Jonah Hill reveals 'Wolf of Wall Street' salary, why he accepted it
Jonah Hill says he was paid $60,000 to star in "The Wolf of Wall Street," which garnered him his second Oscar nomination.
The movie was directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a party-loving, corrupt stockbroker. Hill plays his business partner. All three received Oscar nods ahead of the 2014 ceremony, which takes place on March 2.
Hill, 30, appeared on the X-rated "Howard Stern Show" on Sirius XM radio earlier this week and talked to the popular shock jock about working with Scorsese and DiCaprio, the movie, his Oscar nomination and his acting career. Check out 7 highlights from the interview.
1. His "Wolf of Wall Street" salary was minimum wage -- for many movie actors.
"They gave me the lowest amount of money possible," Hill told Stern. "That was their offer and I said, 'I will sign the paper tonight. Fax me the papers tonight. I want to sign them tonight, before they change their mind.'"
"It was the minimum," he said. "I mean, I think SAG minimum is something like $60,000, before commissions and taxes."
"So you got paid 60 grand for that movie?" Stern asked.
"Um, yeah. For almost a seven-month shoot," Hill replied. "I was there for over six months, two months rehearsal. I said I would sell my house and give him all my money to work for him."
"This isn't what you make money for," he added. "You make '22 Jump Street' or you do other things and you pay your rent. But this was ... I would have done anything in the world. I would do it again in a second. ... It's not about money for me. None of this [expletive] is about money. I wanna make money to pay my rent. Hopefully, have a family one day and have kids and stuff and pay for that."
2. Getting punched in the face at Martin Scorsese's request was the "coolest experience."
We're sitting on a couch," Hill told Stern. "I'm in the middle, Scorsese's on one side, Leo's on the other side, Jon Bernthal's without a shirt on, pacing back and forth, like getting into character to punch me in the face and Scorsese's like, 'Oh no man, looks like [expletive]. This looks like [expletive], looks fake.' And he turns to me and he goes, 'Hey kid, you wanna try one where he hits ya for real?'"
"I look to Leo, 'cause he worked for him five times, Leo's my friend," Hill said. "And he turns his head and he looks the other way! [laughs] That's what I love about Leo -- he still, after five movies, is like, that's Martin Scorsese -- he's as excited as we are that it's Martin Scorsese. He's like, 'I'm not gonna go tell him no.' And so finally I just go, 'All right, all right. Let's do it.'"
"The whole take has this [expletive] up energy because he knows he's gonna punch me and I know he's gonna punch me and they use that whole take," he said. "It was the coolest experience of my life."
Hill told Stern the last time he had been punched in the face in real life was in high school.
" It's not as bad as you think ... It's like a day or two later, you'll have a little like, aches and things and you're like, 'Oh, that sucks," he said. "That's mostly from being Jewish, I think. Just something to complain about."
3. On his "three-way" call after getting nominated for an Oscar for the second time ...
"I was asleep. I talked to Jodi, my publicist, my mom called me and I was still asleep and I didn't know ... I thought they were [expletive] with me," he said. "I go [puts on raspy voice] 'Did Leo get nominated?' And she was like, 'Yeah' and I was like, 'Did Bradley [Cooper] get nominated?' And she was like, 'Yeah.' I was like, 'Alright, let's celebrate.' I was just like, I wanted to make sure that my friends got [nominated]."
"Well, like Brad Grey calls you, who runs Paramount," Hill told Stern. "The first phone call after Jodi and my mom -- Leo called me and then we did a three-way conference with me and Leo and Scorsese."
"To me, one of the biggest joys was that night, I got to go to dinner. We had the Critics' Choice Awards or something, right, and it was everyone from the movie, you know, all the people, and to see Martin Scorsese happy 'cause he got nominated for Best Director, made me happy because he worked harder than I've ever seen anybody work."
4. How he got his "Wolf of Wall Street" role ...
Hill said he read the script and the book on which the movie is based and got in touch with DiCaprio, who was in Mexico at the same time he was.
"We have a drink and I go, 'No one in the world can play this part with me. If you find another actor to play this part, I'm going to kill them and then they're not going to be able to play the part,'" Hill said.
"I told him exactly why, I was like, 'I recognize people like this in society ... it's [expletive] up and I want to be a part of illuminating that,'" the actor added. "And so he conveyed that to Scorsese. A month and a half [later], they're like, 'You're going to fly to New York.'"
He said he auditioned for Scorsese and was later told over the phone that a different actor was being courted for the role.
"I'm saying, 'A thousand percent, he's going to get it," Hill told Stern, refusing to identify the person.
Hill said that two months later, DiCaprio called him.
"My phone rings. It's Leo. He goes,' Just got off the phone with Scorsese. Let's do this .You got it,'" Hill said. "And I ran around. I was in New Orleans. I was shooting 'This Is The End.' I ran around, screaming through the streets of New Orleans and I hadn't told any of my friends or family 'cause I assumed I wasn't gonna get it so I didn't wanna, like, get everyone's hopes up."
5. His reaction to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's joke about him at the 2014 Golden Globes ...
While hosting the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month, Fey and Poehler made a joke about one of Hill's sexually-explicit scenes in "The Wolf of Wall Street" and his private life.
"The Golden Globes. I personally think it's the most fun award show because I think Tina and Amy are so funny, like they were so funny, like watching them laugh ... oh, they're so funny," Hill told Stern. "What's great about them is that when they're mean-spirited, making a joke, it doesn't hurt. Because they say, they're loving people, they clearly are good, loving ... they say it with love, somehow."
6. He and Brad Pitt email each other.
Hill received his first Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the 2010 movie "Moneyball," which stars Brad Pitt.
"I talk to [Pitt] a lot but he travels all over the place," Hill told Stern. "We email. We don't really talk on the phone."
"[I'll write] ''Hey man, you good? What's going on? How's the movie?' Or, he really liked 'This Is The End.' So he sent me like a long email about 'This Is The End' and I showed it to Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg]. I was like, 'Yeah, you guys will like this.' Yeah, [Pitt] loved it."
7. He learned how to pronounce Martin Scorsese's last name ... hopefully.
When asked about it, Hill told Stern: "'Scor-SEH-zee. I'm pretty sure at this point, yeah."
Who do YOU think should win the 2014 Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role? Vote below and also check out a clip from "The Wolf of Wall Street" with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio.