Jonah Hill‘s transition from comedy star to Academy Award-nominated dramatic actor has been so quick, he’s made it look almost easy. But as evidenced by the scores of funnymen who’ve tried to make that same leap and failed, it’s not something just anyone can do.
For one thing, it involves making some very tough decisions. Such as turning down roles in what turned out to be two of 2009′s biggest hits, The Hangover and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. “All I ever wanted to be was, like, regarded,” he said. “A genuine fear of mine was that I was going to be known as ‘The Guy from Superbad’ for the rest of my life.”
So when director Todd Phillips offered him “any one of the three main parts in The Hangover,” Hill declined. He did the same when Michael Bay approached him about playing Shia LaBeouf‘s sidekick in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. “They were both really big decisions, and ones that most people didn’t understand,” he explained. “I knew I could be a dramatic actor, but I also knew I couldn’t go from Superbad to Schindler’s List.”