As a fan myself, the iconic film The Wolf of Wall Street is easily one of the best films out there. Based on Jordan Belfort's memoir, this film perfectly captures the life of the Wolf during his Wall Street days. The setting of the film goes back in 1987 where Jordan took an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. While still in his 20s, he discovers his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Working hand in hand with Donnie Azoff and a gang of brokers, Jordan makes a massive fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, Jordan couldn’t take the train of fun and thrills for too long, because the SEC and the FBI were on his tail.
The movie turned out to be a major success, and made around $392 million in box office. While the film itself consists of a lot of events, behind the scenes is where most of us are eager to know. There was a ton of things that went down in order for this film to happen. So, here are the greatest unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street that you should look right into.
The real Jordan Belfort's private investigator, Bo Dietl, played in the film.
Did you know that the private investigator of the real Jordan Belfort played himself in the film? From the interesting unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, Bo Dietl was actually in the movie. Perhaps no other actor suited his role... might as well put Bo as himself!
However, he's actually played roles in other films, as well. Bo played smaller roles in films like Goodfellas and Carlito's Way. Private investigator and an actor? You can tell Bo gets the best of both worlds.
Jonah Hill wanted to actually swallow the goldfish in the movie.
Remember that one scene in the movie where Jonah Hill's character Donnie Azoff ate a goldfish? Well, from the shocking unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, Jonah actually wanted to swallow the goldfish in real life but couldn't. He wanted everything to be real and felt as though he wasn’t working hard enough compared to everyone else in the film. However, he obviously couldn’t according to the regulations.
Instead, workers of the film brought in three goldfish handlers to the set. While they used an actual goldfish, Jonah was allowed to keep the fish in his mouth for about three second at each time. Then he would have to immediately take the fish out and place it back into the water unharmed. At least he was able to put a real goldfish in his mouth.
In jail, Tommy Chong convinced Jordan Belfort to write a memoir about his time in Wall Street.
Who knew that comedian, actor, writer, and cannabis rights activist Tommy Chong would convince John Belfort to write his memoir about his life in Wall Street? During his time in jail, Jordan served 22 months of his four year sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution in California. There, his cellmate was Tommy and was, in fact, encouraged by him to write his memoir.
Even after their release from prison, the two stayed friends. While Tommy pushed Jordan to write up his stock broking days, he was also motivated by Tommy to become a speaker and a writer.
Leonardo DiCaprio based his Quaaludes scene on the viral video "Drunkest Guy Ever."
Among the unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, this one is pure gold. Probably one of the most iconic and unforgettable scenes in the entire film is the Quaaludes scene. It's the part where Jordan takes Quaaludes and he's heavily consumed by the drug, practically controlling his movement, ability to speak, and everything else except his thoughts.
While the acting in this one scene was pretty lengthy and a lot for Leonardo DiCaprio to handle, his acting was actually based on this viral video "Drunkest Guy Ever."
"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," Leonardo 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."
Leonardo DiCaprio took specific instructions from Jordan Belfort about his behavior and while on Quaaludes.
It’s only normal for Leonardo to understand the emotions and actions Jordan when through during the time. This way, Leonardo can perfectly master the role and give off the most accurate story possible. And this also included his reactions to the drugs.
Among the unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo took instructions from Jordan about his behavior when he was reacting to drugs like Quaaludes. This also includes his confrontation with Danny Porush while being high. To nail the role, Leonardo attempted to follow the instructions precisely.
It was between Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt for the role of Jordan Belfort.
Believe it or not, Leonardo was neck and neck with Brad Pitt in getting the role. While Leonardo was backed up by Warners and Brad with Paramount, in the end, it was Leonardo who obtained the infamous role.
In fact, director Martin Scorsese was considered to direct the movie. He even worked on the script for the film before working on Shutter Island and mentioned that he “wasted five months of his life” without getting the okay on production dates by Warner Bros. Then, in 2012, Martin was given the director’s seat with long-term film partner Leonardo.
The actors snorted crushed B vitamins as cocaine.
The actors snorted a pretty hefty amount of cocaine while making the film... obviously they didn't. From the unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, they were actually just snorting crushed B vitamins.
Just imagine the amount of B vitamins these actors snorted? Couldn't it have possibly affected them in any way? Actually, it did to one actor.
"I snorted so much of that stuff that I got, like, bronchitis!" Jonah Hill says. "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."
Jon Bernthal actually hit Jonah Hill when their characters Brad and Donnie get into a fight.
The fight scene between Brad and Donnie was actually real. Well, the hitting was. Jon Bernthal actually hit Jonah across the face for real during the scene. He hit him so hard that Jonah's prosthetic teeth split and flew right out of his mouth!
Since he was actually hit, director Martin Scorsese filmed the real swelling that occurred on Jonah's face. When Jonah wanted the film to be real... I guess he really meant it.
The film was banned in three countries.
As amazing and hilarious The Wolf of Wall Street really is, there's still a lot of bad scenes happening. Not to mention that the F word was mentioned 569 times throughout the entire film! That's Wall Street for you.
Since the film shows such explicit content, as part of the unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, it was banned from countries Malaysia, Nepal, and Kenya. However, heavily cut versions of the film was available in India and in Singapore, but it was released in a limited amount of theaters.
The chest thump humming that Matthew McConaughey does in the film was Leonardo DiCaprio’s idea.
Lastly, among the intriguing unknown facts about Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo was the one who came up with the chest thump humming with Matthew McConaughey. Right before filming, Leonardo caught Matthew beating his chest to calm himself down. Leonardo then suggested that the chest-beating should be part of the film.
Matthew mentioned it during an interview in The Graham Norton Show. While he beats his chest to relax and have his voice drop better, Matthew said that he’d also hum to find a rhythm without the chest beating.