FILM NEWS: Jonah Hill to stop promoting films to protect his mental healthNews

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FILM NEWS: Jonah Hill to stop promoting films to protect his mental health

By Amanda Caroline  •  August 20, 2022  •  49
Jonah Hill at a film premiereIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Jonah Hill says he has "spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks"

Jonah Hill has announced he will stop promoting his films to protect his mental health.

The Superbad actor said he had suffered from anxiety attacks for 20 years, which were "exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events".

He will not do any promotion for his new documentary, Stutz, which is about his relationship with a therapist.

Psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley told Radio 1 Newsbeat his decision was "a really important message".

She said the fact that "somebody who has so much to lose is actually prepared to step back" should be applauded.

Jonah, 38, opened up about his mental health in an open letter published by Deadline ahead of Stutz, which he directed and is about the therapist he began seeing in 2017.

The film was shot in secret and follows the Hollywood star's journey with his therapist, while exploring mental health in general.

"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 said in the letter.



"I am so grateful that the film will make its world premiere at a prestigious film festival... and I can't wait to share it with audiences around the world in the hope that it will help those struggling.

"However, you won't see me out there promoting this film, or any of my upcoming films, while I take this important step to protect myself."

Jonah Hill at a press conferenceIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
The 21 Jump Street actor thanked people for their support

"But when they're offstage, they go back to who they really are," she said.

"So celebrities have to remember this persona in the media is an impersonation that you have, not you as an individual and that can be hard to balance."

Consultant psychologist Dr Elena Bailey agrees that celebrities are "very vulnerable" when they're in the public eye.

Dr Bailey, who works at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, said stepping away from the media was a "self-protective behaviour".

"This is because the type of attention and feedback and commentary on your life can have a very big impact on your mental health, causing a lot of anxiety, negative thoughts, symptoms of depression," she said.

Spiderman actor Tom Holland recently announced on Instagram he was taking a break from social media as he found it "overwhelming".

And last year, actor Ryan Reynolds discussed how anxiety had an impact on his life and work.

"For those who are working in the media, social media becomes a job, it becomes self-promotion," Dr Wheatley said.

"The public would put something up on their social media pages and it's for a chosen audience, like friends or family.