Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have explained why drugs and hookers are heavily featured on "The Wolf of Wall Street". While some have found those scenes disturbing, DiCaprio who takes a lead role of Jordan Belfort defends Martin Scorsese's direction with the film.
"Marty was ferocious in saying, 'look, I'm going to be unapologetic about who these people are and if there is a reaction, in a way, that, to me, that means it's somewhat groundbreaking,' " he recalls during an interview with Celebuzz. "I'm not saying this film is going to change the world, but it takes a lot of chances."
Explaining his character's lifestyle, DiCaprio, who has also worked with Scorsese on some other films such as "The Aviator" and "Gangs of New York", says, "He [Belfort] spent the rest of his life trying to reverse all the atrocities that he committed during that time and he's been, sort of, paying the price since then. But it definitely was a cautionary tale from the onset. But we, like I said, we wanted to portray this guy for what he was at this time."
The actor, however, claims that "Wolf of Wall Street" is not intended to teach a lesson. "Marty's approach to this was really not to make this film have a didactic ending, not to teach a lesson here. It was a reflection of Jordan's life," he defends the film's ending.
"And Marty's approach, in doing films like 'Goodfellas' or any of these portrayals, is to portray them as honestly as he possibly can, to be unapologetic about their actions. And then we can some how, as an audience, insert ourselves into their mindset."
Hill, who plays Belfort's partner Donnie Azoff, also insists that the movie doesn't glorify the characters' wild lifestyle. "I personally take away the message from the film that this behavior, this lifestyle, leads to a very bad ending," he said when met in Palm Spring.
"I think the movie is not glorifying this behavior, it is showing that it leads to bad places whether their judicial punishment doesn't reflect that is one thing. Where your life ends up, who you are as a person, is another," he explained.
"Wolf of Wall Street" centers on a Long Island penny stockbroker (DiCaprio) who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a massive 1990s securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including mob infiltration. It was released last Christmas in theaters across the nation.