How Leonardo DiCaprio Justifies the "Disgusting Behavior" in The Wolf of Wall Street

At this year's Oscars Nominees Luncheon, Leonardo DiCaprio was able to address the behavior of The Wolf of Wall Street, which has been the subject of much controversy. At his interview, DiCaprio didn't seem to agree that the portrayal of Jordan Belfort's actions were glorified at all, and he defended director Martin Scorsese's work, saying: "Look, there's a lot of disgusting behavior in this movie, you can see that up on screen, but it was very much a reflection of this culture. We wanted this to be a cautionary tale, and we wanted to accurately portray this darker nature of our culture. It was a reaction to what happened in 2008. We as filmmakers wanted to display this part of humanity up on screen, the irresponsibility that came out. Marty's never been a didactic type of director that spoon feeds an audience what the ramifications of his actions are. He just goes in there and says, 'Look, I'm not going to judge these characters, I'm just going to show them for what they are' and purposely didn't cut away to the victims of this type of behavior. And also, you have a protagonist who ultimately doesn't get his due properly."

Getty | Steve Granitz

That opened up the chance to ask DiCaprio about apologizing to his parents for said behavior at the Critics' Choice Awards. "That was very much a bit of a joke," he explained. "They understand that I'm playing a character here. All of us [actors] had the attitude of playing characters that had no moral compass, that gave in to every temptation possible, and were completely consumed by power and wealth — we looked at it as a giant Hieronymus Bosch thing, just pure debauchery, and we were Roman emperors. Once you put it into that context, my parents felt the same way. It was entertainment."