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