The 34-year-old has revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that this constant talk about his weight had a huge impact on him.
“I became famous in my late teens and then spent most of my young adult life listening to people say that I was fat and gross and unattractive,” he said.
“And it’s only in the last four years writing and directing my movie, Mid90s, that I’ve started to understand how much that hurt and got into my head.”
The actor discussed how these feelings prompted him to create a one-off magazine called Inner Children, with company A24. The issue centres around self-love and the struggle with self-image and features interviews with a range of people include Michael Cera and Behati Prinsloo.
“I really believe everyone has a snapshot of themselves from a time when they were young that they’re ashamed of,” Jonah said of the magazine. “For me, it’s that 14-year-old overweight and unattractive kid who felt ugly to the world, who listened to hip-hop and who wanted so badly to be accepted by this community of skaters.”
The 21 Jump Street actor revealed that he has only just come to terms with speaking about this issue publicly.
“It took a long time — honestly until right now — for me to come out as sort of the person, the artist, mind, what I represent, how I feel, how I’d like to be spoken to, how I speak to the world in a way that actually represents who I am as a person as opposed to me trying to be something else that I’m not,” he said. “I’m under construction like we all are.”
You can watch the full interview here: