Jonah Hill Has a ‘Starter Pack’ to Remedy Movie Sets That ‘Smell Like S***’: There Are ‘Straight-up Port-a-Potties Everywhere’

Jonah Hill made a name for himself as one of the funniest men in Hollywood, plus a shockingly good dramatic actor when the need arises. As of late, though, he’s also proven to be a fairly talented director. Now that the actor has started to take on more and more work behind the camera, he’s begun to develop his own quirks and signature touches on film and on set. For one thing, Jonah Hill apparently figured out a much needed solution to a problem few talk about: He has a “starter pack” to tackle smells on movie sets during filming.

Jonah Hill has a ‘starter pack’ of essentials for when he’s making movies

Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill attends the “Mid 90’s” press conference. | Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

GQ recently had a sitdown with Hill, grilling him on 10 things he can’t live without. There are a few of the more typical picks you might expect from people — like his favorite flavor of Celsius energy drink, a hydro flask, and some turquoise American Spirits (even if he admits he should probably give up that last one). But his “Jonah directing starter pack” also includes some more unusual items.

For one thing, he always carries around some incense to burn on set. It sounds kind of strange, but when you really think about it, it’s probably one of the best things he can do for himself and the actors. As he says in the interview, “It really smells bad most places you’re shooting.” This is due to the presence of actual feces in the portable toilets scattered all over the place. This might not be a problem if you’re lucky enough to be shooting somewhere with plumbing, but if you’re on location or just don’t have the time to pop inside, chances are you’re going to have to endure some foul smells while making a movie.

Hill summarized this decision by saying, “After like 15 years, I was like, maybe it’d be cool if it didn’t smell like sh*t every day.” To that end, he’s always burning Astier de Villatte incense everywhere he goes on set. Most of the time, this can at least mask the scent of the port-a-potties everywhere, something everyone in the cast and crew can be thankful for.

Hill also uses music to help create a good environment on set

It’s not all fun and games on a movie set, especially if you happen to be making something more serious. To try to keep the mood up, Hill also carries around his favorite Bang & Olufsen Beolit speaker while he’s working. While it has to be turned off during filming, virtually every other moment of working with Hill involves listening to his favorite tracks. He even added that he’ll continue playing music while talking to actors in between takes, keeping the speaker on him at all times to “create a vibe” that everyone can enjoy.

Between the music and the incense, Hill tries to create a fun environment to work in


Jonah Hill Once Compared Martin Scorsese’s Directing Style To Playing Chess With a Clock

Hill’s philosophy is that good music and good smells help make good movies. He tries to encourage an environment where people can have fun even while they’re giving their all to create a film. He remarked on how, if people are dedicating hours of their life to helping him create his art, he wants it to be a happy experience for them to work on.

With so many stories of great movies being made by directors who terrorized the actors working for them on set, it’s always nice to find that one of the coolest guys in Hollywood also happens to be a pretty cool boss.