[Movies] Leonardo DiCaprio Defends The Wolf of Wall Street Posted by Joseph Lee on 12.31.2013
They're not condoning Jordan Belfort's behavior...
While speaking to Variety, Leonardo DiCaprio has defended his new film The Wolf of Wall Street, claiming that the producers are not condoning the behavior of the film's lead character, based on real life criminal Jordan Belfort. Here are highlights:
On what brought him to the project: "The severe honesty in which Jordan Belfort portrayed a hedonistic time in his life on Wall Street. It's rare when someone is unafraid to divulge how dark they went. With all these people on Wall Street who've screwed over so many people since 2008, I became obsessed with playing a character who made me understand the mentality and nature of the seduction of Wall Street and greed. I appreciated his honesty."
On the audience reaction: "This film may be misunderstood by some; I hope people understand we're not condoning this behavior, that we're indicting it. The book was a cautionary tale and if you sit through the end of the film, you'll realize what we're saying about these people and this world, because it's an intoxicating one. I think it's amazing somebody like Martin Scorsese is still making films that are vital and talked about, and have an element of controversy about them and are appealing to people of my generation. We grew up watching his films and he's still making stuff that's punk rock. It's an amazing achievement."
On his pride over the film: "There are two films I've been passionate about making, this and ‘The Aviator.' To get to work with Marty at this point in his career and to make a movie that takes a lot of chances… People — no matter what their attitude is after seeing the film — should understand this is a film that's outside the box and is very difficult to get done in this day and age; it almost never happens. That in its own right is commendable. I'm proud that films like this can still be somehow made; that's in huge part due to our financiers who said, ‘Look, we understand that studios are doing a certain type of film but we believe there is an audience for films that don't fit the criteria for a blockbuster but deserve to get made.' Thank God there are people who have taste for experimental filmmaking at this level and who really want to endorse this type of film. Because if it weren't for them, we wouldn't see any types of film like this."