Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese have gone on the defensive as critics have slammed their film "The Wolf of Wall Street" for glorifying the overindulgences of Wall Street.

"I think anyone who thinks that missed the boat entirely," DiCaprio told HitFix In Contention.

DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who bilked investors of millions of dollars, did drugs and held wild parties and went to prison for 22 months.

The actor noted in his interview with HitFix that Scorsese allowed the audience to see Belfort's "wild ride" while trying not to judge the character.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in ’The Wolf of Wall Street.’ (Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in 'The Wolf of Wall Street.' (Mary Cybulski/Paramount Pictures) ( Photo credit: Mary Cybulski )

"I mean ultimately I think if anyone watches this movie, at the end of 'Wolf of Wall Street,' they're going to see that we're not at all condoning this behavior," DiCaprio added. "In fact we're saying that this is something that is in our very culture and it needs to be looked at and it needs to be talked about. Because, to me, this attitude of what these characters represent in this film are ultimately everything that's wrong with the world we live in."

DiCaprio had made the media circuit preaching that stance over and over. To Deadline.com, he said, "None of the people that made this movie like these people, at all." And to Variety, he said, "This film may be misunderstood by some; I hope people understand we're not condoning this behavior, that we're indicting it."


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Scorsese -- with 50 years of film making to his credit -- was even more blunt about why he chose to depict Belfort's extravagant crime spree and ultimate downfall. "This is something that's not going to go away if you don't talk about it," he told the Hollywood Reporter.

Controversy aside, movie insiders expect "The Wolf of Wall Street" will pick up Oscar nominations for best film and lead actor.