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."
Leo, you did three films back-to-back. How much does that take out of you?
DICAPRIO: I actually did The Great Gatsby first, then I went into Django Unchained, and then I went straight into this. Usually I like to take a nice six months to prepare for each role in between; but look, I had been waiting for this movie to happen for so many years. And finally everything was lined up perfectly to make it happen, and I felt like I'd already done so much of the preparation in my head that it was worth doing three movies back-to-back. It takes a toll on you, though.
Why is producing important to you?
DICAPRIO: The whole motivation for producing films for me is to try to create and hone very specific material that I wasn't receiving straight from the studio system, to try to craft characters for myself. At the end of the day, everything is about the material. The one thing you have to realize is, the material is king.
But that also put you in a position to say no to your director. Did you ever?
SCORSESE: In what way?
You can't shoot more. Fewer takes.
DICAPRIO: No, no, not that. No, I wouldn't do that.
SCORSESE: But we work very closely on how many days we should go, where should we put the emphasis in production. We got hit with Hurricane Sandy; we had to close down for a week. We had to stop, and every day they'd say, "We'll go tomorrow." And then it was next day and next, and finally they stopped.
DICAPRIO: The crane fell on the building.
SCORSESE: The crane of 57th Street started to fall because of Hurricane Sandy, and my editing room is across the street, and we couldn't get in the block so I couldn't even go and edit. So the whole week we just waited.
Do you get nervous as a director?
SCORSESE: All the time. It's horrible, wonderful. Wonderful and horrible at the same time.
Who do you turn to for advice?
HILL: (Indicating himself.) You can be honest. (Laughter.)
Did you call Spielberg?
SCORSESE: Well, he came on the set the day we were shooting the speeches. He said he came in to say hello, and he stayed the whole day and was helping me, saying, "I think you should move the camera." (Laughs.)
DICAPRIO: That was like a double-whammy for everyone on set. Everyone who had to act that day was like, "Spielberg and Scorsese are watching me? Jesus Christ!"
HILL: We would go back to get notes, and they were sitting next to each other. It was insane.
SCORSESE: And I hadn't been on his set [since] Catch Me If You Can. Back in the '70s, we'd hang out, and we used to get [each other's] advice a lot. But as we all got older, [we] grew apart, in a way, making our own kinds of pictures.