Leonardo DiCaprio has played more characters falling down a spiral of self-destruction than perhaps any other actor, from Jim Carroll in Basketball Diaries to Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me If You Can. As corrupt playboy Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio continues this pattern, with a twist. Belfort isn't in search of redemption or grace. He truly enjoys his life of criminality, without the fear of any repercussion. It's created some controversy with audiences who feel that the film glorifies those who are responsible for the financial crisis. But telling this story in a non-traditional way, without any didactic approach of right and wrong, was very important to DiCaprio. "We wanted to reflect the absolute, sheer, utter enjoyment of how great of a time these people were having screwing people over and living the life of Roman emperors." He says whether you like it or not, this is the world we live in, and sugarcoating the truth is a disservice to the film. He also talks about which Scorsese movie he's "completely obsessed by" and the role he considers the be the most defining of his 25-year career.
Banner image courtesy of Paramount Pictures