Jonah Hill ‘Hated’ Christopher Mintz-Plasse on Superbad Set at First

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According to Judd Apatow, Mintz-Plasse was “very biting and attacking Jonah and doing improvisations to insult Jonah” during a callback audition.

McLovin’ was originally McHated.

Superbad’s co-screenwriters, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, recalled how lead actor Jonah Hill initially hated newcomer co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse on set. Casting director Allison Jones had put up flyers at local Southern California high schools to cast the 2007 teen comedy, prompting Mintz-Plasse to audition.

Jonah immediately hated him. He said, ‘That was fucking with my rhythm. I couldn’t perform with that guy,” Rogen, who also starred in the film, told Vanity Fair as part of the oral history of the iconic film’s 15th anniversary.

Executive producer Judd Apatow added: “Jonah said, ‘I don’t like that guy. I don’t want him to do it.’ And I said, ‘That’s exactly why we’re hiring him. It couldn’t be more perfect. The fact that it bothers you is exactly what we want.’”

According to Apatow, Mintz-Plasse was “very caustic and attacked Jonah and did improvisations to insult Jonah” during his third callback audition for the role alongside Hill. Mintz-Plasse, a self-proclaimed “skinny kid,” was “super excited” to even audition for a feature film.

“I had Seth and everyone else sign my script,” Mintz-Plasse said, “because I didn’t think I was going to get the part.”

As ‘Superbad’ director Greg Mottola recalled, ‘He played it like he was clearly the coolest guy in the room and everyone else a nerd and a loser. He was Dean Martin instead of Jerry Lewis.”

Hill even later admitted that “Chris was really, really great about the bat. And I think he was really annoying to me at the time.”

But Hill’s role was even debated: director Mottola revealed that while Hill was “amazing,” the filmmakers thought he looked too old to play a high school student opposite Michael Cera, Emma Stone and Mintz-Plasse.

“It got into my head that we had to be careful about casting people who felt young,” Mottola explained. “I was like, ‘Let’s just read people closer to the actual age,’ because Jonah was in his early 20s.”

But Hill’s determination to be cast as the lead showed through.

“Jonah was like, ‘I should play Seth. I should play Seth. I should play Seth.’ And we said no 100 times,” said co-writer Goldberg. “You look too old.” And he said, ‘No, you look too old. I’m not! I can do this with makeup and hair.’”

As Apatow recalled, Hill was advised to “shave really good and tape yourself while reading these two scenes,” and it was “immediately clear” that Hill should have “cast a long time ago,” regardless his age.

“It was ridiculous that we ever thought there was an option other than him,” concluded Apatow. And as they say, the rest is movie history.

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The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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