Jonah Hill finally has something to say.
After more than a decade in front of the camera with comedic roles like Superbad and 21 Jumpstreet, Hill is making his directorial debut with his coming-of-age drama Mid 90s. For Hill, writing and directing has been a lifelong goal but it wasn’t something he was willing to do just for the sake of it.
“I was so lucky to be in the middle of this 15-year acting career–it was the most incredible film school I ever could’ve asked for. I got to learn from so many amazing filmmakers along the way,” Hill says. “You get one chance at making your first film. And when I look at my heroes’ first films, usually it’s a film that was personal or came from a really heartfelt place. So I really waited until I had something to say and I could find my own voice–and that was Mid 90s.”
Mid 90s follows a 13-year-old skater in Los Angeles during the Clinton era as he navigates his teen years and a rocky family life.
“Mid 90s, at its core, is about building a family outside of your home,” Hill says “Essentially, it’s an animal kingdom movie about a young cub working his way up through this infrastructure. In your adolescence, things are so extreme. The fun is so extreme. The pain is so extreme. The joy, the agony–it’s all very heightened. And skateboarding is a group of individuals and outsiders that come together to form a family.”
Check out more of Hill’s interview with Fast Company in the video above.