’, turning out a number of fashionable combinations as he walks the streets.
I think the biggest shift in my personal style was that I always had an interest in personal style and fashion, but I was always a bigger guy. It’s really hard when you’re overweight to dress a certain way, because clothes aren’t made for people who are overweight to have style.
So, I think it surprises people. Even now, I’ll overhear someone discussing my place in the fashion world or whatever, and people are like: ‘That guy? The schlubby guy from Superbad?’
While filming Mid90s, Hill was frequently wearing black, with some describing it as a ‘director’s uniform’. He said: ‘That’s so funny. It was just because I had to do press every day and I didn’t have the real estate in my brain… it was just a way to look nice and good.’
From there though, people began to pay attention to his fashion sense. But for Hill, this is nothing new – it’s just always been sidelined compared to his other plaudits.
He added, ‘I mean, I already had a passion for style before I was directing the film. But I think, as you grow as a person and as an artist, of course you have a better sense of self. All my work, whether it’s design, directing, acting, writing, any of it, is aiming towards just being my true self. So that can mean anything in any moment, especially in regards to style.’
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