Entertainment

Jonah Hill to step back from promoting his films to protect mental health

The Hollywood star said media appearances and public facing events ‘exacerbated' his anxiety attacks.

Jonah Hill says he will be stepping back from promoting upcoming films to protect his mental health.

The Hollywood star said media appearances and public facing events “exacerbated” his anxiety attacks, and that the decision was an “important step” for him.

In a statement shared with US media outlets, he revealed he had finished directing his second film, titled Stutz – a documentary about him and his therapist which also explores mental health in general.

Hill said the film had taken him on a “journey of self-discovery” and hoped that it would “help those who are struggling”.

The Graham Norton Show – London
The Hollywood star said media appearances and public facing events ‘exacerbated’ his anxiety attacks (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“The whole purpose of making this film is to give therapy and the tools I’ve learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film,” the statement said.

“Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events.

“I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling.

“However, you won’t see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself.

“If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film.”

The actor, who is known for playing comedic characters in films including Superbad, 21 Jump Street and The Wolf Of Wall Street, said he hoped that Stutz would normalise talking about and acting on mental health issues.

“I usually cringe at letters or statements like this but I understand that I am of the privileged few who can afford to take time off,” he said.

“I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety.

“With this letter and with Stutz, I’m hoping to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. So they can take steps towards feeling better and so that the people in their lives might understand their issues more clearly.

“I hope the work will speak for itself and I’m grateful to my collaborators, my business partners and to all reading this for your understanding and support.”