‘Wolf of Wall Street’: Jordan Belfort Reveals His Thoughts on Leonardo DiCaprio’s Performance

As outrageous as The Wolf of Wall Street might seem, Martin Scorsese‘s 2013 film is based on the very real experiences of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who was sentenced to 22 months in prison after pleading guilty to securities fraud and money laundering. The Leonardo DiCaprio-led film showcases the corruption, cons, and crimes of Belfort that seemed almost too over-the-top to be true.

Recently, Belfort took to TikTok to break down his thoughts on DiCaprio playing him. Find out what Belfort really thinks of DiCaprio’s performance in The Wolf of Wall Street

A composite image of Jordan Belfort, Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Belfort in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
Jordan Belfort & Leonardo DiCaprio | Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Leonardo DiCaprio ‘killed it’ in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ according to Jordan Belfort

The Wolf of Wall Street came out in 2013, but fans are still curious about Belfort’s feelings on the autobiographical flick. “How do you feel about Leonardo DiCaprio playing you?” a fan asked Belfort on TikTok. “Did he kill it? Was he spot on?” 

“Obviously, he killed it,” Belfort starts, adding: 

Here’s what you don’t know about Leo, though. It wasn’t by accident. This guy worked so hard.

We spent a year together. He was learning everything about my body language, how I speak, my language patterns, the sales stuff.

Belfort says DiCaprio went through every word in the script, combing over it “a hundred times” to ensure it was authentic. “He rewrote anything that wasn’t,” says Belfort, adding: “One thing to learn from this is that as talented as Leo is and as handsome as the guy is, he got to where he is not just through talent but also through hard work, perseverance, and he always lives up to his word.”

Leonardo DiCaprio interviewed Jordan Belfort ‘incessantly’ to play him authentically 

What’s more, DiCaprio’s dedication to accurately playing Belfort came with a lot of hard probing questions. He spent hours with the original “Wolf of Wall Street” to capture every aspect of his life in detail. 

“[Belfort was] incredibly open about his life, especially the most embarrassing parts,” DiCaprio told The Wall Street Journal. “I interviewed him incessantly and tried to pull out every detail I possibly could. We incorporated a lot of other stories that weren’t even in the book into the movie.” 

Jordan Belfort’s ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ cameo 

Belfort does appear in The Wolf of Wall Street in a brief moment at the end of the movie. He introduces DiCaprio’s Belfort at the seminar as a celebrated motivational speaker. 

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‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ movie producers sued for fraud 

In January 2020, Belfort sued Red Granite Pictures, the production company behind The Wolf of Wall Street, and co-founder Riza Aziz for $300 million. Aziz convinced Belfort to sell the rights to his 2007 memoir, also titled The Wolf of Wall Street. He allegedly acquired the rights to the story through misappropriated funding from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal (via Entertainment Weekly).

“Jordan Belfort’s lawsuit is nothing more than a desperate and supremely ironic attempt to get out from under an agreement that for the first time in his life made him rich and famous through lawful and legitimate means,” Matthew L. Schwartz, lawyer for Red Granite, told Entertainment Weekly at the time. DiCaprio and Scorsese were not involved in the lawsuit. What’s more, it seems like Belfort still looks back fondly on the film overall, as he discusses in his October 2021 TikTok video.