Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Open Up About 'Wolf of Wall Street'
In a candid roundtable with Jonah Hill and writer Terence Winter, the film's major players open up about airplane orgies, scoring quaaludes, Steven Spielberg on set and why DiCaprio was drawn to the real-life story: "It was like a modern-day Caligula."
DICAPRIO: No, seriously. I saw those movies, and I was like, "What is this human being like?"
SCORSESE: Working together reignited my enthusiasm for making pictures. There's always something more, there's always more to mine with him. He keeps going deeper and deeper.
Your interest in film was flagging?
SCORSESE: The energy of making films. By the time we made [2004's] The Aviator, I had made films for, like, 35 years. And it was a matter of, what would I want to spend my time on? And, getting older, what do you have to say? Is it worth spending the time and going through the process? It takes a year and a half to two years of my life each time. Leo's enjoyment of the work and the ability to take chances made me excited again. 'Cause Gangs of New York was a massive project and had been for many, many years, and I was depleted after that. And Aviator was the one where he pulled me back in, and I said, "Oh, yeah, I'm interested."
DICAPRIO: There's something about that film, the nostalgia. That was special.
Do you still have faith in 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.
Jonah, describe your entree to Wolf.
DICAPRIO: Do you remember when we first met in Mexico?
JONAH HILL: Yeah, yeah.
DICAPRIO: We were sitting outside, and he said, "I read this script, and there's nobody else who should play Donnie Azoff except for me." I was like, "OK." And you started talking about how incredible you thought this screenplay was and how you knew guys like this, where money was paramount. You knew who this guy was. And I had to relay that to Marty.
SCORSESE: The first time I met [Hill] was at the [Oscars]. He was sitting in front of me. He was great, just sitting there.
HILL: The back of my head was really expressive.
Was it hard shifting from comedy to drama?
HILL No. I mean, I love all different kinds of films. I've gotten to express myself a lot comedically, and I like doing that. But opportunities like this are the greatest thing in the entire world, and it's just about playing the character truthfully. There are ridiculous situations in this film that would be the same in a broad comedy.