Improve Your Taste With… Jonah Hill

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The star of Cyrus and Superbad defends Vampire Weekend and reveals his favorite character on Mad Men.

Part of the Judd Apatow circle that's dominated screen comedy for the past few years, Jonah Hill made his mark in movies like Superbad, Knocked Up, and the recently released Get Him to the Greek. Now, he's sharpening his dramatic chops in Cyrus, about a single man (John C. Reilly) who must deal with the protective son (Hill) of his new girlfriend (Marisa Tomei). We sat down with Hill to discuss his current cultural obsessions and why they should be yours, too.

A Prophet

It's the best movie I've seen recently. Just flawless filmmaking. I haven't seen anything like Tahar Rahim's performance in a long time. It's like the French Godfather, how you see this guy change over the course of the movie. A classic performance.


Mad Men

Mad Men aesthetically is just so cool. Elizabeth Moss played my girlfriend in Get Him To the Greek, so I have to say Peggy is my favorite character. But I'm obsessed with Pete Campbell. I've never met Vincent Kartheiser, but Pete Campbell is just an interesting character. You hate him, but you also really want to see what he's going to do. He's so snaky.


Vampire Weekend

I loved Contra. I think they're good for music. I think they write great pop songs. People are like, "Ugh, it's so catchy," but to me, that's a good thing! And they're great live.


Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

It's about all the great '70s directors. It's cool to read about Scorsese and Spielberg hanging out. All these filmmakers hanging out at this beach house. If you're a film fanatic, it's a great thing to check out — why those films worked and why they became so popular, why people needed strong, real voices in film. And it goes in waves: people were sick of big movies, and then these guys made tiny movies that were so rebellious. And then Spielberg made Jaws and that changed it again. For someone who wasn't around during that time period and loves the films, it's great to get to experience it.


Bill Murray

When he does a big comedy it's the funniest thing ever, and when he does something dramatic it's beautiful. You watch Stripes and Ghostbusters, and then you watch Rushmore or Broken Flowers, and he's so funny and heartbreaking. And I think John C. Reilly has a lot of that as well. If you watch John in Step Brothers it's hysterical. Then you watch him in Boogie Nights or Chicago, and he just breaks your heart.