Jonah Hill's Real Relationship Inspired This James Franco Movie But There's One Problem With That

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Wolf of Wall Street Star Jonah Hill probably didn't mean to inspire a James Franco comedy when he confided details of his upcoming vacation with a co-star, but that's exactly what happened, according to Franco's new interview with Variety.
Franco sat down with star Dustin Hoffman for Variety's "Actors on Actors" video series, but little did The Graduate star know that one of Franco's interview answers would involve Hoffman's own daughter's former boyfriend.
When Hoffman asked Franco to detail one of his funniest moments on set, the star spilled the tea on how Hoffman himself was the accidental inspiration for Franco's 2016 comedy, Why Him?
"Jonah [Hill] was talking to Ben Stiller on the set one time, and he’s like, 'Oh man, I’m going to go on vacation with Dustin Hoffman. Like, I don’t know him.' And it was really early in his relationship...And he was really, like, nervous about it and he'd make a bad impression or something like that. And the producer, Shawn Levy, overheard it. He’s like, 'That’s a great story.'"
Levy would go on to make Why Him?, a film in which Franco plays an eccentric Silicon Valley tech wizard. Bryan Cranston portrays the father of Zoey Deutch's character, who isn't thrilled about his little girl dating the billionaire.
The interesting part of this Hill story is that Hoffman and Hill actually do go way back. Before Hill dated Hoffman's daughter Ali, he attended the same high school as she did, albeit in different years. According to a 2014 article from Variety, Hoffman would have Hill, a friend of his son Jake, prank call Hoffman's friends. (The recurring joke, Variety reported, was that Hill was an assistant to a particularly demanding star.) The Rain Man star later recommended Hill to director David O. Russell, who gave the 21 Jump Street star his very first film role in I Heart Huckabees, alongside Hoffman himself.
Still, that all was well before Hill started dating Ali, and it's obviously a very different experience to spend time with a girlfriend's father than the dad of one of your buddies. Hopefully, that Hill/Hoffman vacay went off without a hitch — even if it did inspire plenty of onscreen awkward tension in Why Him?

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