Jonah Hill has directed and starred Stutz, a documentary about his therapist and his mental health — but he won’t be hitting the media circuit to promote it. In an open letter published via Deadline, Hill shared the ways in which his mental health has been negatively affected by appearing in the press. “Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to understand that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, exacerbated by media appearances and public events,” he wrote.
The Very bad the star’s upcoming projects include; You people—a Netflix directed comedy Kenya Barris and co-star Eddie Murphy-and Stutz, named for Phil Stutz, the therapist whom Hill began seeing on a recommendation Joaquin Phoenix in 2017. “I am so grateful that the film will have its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall and look forward to sharing it with audiences around the world in hopes that it will help those struggling,” Hill wrote, referring to in the last movie. “However, you will not see me out there promoting this film or any of my upcoming films while I take this important step to protect myself. If I got sicker going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be true to myself or the film.”
It’s not the first time Hill has spoken out about the strain media coverage has put on his mental health. Hill took to Instagram last fall to ask the public to stop commenting on his body, writing that it’s “not helpful and it doesn’t feel right.” On Twitter, actor Josh Gad supported Hill’s decision to step away from commercial appearances, writing, “As someone who has dealt with anxiety most of my life, I applaud and thank Jonah Hill for his honesty and openness in discussing this difficult topic.”
Hill concluded his letter by writing, “I usually cringe at letters or statements like this, but I understand that I am one of the privileged few who can afford to take time off. I will not lose my job while working on my anxiety. With this letter and with Stutz, I hope to make it more normal for people to talk and act about these things. So they can take steps to feel better and so that the people in their lives understand their problems more clearly.”
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