Cast members Channing Tatum (L) and Jonah Hill attend the premiere of the motion picture crime comedy "22 Jump Street" at the Regency Village Theatre in the Westwood section of Los Angeles on June 10, 2014. Storyline: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo
NEW YORK, June 11 (UPI) -- 22 Jump Street star Jonah Hill says he thinks moviegoers relate to him because what they see is what they get.
"I think I am a pretty transparent person. I think that is why anyone who has ever responded to my work -- if they have -- is because I am exactly what I put out there. It's not like some veneer," Hill told reporters at a round-table interview in New York last week, shortly after he offered a heartfelt, public apology for an anti-gay slur he uttered during a confrontation with a paparazzo.
Saying in a self-deprecating manner that it is "very difficult" to pinpoint his appeal, the two-time Oscar nominee for Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street joked during the round-table, "My parents have been trying to figure it out for 30 years."
So, how analytic does he get about how he is perceived on the big screen?
"Not at all," Hill replied. "I want to work with cool directors and make movies that I would go see. That's how I make all of my choices. As I go forward, I think I really just want to play characters that will challenge me to have to be a better actor."
Channing Tatum, his co-star in 21 Jump Street and its sequel, said with a laugh, "I'll tell you because it is really hard to talk about yourself and why he thinks people like to watch him in movies.
"I would say I love watching Jonah because he physically finds the truth in just about anything. Whether it is a comedic scene or a dramatic scene, he'll just sort of go right at it," Tatum observed. "That directness and honesty and no kind of bull [expletive] is what I love. I don't look at him as a comedic actor or a dramatic actor. He is just a really great actor."
Co-starring Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Jillian Bell and Amber Stevens, 22 Jump Street is set to open nationwide Friday.