Films

15 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About The Wolf Of Wall Street

Arriving like a sudden jolt of energy in what can be a dry awards season, Martin Scorsese's hyper-kinetic box office smash was a shock to the system. The Wolf of Wall Street gave a 71-year-old director his rudest and most playful film to date, with more sex, swearing and quaaludes than anyone could have expected.

A year on, aside from just how many F-bombs are dropped in the movie (that's 506), which you already know, here are 15 facts you might be less familiar with.

  • 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Wolf Of Wall Street

    1.

    During the scene where Jonah Hill's character swallows a goldfish, PETA insisted that three goldfish handlers were present. Hill was allowed to keep it in his mouth for three seconds at a time.

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    2.

    The real Jordan Belfort's private investigator, Bo Dietl, played himself in the film. He also had small roles in Goodfellas and Carlito's Way.

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    3.

    With a $392 million worldwide gross, it became director Martin Scorsese's most successful film of all time. It also stands as the biggest 18-rated movie ever in the UK.

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    4.

    The inclusion of Matthew McConaughey's infamous chest thumping was actually down to Leonardo DiCaprio, who spotted him doing it in-between takes and suggested it should be added to the scene. 

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    5.

    Leonardo DiCaprio based his acting in the infamous quaaludes sequence on 'The Drunkest Guy in the World', a viral video which you can see here. "It's not just the fact that he was sort of elasticated and trying to get [up], it was his motivation that was really intriguing," DiCaprio said. "He had one singular goal, one that was to get a beer out of the 7-Eleven, and it took him a half an hour."

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    6.

    The original draft cut of the film was a whopping 2742 minutes long and included every single piece of footage shot by Scorsese.

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    7.

    It was the most pirated film of 2014 with over 30 million illegal downloads.

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    8.

    After the success of the film, Jordan Belfort is now writing a TV show going down a similar route by focusing on Wall Street excess in the 80s. He's writing the show with director Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer. 

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    9.

    A bidding war for Jordan Belfort's memoir kicked off between Leonardo DiCaprio/Warners and Brad Pitt/Paramount, with DiCaprio winning out. But after things didn't work out with Ridley Scott in the director's chair, Warners dumped the project. An independent company Red Granite Pictures then made the film with Scorsese knowing that there was no limits to what he could produce, content-wise. Ironically, Paramount ended up distributing the film.

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    10.

    Julie Andrews was originally supposed to play the role of Aunt Emma but she turned it down as she was recovering from an ankle injury. Joanna Lumley ended up taking it instead. During the scene in which she kissed DiCaprio, he was so nervous that it took 27 takes to get it right.

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    11.

    The film was banned in Malaysia, Nepal and Kenya because of the explicit content while a heavily cut version was released in India and in Singapore, it was only released in a small amount of cinemas due to the restrictive rating. 

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    12.

    Rather than actually having the cast snort cocaine on screen, for obvious reasons, crushed vitamins were used instead. "I snorted so much of that stuff that I got, like, bronchitis!" Jonah Hill confessed. "My lungs were filled with powder and I got really sick for a month and a half. But, I mean, I'd do it again in a second." 

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    13.

    Steven Spielberg came to visit his old friend Martin Scorsese during the shoot when the Steve Madden speech was taking place. He ended up codirecting the scene, suggesting camera angles and advising the actors. Damn control freak.

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    14.

    During the quaalude sequence, Leonardo DiCaprio explained that it took a massive 70 takes to get the ham to stick to his face. Ultimately KY jelly was used.

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    15.

    While Jordan Belfort was largely supportive of the film, the one key difference he claimed between his life and what was up on screen focused on what happened with him and his second wife. He claims that when he hit her, it was earlier in their relationship when he was at the height of his drug addiction and their break up was when he was clean and sober.

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