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Leonardo DiCaprio responds to the controversy surrounding The Wolf of Wall Street

12.30.2013

Ever since one senior member of the Academy was up in arms after seeing the same "disgusting junk" over and over in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET it all seems to have snowballed. Viewers have been saying that it's not okay to glorify someone like Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), and that his victims don't care to re-live what happened to them. But I think the real question is, when did we all become so offended by everything?

When DiCaprio spoke with HitFix, the controversy surrounding the film was brought to the actor's attention:

HitFix: Well that's what's interesting because, like a great many of Scorsese's movies, this one is being met with a touch of controversy right off the bat for its depiction of excess. There are those who see it as more of an irresponsible glorification than a satirical takedown. What's your response to that?

Leonardo DiCaprio: I think anyone who thinks that missed the boat entirely. I grew up in a generation of watching Marty's movies and when you come from a standpoint of being someone who is so influenced by him and De Niro's work, to hear specific reactions they had to films that, now, as the years roll by — we're all desensitized to those things, you know what I'm saying? To hear that there were any type of reactions that weren't — I'm not saying people should particularly praise this film for that reason, but I think it takes a while to permeate into the culture a little bit. When I see his movies now, it's a shock to me that there was ever any kind of — I mean I listened to stories of "The Last Temptation of Christ." I listened to stories of "Goodfellas" and "Taxi Driver" and even "Mean Streets," but to me they're a classic part of American cinema history that have influenced so many other filmmakers and so many other genres. It's insane.

It's exciting to be a part of a film, in a way, that is kind of bold and is taking a chance like that, and I think that anyone that thinks this is a celebration of Wall Street and this sort of hedonism — yes, the unique thing about Marty is that he doesn't judge his characters. And that was something that you don't quite understand while you're making the movie, but he allows the freedom of this almost hypnotic, drug-infused, wild ride that these characters go on. And he allows you, as an audience — guilty or not — to enjoy in that ride without judging who these people are. Because ultimately, he keeps saying this: "Who am I to judge anybody?" I mean ultimately I think if anyone watches this movie, at the end of "Wolf of Wall Street," they're going to see that we're not at all condoning this behavior. In fact we're saying that this is something that is in our very culture and it needs to be looked at and it needs to be talked about. Because, to me, this attitude of what these characters represent in this film are ultimately everything that's wrong with the world we live in.

DiCaprio nor Scorsese had anything to do with the sentence that was handed down to Belfort. Personally, I don't understand what the problem is. They found a story that was absurd and outrageous that happened to be true then decided to film it in order to shine a light on the matter. Are people upset that it is a true story? If that's the case, why weren't they disgusted by CASINO or GOODFELLAS? Maybe it's the realization that villains wear many different faces.

You tell us. Strikeback below and give us your take.

Source: HitFix

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