The 22 Jump Street Moment That Was A Little Too Real For Jonah Hill

The filmmaking duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, colloquially referred to as Lord & Miller, have established their reputation for taking films that sound like terrible ideas and — like Rumpelstiltskin — spinning self-aware, slapstick comedic gold out of them. Lord & Miller's first film was "Extreme Movie," one of the final films in the unfortunate trend of really, really awful spoof films that plagued the 2000s. They made their mark, however, with a 2012 film adaptation of the 1988 TV show "21 Jump Street," which transformed a "serious" and "important" TV show about cops undercover at a high school into a broad farce of the highest order. It starred Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum — a modern Fontanne and Lunt — whose comedic chemistry was of the highest order. 

After the unexpected critical success of "The LEGO Movie," Lord & Miller returned with "22 Jump Street," ready to play again and be ever sillier than before. The sequel involved Hill and Tatum infiltrating a college campus to track the source of a mysterious new narcotic called WHYPHY (Work Hard? Yes. Play Hard? Yes.). The central gag of the film is that the handsome jock Tatum, used to being admired for his football prowess and amazing physique, is now dismissed as a relic of the past, while awkward nerd Hill, accustomed to being pilloried in a school's social structure, is now considered one of the cool kids. 

Through an oblique set of circumstances, Tatum and Hill find themselves, in disguise, in the back of a criminal's truck that is full of small animals. One of those animals was that most dreaded of God's fauna: the cockatoo. This proved to be a challenge for one of the film's stars, as Hill revealed in the Blu-ray commentary track for "22 Jump Street," he hates birds. 

Jonah Hill doesn't like birds

The fear of birds is called ornithophobia, and several notable celebrities have claimed to be deathly afraid of our beloved dinosaur descendants. Celebrated Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, for instance, claims to have the fear, and you'll find — while taking a required tour of the master's cinema — that birds only ever serve as symbols or ambiance; they are never animals in and of themselves. Actress Scarlett Johansson claims that several scenes in "We Bought a Zoo" were difficult to film because of her aversion to avians. Rapper Eminem also once admitted that he has a fear of owls in particular, leading one to ponder if he is aware of a fan mashup between his song "Lose Yourself" and the song "Fireflies" by the band named after his worst fear: Owl City. You can listen to the mashup here

According to WebMD — the website devoted to convincing you that every small physical quirk you might experience is a distant symptom of a horrid, fatal disease — ornithophobia can be in inherited trait, and while 80% of phobias do not go away on their own, they can be treated with cognitive behavior therapy. So while Jonah Hill might have had a fearful encounter with a bird on camera during the production of "22 Jump Street," his fearful reaction is in the final cut of the film, an ornithophove watching may find it to be therapeutic. 

The scene in question

That shrieking Hill is doing in this scene is very much real. According to the aforementioned commentary track, Jonah's screaming was him dropping character and legitimately freaking out.

Hill's ornithophobia was not played for laughs in "22 Jump Street," nor was it mentioned in "21 Jump Street" when the star crashed into an exploding chicken truck. And we may never see a "23 Jump Street," as one of the closing gags of "22" was a series of posters for upcoming, increasingly bizarre "Jump Street" sequels that top off at 44. However, there were rumblings of a crossover with "Men in Black" that never came to fruition.

"22 Jump Street" is funny. You should watch it because it's funny. It has a parrot. Watch the parrot attack Jonah Hill. It's funny.