A Tribute to Jonah Hill's Best Year Yet

In 2021, Jonah Hill shined brightly. Whether he was championing self-love, fighting climate change or rocking a blue suit, the Don't Look Up star proved he's only getting better.

By Samantha Schnurr Dec 20, 2021 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Jonah Hill Debuts New Body Positive Tattoo

It's Jonah Hill's birthday today, but his whole year warrants some major celebrating. 

While he's spent nearly two decades in the business, the beloved funny man has noticeably pulled back the curtain on his authentic self this year—to the benefit of fans everywhere. Yes, he's delivered, as expected, on the humorous end of things—getting away with calling Meryl Streep the "G.O.A.T." when she thought he was referring to the actual animal and bringing a fart machine on his press tour for Don't Look Up, to name a few. 

He's also reminded the world that he's basically a style icon: GQ hailed him with the headline "Jonah Hill Is on an Absolute Outfit Heater" and Vogue shouted him out for having one of the best "Fashion Instagrams" of the week. Plus, if you were looking to bleach your hair blonde this year, Jonah's mane served as a very cool reference. And let's not forget (we could never) that he turned matching with your significant other on the red carpet—as he did with girlfriend Sarah Brady—into a new requirement. As The Cut's Instagram read, "Per their example, all celebrities and their significant others must wear the same outfit to formal events. Down to the shoes! We do not make the rules; they do."

Jonah Hill's Santa Monica Home

But he's also made strides beyond the superficial. In February, the star was admirably candid about the impact mockery from the press had on his insecurities about his body. "I'm 37 and finally love and accept myself," he declared in an Instagram post—and boy did we feel that, as did nearly 2 million people who gave it a "like." 

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Getty Images

In celebration of Jonah's 38th birthday, take a digital walk down memory lane and revisit some of his 2021 highlights below—and maybe throw on a pastel blazer or colorful printed button-down in his honor. 

Going Deep

In February, a Daily Mail post featuring paparazzi photos of the actor surfing spurred him to share a candid message for "the kids who don't take their shirt off at the pool."

"I don't think I ever took my shirt off in a pool until I was in my mid 30s even in front of family and friends. Probably would have happened sooner if my childhood insecurities weren't exacerbated by years of public mockery about my body by press and interviewers," he wrote. "So the idea that the media tries to play me by stalking me while surfing and printing photos like this and it can't phase me anymore is dope. I'm 37 and finally love and accept myself. This isn't a 'good for me' post . And it's definitely not a 'feel bad for me post'. It's for the the kids who don't take their shirt off at the pool. Have fun. You're wonderful and awesome and perfect. All my love."

Oh and Daily Mail, not even you can take that smile from my face ;)

Body Love

Taking his commitment to self-love one step further, Jonah showed off a new tattoo in August: A hand in the shape of the "I Love You" sigh with the phrase "Body Love" under it. 

Sitting Out the Chase

During an interview with his Don't Look Up director Adam McKay for GQ Style, Jonah professed, "What is great without chasing being young and on trend? That's my energy. I'm 37. Not that I'm old, but I'm not young. I'm not 25. And I don't chase youth, and I don't chase trends. I don't put any new music in movies. Mike Nichols is my favorite director ever. And if you watch Carnal Knowledge, or you watch some of his real bangers, it's almost like they could have been made 20 years earlier or 20 years later. They're just not chasing anything. He's just chasing humanity, essentially. So that's what I try and do. I'm just chasing humanity."

Speaking Up

While he had opened up to the public about past insecurities, Jonah drew the line at talk about his body. "I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body [red heart emoji] good or bad," the Superbad star wrote in an Instagram post in October. "I want to politely let you know its not helpful and doesn't feel good. Much respect."

Très Chic Twinning

For their first red carpet appearance together, Jonah and his girlfriend, Sarah Brady, made a sartorial splash—and set a new standard for couples' fashion—when they showed up in identical powder blue suits and matching loafers. 

Climate Change Combat

Inspired by his girlfriend, the actor used his press tour appearances for Don't Look Up to shine a light on a simple step fans could take in the fight against climate change. "I'm not a political man, but I do believe in climate change and my girlfriend will kill me if I don't read this," he said on The Tonight Show. "I just will say I don't know how to deal with this stuff. It feels like Mount Everest. You can call or email your congressperson and ask them to support H.R. 794, the National Climate Change Emergency [Act]. That's it—very easy if you're into it."