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For years, Jordan Belfort employed dishonest business practices to prey on American investors. But on Monday night, the real “Wolf of Wall Street” was nothing if not transparent.
Joining "Piers Morgan Live" for the first interview since the release of the Oscar-nominated film which depicts his decadent rise to excessive wealth, Belfort noted that the movie, and his autobiography upon which it's based, should be viewed as manuals of what to avoid, not mimic.
Asked by the host if there's a concern that “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which features superstar Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role, might serve to glamorize the former stock broker's villainous behavior, Belfort offers a few key contrasts that separate the current Oscar-nominated file, and it's similarly-themed predecessors, including the 1987 classic “Wall Street” starring Michael Douglas.
“There’s a fundamental difference between the Gordon Gekko character and myself. Number one, Gordon Gekko was a fictionalized character and [the audience] never really saw his downfall," he noted, as part of an exclusive interview. "In this movie it's pretty clear that I lost everything.”
Belfort continued, telling Morgan that rather than glorifying or encouraging over-indulgence, he believes “The Wolf of Wall Street” could offer a constructive critique of greed:
“For me it’s important that the movie is viewed the right way, certainly as a cautionary tale.”
On the heels of the now Oscar-nominated film "The Wolf of Wall Street," on Monday evening, the man whose autobiography inspired the film joined "Piers Morgan Live" for a live, hour-long, face to face interview.
Depicted on screen by legendary Hollywood icon Leonardo DiCaprio, Jordan Belfort is made to be a man who employs unethical stockbroking tactics as a way to bilk investors out of hundreds of thousand of dollars.
And while the 51-year-old has no trouble admitting his shady business practices, he did take exception to the way the movie portrayed the relationship with his family. In fact, he went so far as to take his eldest child to the theater so as to point out any inaccuracies:
"I took my son to the movie – he was 18 – with my ex-wife,” Belfort told Piers Morgan. “Together, because we wanted to show him what was true.”
Belfort was particularly defensive of a controversial scene in which DiCaprio’s character kicks his wife down the stairs of their mansion home, while the couple's small daughter looked on:
“That moment was the highest I'd ever been in my life,” Belfort said of the incident. “I hadn't slept in probably two months because of all the cocaine.”
While the drug-induced high resulted in an all-time low, Belfort claimed that overall he was and is a good father:
“At first ... they don't even remember because I got sober when they were still, you know, babies,” Belfort told Morgan. “But my children are obviously proud of me and they know me for the man I am today.”