Hanging out in the “Wolf” den with Scorsese and DiCaprio

For Jonah Hill, the most daunting challenge of his role in Martin Scorsese’s financial depravity epic “The Wolf of Wall Street” wasn’t getting the part. “Leonardo DiCaprio basically co-signed for me,” Hill says of his co-star, who persuaded Scorsese to cast Hill after he enthused about the part during a chance meeting in Mexico.

…..the hardest part was simply making small talk on set with a director Hill calls “my favorite artist, of any form.”

“The initial rehearsals were about a month before we started shooting, and it was just Scorsese, Leo and myself. They were making their fifth film together, and had such a close, connected process, whereas I couldn’t believe I was there.

“But I was more socially scared. Because it’s one thing to talk about the movie or the character; Scorsese is so brilliant with actors that he doesn’t make it feel weird working with him. But what was more intimidating was when we were just eating lunch for the first couple of weeks, those moments when you weren’t talking about a scene. It was like, ‘what can I say that would possibly be interesting to this person?’ ”

Hill kept the conversational focus on film appreciation, and when he and Scorsese discovered a shared admiration for docu “Searching for Sugar Man”, all social awkwardness began to subside.

SEE MORE:From the December 17, 2013 issue of Variety


A Message From William Mueller on the Rodriguez Forum:

I bought “Searching for Sugar Man” on itunes – it was one of the $9.99 HD movies on sale for the week (I also bought "Sound City" (the Dave Grohl movie) and "Artifact" (the 30 Seconds to Mars movie) and I watched it TWICE last night – once on my own and again when with my wife when she got home. I as intrigued by the trailer and wasn’t sure if it was a true story or a mockumentary comedy film like "This is Spinal Tap" – I was amazed that someone so good went un-discovered in America. Not so much amazed that a talent would be wasted by not being promoted properly by the record industry – but that he is SO talented. His music sounds like it was written and recorded 45 minutes ago, not 45 years ago! His style and poetry transcend the times and my wife and I absolutely loved it on first listen! I was even more amazed that someone undiscovered in his own country could end up unknowingly be an inspiration and his music so well known and loved on the other side of the world. There was a moment in the film where they showed a graphic saying "American zero, South African hero" – that is completely false – Rodriguez is a HERO EVERYWHERE. an inspiration to us all on how to live and how to love and how to create a better world through expression – music – art – poetry. It gives me hope to keep painting because you never know how your work will touch and affect others – in other lands – in other times. I love the message of the film and the music that Sixto and his family shared – that success is NOT monetary or physical – it is mental and spiritual. Congratulations to Sixto for the music and the message – to Malik Bendjelloul for making a fine film – to Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom for finding him and bringing him to the rest of us and to all his fans in South Africa for "keeping him alive"!!! GOD BLESS!!!!!!

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