By now everyone knows who Jonah Hill is. You may remember his teenage antics in Superbad or his more mainstream comedic roles in Knocked Up and 21 Jump Street. But there's nothing funny about what he received for accepting a role in the Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street. In an interview with Howard Stern, Hill revealed that he wanted the role so bad that he was willing to take a huge pay cut! When I say huge I mean he only made $60,000 -- which is the bare minimum he could have been offered through Screen Actors Guild.
On the surface that may seem low because he is a well-known celebrity, but on the other hand, it is a testament to hard work and investing in yourself. Hill wasn't driven by money but by passion for his craft. He said he wanted to be in a Martin Scorsese movie and he did everything in his power to make that happen. For seven months he worked alongside actors making a lot more money while honing his skills to prove he can be taken seriously. For his determination, he received his second Oscar nomination in two years.
In the 2012 biopic Moneyball, Hill took on a tough role as an assistant general manager for the Oakland A's which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. This was our first look at Hill in a role where he was taken seriously and showed audiences he wasn't just another funnyman. By the way, he's only 30!
In The Wolf of Wall Street, Hill had the opportunity to work with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey. Not many comedians can say that. He has now made a name for himself beyond comedy. He is an A-list actor who is versatile and willing to get the job done, no matter what he's getting paid or what he thinks he deserves. If Hollywood didn't notice him before, it does now. His story is inspiring and I hope that more-seasoned actors can take a chapter out of his book on how to use passion as a steering wheel. My hat's off to Jonah. Because of him I wonder if I would even take a pay cut for my dream job.
In a heartbeat.
Stuart Varney joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in 2007 and is the host of "Varney & Co." (9-11 AM/ET) on weekdays. Click here for more information about Stuart Varney.