If writing for Lainey Gossip has taught me anything, it’s this: always screen cap a celebrity Twitter feed.
Last night, a bizarre spat broke out between CNN anchor Don Lemon and Jonah Hill. Lemon ran into Hill at a hotel, said hello (as people do), and concluded that it was a “lesson to always be kind.” Jonah’s lesson obviously. Lemon tweeted:
Said hi to @jonahhill in hotel. Think he thought i was bellman. Didn't know his name til bellman told me. A lesson to always be kind.
And if that tweet had gone out without a response, it would have died pretty quickly. But no, a BIG STAR like Jonah Hill can’t get pushed around by someone who doesn’t even know Brad Pitt. Jonah Hill is FRIENDS with Brad Pitt, ok?
So Jonah responded:
“I said hi what do you want me to do move in with you? I was in a hurry. Didn’t realize you were a 12-year-old girl. Peace.”
Let’s assume he didn’t know Don is gay (even though it was a pretty big story when he came out) and Jonah’s just trying to quiet Don by saying he gave all the time he could. Stars know when they are being fangirled, and really how long are they supposed to stand there and be told how great/funny/cool they are?
“Hardly. You’re not my type. But I know rude.”
Jonah then tried to brush it off with a quick explanation that they shook hands and said hello, and sorry if that wasn’t enough for Don. This is where it went from funny to pompous: his response is downright passive-aggressive. He’s saying that he did his public duty – shook hands and said hello – and there shouldn’t be an expectation for more. That “sorry” is condescending. If he had stuck with humour, Jonah would have looked affable and Don would have seemed like a whiner.
Jonah’s used a situation like this to his advantage before (except he was on the other end): on the Moneyball circuit, he told a story about overhearing Chace Crawford and Matthew Morrison making fun of him at a party. He got a lot of mileage out of that because he prepared a great story that made his sensitivity funny. (Source). The key there is that he was ready for those talk shows, he had a rehearsed narrative, he wasn’t replying impulsively. And now he’s inconsistent: you can’t set yourself up as the affable everydude and then get pissy when someone says hello. If you want to have your head up your ass, do it consistently (like James Franco – would anyone be surprised if this story was about James Franco?). If you are going to be nice – like Hugh Jackman – you always have to be nice. And if you are going to be precious – like Joseph Gordon-Levitt– then be precious.
But clearly Jonah regretted the exchange because he promptly deleted the tweets. What is the point of this? It just guarantees that assholes like me will proudly show off their screencap.
Don and the bellman then had a laugh at Jonah’s expense at how “self-important”ly he behaved. This illustrates a few things, but the first tweet is the one that’s nagging me. So what if he thought Don was the bellman? Bellmen say hello (I’m sure they often don’t feel like it); shouldn’t the bellman get the same hello that another “celebrity” would? Putting that aside, it’s not that Jonah didn’t say hello, it was that he acted like a jerk when he said it. Meanwhile, Don was hanging with the hotel staff and laughing at the pompous Hollywood star.
Is Don being a sucky baby? Yes, of course. He demonstrated as much on CNN (click here for the clip) this morning when he talked about the incident in detail. Don said hello and claims Jonah treated him like “the help.” That’s a pretty loaded phrase, but let’s say that Don didn’t have his CNN desk– Jonah, do you think your good friend Brad Pitt or his good friend George Clooney brush off “the help”? Never. If you want to be a movie star, it’s a full-time job (yes, even if you are coming out of the bathroom at a hotel). This is what we should appreciate so much in the George, Tom (Hanks and Cruise), Brad model of fame – they are always “on” in public, ready with a handshake and a smile. OF COURSE they too want to get away from the fangirls as quickly as possible but they are also really, really good at faking otherwise.
Humour has been Jonah’s go-to, both in films and in interviews, and he’s firmly ensconced in the Apatow crew. Remember when he did the spoof shot with Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel for Vanity Fair (link)? But now that he’s “grown up,” he’s trying to present himself as a Serious Actor. If Hollywood is high school, he was the class clown who became head quarterback overnight. And he does not want to say hi to his old friends in the hallway.
For an overweight guy in Hollywood, funny was a necessity. Now that he’s rolling with the popular kids, with “comma Oscar-nominated” next to his name, he doesn’t want to stick a straw up his nose in the cafeteria and he certainly doesn’t want to be reminded of it by a stranger stopping him in a lobby to tell him he’s “funny.” It probably chaps his ass that people still by and large consider him a comedic actor.
Ultimately, this is why celebrities, especially ones with d-ck-like tendencies, should stay far, far away from Twitter. It’s like truth serum for them; they can’t hide their ridiculousness when they are posting their own tweets. You know what else Jonah puts up? “Throwback” photos of him with Brad and Rooney Mara at award shows and US Weekly PDFs of him on set with Scorsese. Click here to see.
I just want to be clear here:
He posts photos of himself from magazines with famous people to prove-boast that they’re tight. Um, it was fine when he first drooled over working with Brad Pitt – who wouldn’t? – but now it feels like one giant humblebrag. And it proves…
He is still That Guy.
That Guy who’s excited about these people and looking around at what he’s accomplished and that’s great…
But it’s also inconsistent with the prick who can’t be bothered with the fawning help at a hotel, right?
Attached - Jonah Hill in New York the other day.