'The Wolf of Wall Street': Martin Scorsese crafts a tale of financial wrongdoing

'The Wolf of Wall Street' stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, on whose memoir of his time as a stockbroker the film is based.

Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures/AP
'The Wolf of Wall Street' stars Jonah Hill (l.) and Leonardo DiCaprio (r.).

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese reunite for the film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was released on Dec. 25.

“Wolf” is based on the memoir of the same title by former stockbroker Jordan Belfort. DiCaprio stars as Jordan, who experiences a meteoric rise to success but soon finds himself in trouble with the government. The real Belfort went to jail for almost two years for crimes related to stock market manipulation. The film co-stars actors including Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin, and Christine Ebersole.

The movie is DiCaprio’s fifth collaboration with Scorsese and the film is already gaining awards buzz, having earned a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes as well as a Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy nod for DiCaprio.

Hill told the Wall Street Journal it was nervewracking at first to work with a director and actor like Scorsese and DiCaprio who know each other so well.

“The first couple days of rehearsal were extremely, extremely intimidating," he said. "I definitely felt like I was invading somebody else's space. To watch a director and an actor have the connection that Marty and Leo have is unlike anything I've ever seen."

DiCaprio noted that the movie contains the most improvisation of any project he and Scorsese have made together. 

“[It’s] simply because the trust level's there,” he said.

The actor said he was able to talk extensively with Belfort, which means that material that didn’t end up in Belfort’s books was put in the film.

“[He was] incredibly open about his life, especially the most embarrassing parts,” DiCaprio said of Belfort.

Hill noted that the glamour of the life enjoyed by the stockbrokers in the film may be misunderstood by younger moviegoers.

“[DiCaprio and I would] be doing a scene that would involve a lot of despicable actions, and I remember us vividly talking about how if I was 14 and saw this movie, I would not see any of the bad stuff,” he said. “I'd only see that this looks like the most exciting lifestyle on the planet. I grew up on hip-hop music, and I was totally one of those kids who was like, That's what I want. It's not what I've grown into, but I know when I was younger, if me and my friends went to go see this on a Friday night, which we would have, we would've walked out going, 'Ahh! Let's become stockbrokers!'”

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