READ about Piers Morgan's long career in journalism here.
On the heels of Thursday's 2014 Oscar nominations announcement, which revealed “The Wolf of Wall Street” being included among the films fighting for the Best Picture win, on Monday evening Piers Morgan invited Jordan Belfort to join him exclusively for a face to face interview.
Seated across the "Piers Morgan Live" host as part of an hour-long conversation, the man about whom the movie is based shared his thoughts on Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor tasked with portraying him in the Hollywood production:
"Originally when Leo saw this project, he wanted to get it on screen – and he said this publicly – because it represented the mistakes that I made, and the attitude I had at the time, represents a lot of what went really wrong ultimately, many years later with Wall Street," said the 51-year-old stock broker turned motivational speaker. "It was important to him, and I think that - what impressed Leo, I think about my new life so much, is he saw me make this really radical turn, and I think that moved him. And I was really proud and shocked that he did that."
Equally impressed by DiCaprio as he felt the actor was with him, Belfort detailed the countless hours the two spent together as the Oscar-nominated star prepared for his role:
"One thing I don't think people realize about Leo, is his excellence is not by accident. He strives for it, he works really, really hard. I think he was so determined to suck every bit of information from me," Belfort detailed in Monday's interview. "Stuff that wasn't in the book, and what was on my mind, just really trying - you don't realize how much he's looking at you, because when I saw it on screen, I was like 'oh, my god.' I thought his ... it was mind-boggling to see."
A month since Martin Scorsese's three hour epic premiered, Belfort offered his reaction after viewing the film himself:
"It was shocking ... I saw the movie with my fiancee the first time, and we were speechless afterwards," said the man who spent 22 months in prison for securities fraud and money laundering. "I had come to terms with my old life. I wrote this book, and that was like a cathartic experience for me. But to see it on film like that, with someone that did such a good job, I literally, I felt myself sweating at certain points, when some of the cocaine was being snorted. I got almost sympathetic reactions to it."
Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Belfort, and for the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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