Jonah Hill Opens up About Anxiety Attacks, Making Major Career Change to Improve His Mental Health

Jonah Hill announced his new film, Stutz, on Wednesday in an open letter to Hollywood and his fans. The actor also plans to stop promoting his films in person, including his upcoming Netflix comedy You People. Hill, 38, said making his new film helped him understand that he experienced anxiety attacks throughout his career, and will no longer make media appearances to "protect myself."

Stutz is a new documentary Hill filmed in secret and takes its title from his therapist. The movie, which will be screened at fall film festivals, is about his discussions about mental health with his therapist. The purpose of making the movie is "to give therapy and the tools I've learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film," Hill wrote in the open letter, first published by Deadline.

Making the film was a "journey of self-discovery" that helped him understand that he experienced anxiety attacks, "exacerbated" by making media appearances and attending public events. So, when Stutz is screened at festivals, Hill will not be there. He hopes the film can speak for itself.

"If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn't be acting true to myself or to the film," Hill wrote. "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."

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Hill was last seen in Adam McKay's star-studded satire Don't Look Up last year, and he did attend events to promote the film. His next movie is You People, which he wrote with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. Hill also stars in the film with Nia Long, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and Mike Epps. He directed the critically acclaimed 2018 coming-of-age comedy mid90s and directed an episode of HBO's Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Hill earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for his roles in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street.