Jonah Hill says he almost got Justin Timberlake’s role in The Social Network

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

In the years since he came on screen to buy some fancy goldfish shoes in THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, Jonah Hill has moved seamlessly between comedy and drama, solidifying himself as a force to be reckoned with after an Oscar-nominated turn in MONEYBALL. Turns out we could’ve seen him make that leap into more dramatic work a bit earlier, as the actor recently revealed he was sooo close to nabbing a role in the Oscar-winning and still-amazing David Fincher movie, THE SOCIAL NETWORK.


The actor was speaking on Bill Simmons' podcast to promote his directorial debut MID90S when he started talking about how it was down to him and Justin Timberlake for the role of Sean Parker in NETWORK. Sadly, for Hill, Fincher was feeling the pop star for the role.

“Low-key, David Fincher, or high-key, David Fincher didn’t want me in SOCIAL NETWORK. It was between me and Justin Timberlake for that part. … Obviously [Fincher’s] the man, but he was not having me. The studio wanted me, I think, and then Justin Timberlake was amazing in it. THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the one that I was actually like, years later, was like, “Fuck, like I’m so bummed.”

Timberlake went on to play Parker, the co-founder of Napster and the man who would assist Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) on his way to fame. He earned acclaim for his work, proving he had some real acting chops to go along with his smooth pipes. Still, things still turned out well for Hill, and it was only one year later he starred in Bennett Miller’s MONEYBALL, which earned him his first of two Oscar nominations (the second for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET).

Hill probably would've crushed the role of Parker, but I can see why Fincher went with Timberlake. He just better fits the image of the smooth-talking, arrogant, conniving Parker, and at this point, it's hard to picture anyone else in the role at this point. Hill has proven himself a true movie star in numerous projects since then, so I don't think he's crying over losing the part. But, who knows, maybe he could've been a three-time Oscar nominee at this point. 


MID90S is in theaters now. 

Source: The Bill Simmons Podcast (via IndieWire)

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