Jonah Hill: Portly Laugh Getter… or Serious Actor?

Jonah Hill: Portly Laugh Getter… or Serious Actor?

Jonah Hill is all of 28 years old, and he’s already at a career crossroads.

The star of “Superbad” recently said he wants to cut back on comedic roles and concentrate on dramas like his recent hit “Moneyball,” the role which landed him his first Academy Award nomination.

Getting on Oscar’s short list will tinker with your world view, no doubt. But this week alone should give Hill a few mixed signals as to where his career may lead heading into his 30s.

Hill’s “21 Jump Street” scored the top spot at the box office over the wekened with a $36 million tally, Meanwhile, his 2011 comedy “The Sitter” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this week. The latter film, which offers both a theatrical and unrated version on its Blu-ray edition, showed Hill is hardly a sure thing at the box office

He clearly fares better as part of a comic team, be it alongside the uber-sensitive Michael Cera (“Superbad”) or the buff Channing Tatum in “Jump Street.”

And then there’s the inevitable, and touchy, weight issue. Hill rose to fame as a portly comic sidekick, but in recent months he’s shed a considerable amount of weight. In “21 Jump Street,” he’s hardly Harry Dean Stanton thin, but he’s believable as a young cop chasing down perps.

Hill future gigs may depend, in part, on his calorie counting. It’s an ugly truth that Hollywood judges actors heavily on their appearance, and landing action comedy roles could be harder should Hill revert to his earlier frame.

Ultimately, audience will have the final say in whether Hill leaves comedy behind permanently or keeps plugging away with R-rated romps.