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THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Taking the Cast All the Way
After initial conversations with DiCaprio, Scorsese was drawn to "The Wolf of Wall Street" but there was only one way he was interested in taking it on: with the full force of wicked, wanton decadence he witnessed in Winter's script and Belfort's book.

"I had to have total freedom with the cast and crew to do what I needed, which meant we all decided that we were going to go all the way," Scorsese comments. "This is a story about the profane as opposed to the sacred, the obscene as opposed to the decent. Yet it's not an expose. I mean the obscenity, the profanity, it's all right there. It's in plain sight. It's part of the very fabric of the culture. Yet ultimately I think it comes out that this is a lifestyle - the 'lifestyles of the rich and famous' as the TV show had it -- that becomes about avoiding yourself, or a fear of being alone with yourself."

This film marks Scorsese's fifth collaboration with DiCaprio, following "Shutter Island," "The Departed," "The Aviator" and "Gangs of New York" - and the director was motivated to take their diverse work together another step deeper.

"I've been very lucky over the past 14 years or so to be able to check in with Leo and really to be attracted to the same characters and stories. There's a matter of trust in our relationship and that translates into the ability to take more risks - for me to push him as an actor and hopefully to be pushed as a filmmaker. Yes, he's 30 years younger than me but I must say the last several years have given me a kind of a reboot so to speak, with a renewed energy and inspiration."

Emma Tillinger Koskoff enjoyed watching their collaboration continue to evolve in new ways. "Leo's transformation and growth in this movie, from start to finish, was truly amazing to watch," she says. "The risks he takes with this performance, both on screen and off, will once again prove him to be the best actor of his generation."

The rest of the all-star cast, many of whom worked with Scorsese for the first time, also excited the director. "We have Jonah Hill, who's incredible as Donnie; Cristin Milioti who is Jordan's first wife Teresa and in only in a few scenes but is remarkable in them; Kyle Chandler as the FBI agent who's wonderful especially when has a little meeting with Jordan on his yacht; and Margot Robbie, who is strong, tough and funny as Naomi, holding her own in every scene."

Koskoff recalls that Hill won over Scorsese instantaneously. "When Jonah auditioned for the role of Donnie, he blew Marty away. I had seen him in 'Moneyball' and knew he had tremendous potential as more than a comedic actor. Even with that knowledge, we were continually surprised by the breadth of his talent," she comments.

Scorsese continues: "I've always been a fan of Rob Reiner's work as an actor and as a filmmaker -- so finally I was able to hang out with him on this picture as Jordan's father. And working with Matthew McConaughey the first time was really interesting. I saw him in 'Mud,' the Jeff Nichols picture and I really liked him. I didn't recognize him actually. He just seemed to be part of the very nature of the world that the film was depicting. So when we talked about doing this part, he said, 'What about my accent?' I said, 'Well, why couldn't there be a Southern accent on Wall Street?' In the luncheon scene, he and Leo played beautifully off each other and Matthew has a way of chanting these tonal vocal exercises, and that found its way into the film. It opened up the movie for us in a way that we were able to not have any limits as to what would be deemed absurd. It's all absurd."

Scorsese concludes: "Jon Favreau is also wonderful actor and director who was perfect to work with especially in the scene between him, Rob Reiner and Leo DiCaprio at the horse farm. For Saurel, our Swiss banker, Jean Dujardin brought a great sense of humor that transcends language -- he's quite funny and a damn good actor."

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