Leonardo Dicaprio played the role of the controversial stockbroker Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street. The movie was inspired by Belfort’s life and controversies related to money, drugs, and women. However, the movie grossed nearly $400 million at the box office, Leo was backlashed for his role in the movie.
The Wolf of Wall Street—based on the true life of Jordan Belfort
The movie was inspired by the true story of Jordan Belfort, who scammed people by suggesting penny stock prices were higher than they were. This persuaded people to invest more money, confident that they would receive a generous return, only to lose money. His notorious scheme made him earn millions and build a life that people only dreamt of. He married Nadine Belfort and established Stratton Oakmont with the help of his longtime best friend Donie Azoff. Read more about Jordan Belfort life.
The movie was criticized for failing to portray those who were most affected
The Wolf of Wall Street was fantastic at portraying Jordan Belfort’s life but didn’t do enough justice with his victim and even his first wife, Denise Lombardo. Read more about Denise Lombardo.
The movie lacked any discussion of what happened to his clients who trusted Belfort and lost their money. Leonardo and Scorsese, both were seriously backlashed by the critics for not doing justice with them not telling their stories as well. Yet, Leo defended Scorsese with his decision. In an interview with Morning Edition, he said, “To us, it was much more important to explore the attitude of these people and how you can get so lost.” Besides, Scorsese’s motto was to highlight the short-time highs on which Jordan Belfort thrived instead of focusing on whom he was taking down in his path. “The Victims were irrelevant,” Leo said, referring to Jordan Belfort chasing his lifestyle. He spoke to Jordan Belfort before filming for the movie. He expressed his belief that Belfort was sorry for how he lived and tried to pay it forward by sharing his story.
While talking about Denise Lombardo, she refused to give producers to use her name or likeness in the movie. Even she didn’t make herself available to Milioti when the actress was researching her part. However, Milioti understands Lombardo’s reluctance, saying, “no one want to re-live what she went through.” Respecting her privacy, Milioti added, “I never would want to have someone revisit that period in their life when they obviously don’t want to.”
Leo said it was “freeing” to play Jordan Lombardo
Portraying Jordan Belfort’s character gave Leonardo DiCaprio an excitement he hadn’t experienced before, as he said, “It’s incredibly freeing, performance-wise, to have no moral high ground and nobody really in the film that I had to answer to.”
The Wolf of Wall Street also gave Leo a chance to collaborate with some huge names in the industry and some upcoming stars. To be featured in Martin Scorsese movies is a dream for many actors, and interestingly, Jonah Hill accepted a $60,000 salary to be a part of the movie. Plus, Leo spent time with Margot Robbie, and their duo created a solid impression on the audience.