Jonah Hill sits down with his mom, Sharon Lynn Chalkin, for a candid talk about how her attempts to help him lose weight as an overweight child affected his adult relationships with women.
Their conversation took place in “Stutz,” a Netflix documentary that Hill directed about his therapist, psychiatrist Phil Stutz. Stutz is known for co-authoring the self-help book “The Tools,” which outlines visual and experiential exercises for healing and personal growth.
In “Stutz”, Hale has a conversation with Stutz about how he avoided playing sports as an adult due to the negative messages he received about it as a child. As an overweight child, Hill said his mother and his doctor sought ways to lose weight. He said societal messages about his size made him feel “bad” and “not fit in the world,” and his mother’s weight loss reinforced that.
In the film, he said, it also negatively affected Hill’s relationship with Schalkin, and the women he became acquainted with as an adult.
“It immediately puts you in antagonistic mode, like, ‘Here’s the one who wouldn’t kiss me,’” Hill told Schalkin.
“It’s the idea that a woman’s personality will not accept your form,” Hill added.
When Chalkin joined the conversation with Hill and Stutz, she said she thought Hill should lose weight at that time. She went on to say that her thinking stemmed from her childhood, where her mother would say, “You’re as big as your dad.” Chalkin said that stuck with her as an adult and she had anxiety about making sure her family was the right size.
“I was doing what I thought was right,” Chalkin told Hill. She also said that she had never considered the impact her actions could have on Hill’s future relationships, and thanked him for sharing his experience.
Hale tells Chalkin he doesn’t blame her for trying to help him lose weight. He said realizing that young Chalkin likely felt the same way he did as a child helped him come to terms with what had happened.