It's a wild romp through the money culture. Bringing this story to the big screen was something the star, also the producer, says he became obsessed with.
This film is the true life cautionary tale of Jordan Belfort, as told through the eyes of Martin Scorsese on Wall Street in the 80's and 90's Belfort was known as the Wolf. On screen, it's Leonardo Dicaprio picking his prey.
Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner spoke with DiCaprio.
"Why did it take so long to get this movie made?"
(LD) "I think that this film really doesn't get made. I've never heard of a film like this getting made. You know it's been a six years uh six year process to get this film off the ground, but I've been obsessed with it in a lot of ways because I feel like it's an accurate reflection of everything that is wrong with the world we live in today. The attitude of this character Jordan Belfort is directly attributed to the destruction of our economy to, you know you can attribute this attitude to this darker side of human nature, to everything that has gone wrong in society really. So I wanted to put this character on screen.
And he did. Three hours of Quaaludes, cocaine, cars and corruption represents what Leo calls "Jordan Belfort’s life of aspiration and acquisition without limits."
(NT) "Even though this film was made... Set in the late eighties and nineties, this could definitely had been made about today."
(LD) "Absolutely, absolutely”
(NT) "There's still this disparity between wall street and main street and these type of things still seem to go on."
(LD) "Not only that, if Jordan Belfort isn't directly the problem with what happened with our economy but it's a microcosm of a much bigger story you know. This sort of hedonistic attitude, this desire to do only what's right for ourselves and no one else is a reflection of a much bigger story about you know human nature itself.
It's satire and that was Scorsese's attempt with it and he wanted to, he wanted to take the audience on this sort hypnotic journey of sort of what it would be like to only care about yourself."
(NT) "Is there a parallel between Hollywood and wall street and what goes on there?"
(LD) "I think you could compare it to almost everything in the world. I don't think it's just Hollywood, absolutely Hollywood has that side to it as well for sure."
(NT) "What's the craziest thing you've ever seen?"
(LD) "In Hollywood or in my life?... I’ve seen some crazy things. I can't well you know think of one off the top of my head but I've seen some pretty crazy things.
(NT) "So nothing you've seen made its way into any of those crazy scenes."
(LD) "This was all really Jordan Belfort being incredibly candid about his life."
And while the wolf's greed and wealth is unflinching and in your face, his fall from grace isn't pretty either. Addiction, infidelity and an ego-driven stubbornness all lead to his downfall and ultimately prison time for securities fraud.
(LD) "But it's all true, that was what so fascinating about this novel and the screenplay all of it is true and it's bizarre and it's surreal and you can't believe that people are that irresponsible, especially with our wealth but it's something that I've been so incredibly passionate about making for six years. I'm glad it finally happened."