Powered by i.TV
August 21, 2014

Jonah Hill Talks the Fate of 'Allen Gregory,' '21 Jump Street' & Co-Hosting 'Live! With Kelly'

by Maggie Furlong, posted Dec 2nd 2011 11:00AM
Jonah HillFrom Oscar buzzy sports drama 'Moneyball' with Brad Pitt, to his turn re-imagining an '80s classic with the big screen '21 Jump Street,' to his Fox animated series 'Allen Gregory' and a stint co-hosting 'Live! with Kelly' next week, it's safe to say that Jonah Hill is having an awesomely schizophrenic moment in his career.

I caught up with the actor/writer/producer/funnyman to find out about the fate of 'Allen Gregory' (season finale airs Sun., Dec. 4, 8:30PM ET on Fox), his absurdly inappropriate animated series that finds him voicing a precocious seven-year-old who sips fine wine and lusts after his geriatric school principal. The show's gotten mixed reviews and has done little in terms of ratings for its first batch of episodes -- and, as expected, it was nowhere on the midseason schedule Fox just unveiled -- but that's fine by Hill.

"I just think everything on TV is so boring that our show ... [laughs] look, our show is not exactly killing it in the ratings," Hill laughed. "We're not a show that's gonna win a bunch of Emmys or get 20 million viewers a week. But we totally stand by what we do and aren't gonna change that for anything. Our central love story is between a six-year-old kid and a hideous 80-year-old lady, you know? I feel really prideful that we got that on the air."

Check out the rest of our chat, including scoop on his 'Jump Street' costar Channing Tatum and his next project that'll reunite him with some old pals, after the jump.

What is it that you love about 'Allen Gregory'? And why do you think it hasn't clicked with viewers just yet?
We made a show about awful, awful people. [Laughs] We got away with it. Jarrad [Paul], Andy [Mogel], me and David [Goodman], the four of us think it's funny that there are these shows that have these awful people, but then at the end, they do something really nice and they're not really that bad. We wanted a show where that doesn't happen. [Laughs] I just have mad respect for people who make stuff ... you know, like 'Eastbound & Down' is a phenomenal show, and I think one of the reasons it's so good is because Kenny Powers remains awful, always. He's a disgusting, disgusting man, but you respect that he is who he is, and he's not changing. I thought it was funny that in our world of 'Allen Gregory,' they never really get their punishment for being awful. And they almost get rewarded for it, and punished for being a good person!

'Allen Gregory'The ratings have not been great. Back in July before it premiered, Fox ordered some more scripts, but nothing has been said since then about getting those made. Do you know what's going to happen to the show?
We don't know what's going to happen, honestly. The future is totally unknown at this point. Our ratings ... do I wish we had more viewers than we do? Of course I do. But the show is unlike anything else. So, to me, I'd rather have a show that doesn't work out that was totally what we meant it to be and totally punk rock in its spirit than something that was totally vanilla and lasted for two or three or four seasons because we changed the show to be like every other show on TV. We do what we do, and not a ton of people are watching it, but the ones that watch it seem to really respond to it. To me, I'll remember 'Arrested Development,' 'Freaks & Geeks' or 'Undeclared' more than I'll remember 100 other shows that were on for three or four seasons.

Was there anything you saw in the final product that you'd change if the show continues?
I would go even harder. [Laughs] People have been saying, "Oh, the show's so aggressive" or whatever, but to me I think it's totally punk rock that we got this show on Fox and hopefully we get to make more.

You've been having the most random year ever, and now you're co-hosting 'Live! With Kelly' next week. I mean, what?
[Laughs] That's to promote 'The Sitter,' but really, every time I've been on 'Regis & Kelly' I've had a great time and they've been super sweet to me. When am I ever gonna get to be a talk show host for one day? I think it's pretty funny. You know, I talk about this with Bennett Miller, who directed 'Moneyball,' all the time -- how you kind of can't figure me out lately, in a great way. [Laughs] I think that's the coolest thing ever. Not that I'll ever be as great as these people, but my heroes are Bill Murray and Dustin Hoffman, and those are guys that I think do really eccentric, weird stuff. I don't want to be easily figured out. So if you see a music video for Sara Bareilles I directed, and then 'Moneyball,' and then 'The Sitter,' and then an action 'Modern Warfare' commercial that Peter Berg directed, and then 'Live! With Kelly,' I just want you to be like, "What?! [Laughs] This is awesome." It's been the most creatively fulfilling year of my life.

Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum, '21 Jump Street'And you've stepped into the screenwriting and leading action man role with the '21 Jump Street' reboot. Did you do it because you loved the '80s TV series, or because it was something else that was different?
It was totally different -- that's what was cool about it. To kind of be the architect of a movie, in a way, you have to see a story that you really connect to. All the TV show and the action and everything, it wasn't about any of that stuff. It was about telling a story about people who get to go back and re-live a period of their life that was really influential. They think they have all the answers and they can get it done really easily this time, but then when they get back, they revert to the insecurities and the person they were years ago. That, to me, was a really cool story to tell.

Well the promos look really fun, and it's an awesome cast. Channing Tatum stands out, since he's not exactly known for being funny. Did you picture him, or someone like him, when you were writing that part?
Oh yeah, I completely chose Channing and I called him up myself and offered him the part. Talk about doing things out of your comfort zone or things that are gonna get people to see you in a different way -- I think he's really going to blow people's minds with this movie. He is so funny, it's crazy. It's really going to be shocking to people how funny he is in this movie.

So you obviously put your own spin on the story, but are there other old TV shows or movies you want to remake now? Is this your new thing?
No, the remake thing ... now they've come to me with other TV shows to remake because of 'Jump Street,' [laughs] but it was never my intention to remake anything. If it wasn't me, I'd probably be talking sh*t about me for remaking 'Jump Street.' But I loved the idea that it's totally different -- it's not '80s, it's not spoof, it's just the idea of two young-looking cops going back to high school. I'm willing to do anything if it's good, but I'm not looking to re-make more stuff.

Seth Rogen and Jonah HillYou're reuniting with quite a few old friends next for Seth Rogen's directorial debut, 'Apocalypse.' What's the status on that?
I think they're figuring out how to make the movie. But to be putting the gang back together ... none of us hesitated to do it because it's really rare now to get me, Seth, Danny McBride, James Franco and Jay Baruchel in the same movie together. I was like, "Hell yeah, I'll go spend a few weeks with my friends making a hilarious movie." The script they wrote is brilliant ... we all came up together and we've all gone on our paths to make all these other cool projects. To get to come back together years later is incredibly exciting.


Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

9 Comments

Filter by:
K Baker

I freaking loved this show, I was sad to see it go.

February 07 2013 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rentalsnake

Some of the viewer comments here are silly .. how is the show poorly animated? why because it doesent look like family guy? Well thats just people who dont see the artistic side to animation and just want it all to be the same. Also this shows funny as hell , everyone i showed it too thought it was too .. it seems the only people who say "its not funny atall" are just too dim to understand whats going on . These people want family guy or nothing these days , people dont want to be forced to think hard . civilisation is reversing intelligence is looked down on .. were all F*cked lol

February 06 2012 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hector

The show is far from satirical, the attempt to seem witty and punk is less inspired than the hippster movement of late, this show is the embodiment of sesquipedalian. And you can eat me Jona Hill for pretending to have created something inspired.

December 18 2011 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charles Arthur Robin

Allen Gregory definite keeper 5/5

December 12 2011 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tbriles00

The look of the show is subpar. Unapealling look of the characters and the world they live in.

December 09 2011 at 2:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gabi

I love this show! It s funny, bitter but with a good laugh! Hope it stays !

December 05 2011 at 3:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amateurcorpse

That show just sucks. I could tell it from the first time I saw a commercial for it. It's not funny and it's poorly animated. There, I explained the whole problem with it.

I do like Jonah Hill, or at least his roles in movies up until now, but eh.... c'mon.

December 03 2011 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz Bradley

Allen Gregory is awesome and I hope it stays on. I'm glad Jonah Hill is smart and knows that even if it doesn't, it'll just join the ranks of the awesome "cancelleds". Thanks, Jonah!!

December 02 2011 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jessicaclare9587

i love allen gregory. nothing more to say.

December 02 2011 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners