As one of our favorite modern actor/director relationships, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are a patch made in heaven—a very tortured, violent heaven. And after Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and Shutter Island, the two are back together for Scorsese’s latest black comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street set to premiere this November. We’ve been eagerly anticipating digging deeper into the film since the trailer debuted back in June but today, thanks to Vulture, we get an in-depth look behind the scenes at what might be Scorsese’s best picture in years.
Adapted by Tereence Winter, the film is “based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name. The book chronicles the former stockbroker’s rise and fall as the head of Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage house he founded when he was only in his late twenties. The Long Island–based boiler room bamboozled small investors out of roughly $100 million in the nineties, the heyday of cheap money, junk bonds, and spectacularly ugly ties. In 1998, Belfort was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering, serving 22 months in prison after cooperating with the FBI.”
Originally pitched in 2008, The Wolf of Wall Street was hard-pressed to find its funding, leading Scorsese and DiCaprio to go on to make Shutter Island together—certainly not their most profound work, but well-worth it for this Max Richter-scored dream sequence. However, after gaining funding from Red Granite, the film began to see the light of day and with just a few months before its premiere, let’s see what we can gather about the film thus far.
DiCaprio: “When Marty couldn’t do it the first time, I set it up with a few other directors, but I never felt comfortable pulling the trigger. I was fixated on him. There wasn’t anybody else who could bring the rawness and toughness, the music, and particularly the humor required to convey the excitement of these young punks—these robber barons—taking on the Wall Street system.”
Terence Winter: “That’s why I’m glad we kept the voice-over; you need his hilarious asides.”
DiCaprio: “Marty said to me early on, ‘No matter the genre, no matter what kind of movie, people respond to the honesty in the characters… We weren’t interested in sentimentalizing Jordan. We aren’t painting a portrait of someone we want people to feel sorry for. Later in the film, when his life starts breaking apart, people are going to think he’s making the wrong decisions constantly. That’s not to say that people won’t be rooting for him, because he’s a likable guy.”
Scorsese: “Leo and I share a certain sensibility…temperamental affinity.”
Jonah Hill: “Marty is brilliant at many things, but one of them is showing people doing things that are morally corrupt and still making them enjoyable to watch…You root for them and adore them in some way—it’s cool and exciting to be doing something wrong….Leo and I had numerous conversations while our characters were doing really despicable things. I was disgusted by what I was doing!…There are people who won’t see the darkness of it. Spring Breakers came out while we were making the movie. I’m a big Harmony Korine fan. I saw Kids when I was way too young—probably 11—and I completely disregarded the aids plot; I just wanted to be like those guys. So now I’m 29, and I walked out of Spring Breakers thinking,Gosh, this generation is so screwed. I was really depressed by the movie. But I realized that if I was 14, I’d be like, Oh, let’s go on spring break!”
Scorsese: “It’s an old story, really: People can take their identification with movies and novels to some alarming places…Some people might just zero in on the fun, exhilarating side of it. But if you’re putting a world on film, and you’re going to stay true to that world, as opposed to show it from a distance, you’re going to make it attractive and entertaining—and, by the way, the people are entertaining, and they had a great time until they got caught.”
Hill: “Maybe don’t do bags of quaaludes and cocaine every day for four years…Everything is going to feel like a letdown after that kind of sensory overload, you know? It’s like the end of GoodFellas. Ray Liotta is in witness protection. He orders spaghetti and gets egg noodles and ketchup. The rest of his life he’s going to be eating egg noodles and ketchup. He’s going to live life like a schnook.”
Check out the full article HERE and see the behind the scenes photos below.