Jonah Hill

Apatow pupil matures into 'Superbad' career

“Judd has been a very strong mentor to me,” sums up 24-year-old Hill, who had a small role in the Apatow-directed “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin” before breaking out this year in the comedy guru’s “Knocked Up” and “Superbad.”

Headlining the latter with Cera, Hill helped make the teen comedy money again, with “Superbad” grossing more than $121 million domestically for Sony. He even had a meaty role in U’s disappointing but high-profile “Evan Almighty.”

Emulating Rogen — the Apatow pupil who co-wrote, appeared in and executive produced “Superbad” — Hill is diversifying his own career portfolio.

In the works for 2009 are Universal’s “The Middle Child” and Sony’s “Pure Imagination.”

Hill penned both, Apatow will produce both, and, for good measure, Hill will executive produce “Pure Imagination.”

In his spare time, Hill squeezed in cameos in the upcoming Apatow productions “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Walk Hard,” and a voiceover gig for 20th Century Fox’s “Horton Hears a Who!,” also featuring the sound of Rogen.

Point of view

“I just try and come from an honest place,” Hill says. “To me, what happens in real life is what is the funniest.”

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