Hill Hopes To Be 'Accepted' by Audiences
Meet the new 'Accepted' Scream King
Sherman squeals like a girl, dresses up as a hot dog to impress frat boys and creates an elaborate website for a fake college so that his best friend (Justin Long) doesn't have to admit to his parents that he didn't get into a real school. Fortunately, Hill is different from his character.
"I can barely check my e-mail," Hill says. "My manager's sitting over here, and he knows that I didn't start checking e-mail until about like a year ago. I had never realized that that's something a human being should do. I go by carrier pigeon. That's what I was doing for a long time. I have a really great pigeon if you guys need one."
The 22-year-old Hill, who is indeed just a bit cooler than his curly-haired, zaftig, spectacled "Accepted" alter ego, tends to riff, answering questions, going into jokes, pushing the jokes around a bit to see what plays. It isn't surprising to hear that much of what appears on screen in the Universal comedy was devised on the set.
"My style, it's like, I feel like it's a waste to hire me, kind of, if you're not going to let me do that, because that's when I think the best stuff comes out, and it feels like it's actually a person saying it, as opposed to like a line you've read a million times," Hill notes. "And sometimes you find jokes that day when you're there and you're looking at the set. And they were so cool."
He's referring to first-time director Steve Pink and producer Tom Shadyac, who encouraged the cast to improvise. The only proviso was that "Accepted" had to be able to come in with a PG-13 rating, a choice that initially rubbed Hill and long the wrong way.
"And seeing it now, I'm so glad it is PG-13, because I think more people can see it," he admits. "And a lot of times, R-movies are just R-movies for the sake of being R-movies. And I say R-movies a lot in one sentence, as you can just tell. I said it like 15 times. And they're like, 'Well, it's an R-rated movie, let's throw boobs in there, or a lot of F-words.' You know what I mean? Like, as opposed to needing it. And I think this movie doesn't need that kind of stuff because I think it's funny and fun on its own without having like just gratuitous nudity or language or violence or anything like that."
If you don't know Hill yet, you're about to get really familiar with the actor, who was first spotted in "I Heart Huckabees." Hill's off-the-cuff gifts attracted the attention of "40 Year-Old Virgin" director Judd Apatow, who cast him in next summer's "Knocked Up." After a supporting role in that feature, Apatow then bumped Hill up to a lead in "Super Bad," a comedy that will begin shooting this fall.
"It is my ultimate dream come true," Hill gushes. "It was like the one thing I wanted to do, and I'm so lucky that I'm close with those guys... [L]ike if you had asked me a few years ago, who were the people I'd want to work with, those would be the names I would have given you. I literally stalked Judd. I was like, 'How do I get in contact with this guy?' And then my manager introduced me to his casting director, and then we met, and thank God he responded well to what I was doing, and we just worked so well together."
"Accepted" opens wide on Friday, Aug. 18.