Due to anxiety attacks, Jonah Hill is taking some time off from promoting his films, including a new documentary called Stutz about his therapist.
Jonah Hill announced the decision not to personally promote Stutz, which is set to premiere at fall film festivals this year, in an exclusive statement to Deadline on Wednesday. He also won’t be attending any events for any of his other upcoming projects in the foreseeable future, including the Netflix comedy You People which Hill acts in, co-wrote, and co-produced with director Kenya Barris. However, Deadline was clear that Hill is not retiring — he’s just taking a much-needed break.
Hill’s therapist, Phil Stutz, is the co-author of the New York Times best-selling book The Tools, which he co-wrote with fellow therapist Barry Michels. The book, which has been touted by Hollywood stars from Hill to Gwyneth Paltrow to Drew Barrymore, offers readers a set of strategies, or tools, to help them get through difficult emotions and inner roadblocks like procrastination and performance anxiety.
Stutz, which follows Jonah Hill’s 2018 feature directorial debut, Mid90s, will focus on Jonah Hill, Phil Stutz, and mental health in general.
“I have finished directing my second film, a documentary about me and my therapist which explores mental health in general called Stutz. 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. 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,” Jonah Hill wrote in the statement to Deadline.
“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,” he continued.
“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. 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.”
Main Image: Jonah Hill attends the Mid90s press conference during the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 10, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.