Martin Scorsese’s decadent masterpiece, The Wolf of Wall Street, is renowned for how it blurred the lines between reality and fiction. A cursory search for the real-life Jordan Belfort will only confirm this, with certain interviews casting him in a light that would have the everyday person mistaking him for Leonardo DiCaprio’s characterisation. But just how on target was the critically acclaimed film?
Below, you may treat yourself to a side-by-side comparison between real-life moments of Belfort at the height of Stratton Oakmont with scenes from the film (with the added bonus of some dry commentary from yours truly).
Check it out.
The House Party
The gratuitous showcase of recreational substance abuse has obviously been added for dramatic effect. And whether the whole Steve Madden discussion actually occurred then is still up for debate (among other things). But it’s an interesting look at the difference between Belfort’s real speech and the fictitious version.
“I’m not fucking leaving!”
Granted, the real-life version of this isn’t actually the “I’m not fucking leaving” moment. But it is one of the surviving reels of footage we have depicting the real-life Belfort addressing the upstanding employees of Stratton Oakmont in a rousing fashion (“rousing” /s). It’s also interesting to note how Belfort claimed in his book that he consistently captivated the attention of those around him whenever he spoke – yet had to shush all those coked-up stockbrokers like a group of restless toddlers during grandad’s funeral. How’s his eyelid action, by the way? It is to our suspicion that a few cheeky nose beers were involved here.
As multiple sources have confirmed, apart from being exaggerated with Rob Reiner’s imposing physique, the film’s portrayal of Mad Max was fairly on point. Here he is with the real-life counterpart of Margot Robbie’s showstopping character, Naomi Lapaglia. And if you jump to 1:43 of the real-life “I’m not fucking leaving” video above, you can actually hear Mad Max spouting off in true anger management gone wrong fashion.