Jonah Hill Shares How Therapy Changed His Life in New Movie - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Jonah Hill Shares How Therapy Changed His Life in New Movie

Jonah Hill is making a movie about his therapist. The new film, titled ‘Stutz’, takes you inside the tender therapy sessions that made Hill’s life “immeasurably better”.

After decades of stigma, the benefits for mental health are now widely recognised as seeking professional help has become a normalised aspect of self care. The comfort of speaking to a therapist can lead to an unparalleled sense of self-awareness and growth, but many are still hesitant to reach out and seek help. Jonah Hill has had a long and public battle with his mental health. Ultimately, it was therapy that helped him change his life for the better. Now the actor-turned-director is making a movie about his long-time friend and therapist, Phil Stutz.

Featuring in blockbuster films like 21 Jump Street, Superbad and The Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah Hill has an impressive film portfolio under his belt. But throughout his career, the star has dealt with issues of anxiety and body image. Hill found that the best way to remedy these issues was through therapy and as a result, he’s sharing his experience with Stutz. Hill believes that therapy can help other people like it helped him. In the movie’s latest trailer, he tells Stutz “My life has gotten immeasurably better as a result of working with you. If it worked for me, maybe it will work for other people.”

The new movie takes an unconventional twist on a patient-therapist relationship and Hill recognises that peculiarity, “I’m just gonna acknowledge how odd this endeavour is. A patient making a movie about his therapist,” said Hill. The movie promises to provide an in depth look into intimate conversations between Hill and Stutz. It’ll be like lying on the therapists couch yourself.

Hill has recently taken his talents behind the camera’s and while Stutz will feature elements of Hill’s experiences, the 38-year-old is credited as the director. But Hill insists his personal battle with his mental health is the key to making the movie send a positive message. “How can I make a movie where I’m talking about people being vulnerable and working on their problems, and not be vulnerable myself?” Hill said.

This isn’t the first time Hill has spoken out on mental health. He previously asked people to stop making comments on his body as he struggled with body image issues. In August this year he announced that he wouldn’t be doing any promotional activities for future movies to protect his mental health. He shared this decision in an open letter, “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,” he wrote. Shortly after the letter’s release, Hill deleted his social media accounts, and he hasn’t returned to the platforms since.

Hill sees his new movie as an opportunity to share the benefits of therapy and to celebrate the work of Phil Stutz. He hopes it might convince others who are hesitant to seek help to be proactive about their mental health and get the support they need. In his August open letter, he wrote: “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.”

Stutz, the person not the movie, has made a name for himself as a therapist to the stars. He has helped a number of celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and director Adam McKay. Stutz advocates for visualization exercises he calls tools. His tools are intended to ease anxiety and allow patients to let go of negative thoughts. 

Hill’s new film and his advocate work are emblematic of the growing body of support behind the effectiveness of therapy. If you are facing mental health issues like anxiety or depression, or simply want to get something off your chest, seeking help and speaking to a therapist could be crucial to making personal growth. If you want an insight into Hill’s experiences or need more proof of the benefits of therapy, Stutz premieres on Netflix on November 14th.

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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