On Sunday, PBS SoCal aired The Hollywood Reporter’s round table discussion with the major players of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In the video, director Martin Scorsese, writer Terence Winter and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill open up to THR executive features editor Stephen Galloway about the controversial new film, an adaptation of drug-addled stock market schemer Jordan Belfort’s 2007 memoir, which DiCaprio calls a “modern day ‘Caligula.'”
Highlights and video below. Our review of the film is here.
On the difficulties of getting the film made:
DICAPRIO: You know, it’s a hard R rating. This film was not easily financed. We had one opportunity to finance it [at a much lower budget], and then many, many years down the line, we found the right financiers… Ultimately, that was attractive to Marty getting back on board because I had gone down the road looking for other filmmakers, but I didn’t think there was anybody that could quite capture the dark, sadistic humor in Terry’s screenplay.
On the power of film:
SCORSESE: Can a film really change anything? I mean, what was the last time? Maybe the Italian neo-realists, where they became the voice and the heart and the soul of Italy, a nation that had been destroyed. I don’t know. But, like anything else — a book or painting or music — if it stays with you, if it’s part of the culture, maybe it can make some headway.
On the infamous quaaludes scene:
HILL: Leo and Marty really built that scene as an end of my character’s screw-up journey. You guys had the brilliant idea to make taking the Lemmons really to numb Jordan to the information that I screwed up.
SCORSESE: Leo hurt his back on the telephone when he was talking and fell backwards on a rig that we worked out.
DICAPRIO: It was a few days of crawling around like that. You contort your body and…
SCORSESE: You hurt yourself. What he did was almost like Jacques Tati or Jerry Lewis in that scene. How you gonna do it? You can’t just be talking on the phone, because you can’t form the words because of the drugs.