It wasn’t so many years ago that Jonah Hill’s career seemed to be following the trajectory of a Chris Farley or John Belushi; Hill was an affable fat man with a gift for losing his cool in comedic fashion. Back then, screwball movies like Accepted and Superbad were our only frames of reference to all things Jonah. But in 2010, he did an about-face with Cyrus, his first dramatic turn. This may have been what set him on the path toward his two Best Supporting Actor nominations for similarly serious roles in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. And according to Cyrus director Mark Duplass, none of it might have happened had Hill not approached him while silly drunk.
At this year’s SXSW festival, Duplass shared that it was at that same event in 2005 that he first met Jonah. At an end-of-the-fest party, Hill approached Mark and brother/co-director Jay Duplass, threw his unwieldy, drunken arm around the two, and gushed an embarrassing, “I love you so much, I wanna be in you guys’ next movie!” (at least, that’s how Mark quotes Jonah, complete with a feigned, sloppy mush-mouth).
The Duplass boys thought it had to have been, as they say, drunk talk. But Hill later took to the press, where he steadily—and we imagine soberly—continued to praise the relatively obscure directors. In the end, Jonah did win that lead role, thanks in part to the memorable first impression he’d made. So the next time you think you’ve got to stay in the night before a job interview—screw that; make it an all-nighter, and be sure to have blacked out before meeting with your potential new boss in the morning. If Jonah Hill’s career is any indication, there’s no better way to break into the big leagues.