Jonah Hill announced today that he will soon be releasing a documentary about Mental Health but he will not be available to promote it – or any of its upcoming projects.
While making the Netflix movie – titled stutz after his personal therapist Dr Phil Stutz-Hill realized he had spent “almost 20 years suffering from anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and events facing the public” . As such, he plans to take a step back from promoting the doc “or one of my upcoming movies while I take this important step to protect myself.”
The actor-director announced the decision in a lengthy statement first reported by Deadline, and the reveal precedes the debut of the Fall Documentary Festival, though Hill doesn’t specify which festival, calling it only “prestigious.” The doc marks his second feature film after that of 2018 Mid 90s. More recently, Hill directed an episode of Buying Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty for HBO.
Hill, who also has a Netflix movie titled you people slated for release later this year from a screenplay he co-wrote with Kenya Barris, last made the publicity and promotional rounds late last year before the debut of Adam McKayis starry Don’t look up, also for Netflix. Her retirement from the public eye also includes her Instagram which appears to have been deleted.
“I usually cringe at letters or statements like this, but I understand that I’m one of the privileged few who can afford to take time off,” Hill said. “I will not lose my job working on my anxiety. With this letter and with stutz, I hope to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. Thus, they can take steps to feel better and to make those around them understand their problems more clearly.
In a 2021 story for QG written by McKay, Hill checked Stutz’s name several times, explaining how he started seeing his therapist in 2017 at the suggestion of Joaquin Phoenix, his friend and costar in Don’t worry, he won’t get far on foot.
“He invented a set of visualization techniques that have greatly changed my life. Netflix let me make a documentary about Phil’s therapy and teachings, and then it became Phil’s life, then it got crazy that I made a movie about my therapist, and now it’s become… I don’t want to give too much away, but he’s gotten very down on himself,” Hill told McKay, who revealed he used to see Stutz’s partner Barry Michels. “The person I confide in while I’m making a movie, I can’t confide in anymore, because the movie is about him, and I can’t let him know that maybe it won’t work.”
It’s not fair to say that mental health has become a hot topic in Hollywood, because it’s more realistic to say it’s a pervasive conversation across the cultural landscape and across many industries. Hill is just the latest high profile person to address the subject and her own struggles, joining a list that includes the gymnast Simone Bilesanimator Lady Gaga and successful star Tom Holland (who just announced a social media hiatus to protect his mental health).
Read his full statement below.
I have completed my second film, a documentary about me and my therapist exploring general mental health called stutz. The purpose of making this film is to give therapy and the tools I learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film.
Through this journey of self-discovery in film, I realized that I had spent almost 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and events that the public faces. .
I’m so grateful the film is making its world premiere at a prestigious film festival this fall, and I can’t wait to share it with audiences around the world in hopes it helps those struggling. However, you won’t see me promoting this movie, or any of my upcoming movies, while I take this important step to protect myself. If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting, I wouldn’t be true to myself or the movie.
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 working on my anxiety. With this letter and with stutz, I hope to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. This way, they can take steps to feel better and to make people around them understand their problems more clearly.
I hope the work speaks for itself, and I am grateful to my staff, business partners, and everyone reading this for your understanding and support.