Many women may swoon at the opportunity that The Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie had appearing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio (recent Golden Globe winner for Best Actor, Musical/Comedy) as his wife in the Martin Scorsese film. “I’m hated worldwide,” she joked to Movie Fanatic. But, Robbie is also the person who apparently almost blinded the beloved actor as well.
As seen in this The Wolf of Wall Street clip, Robbie’s character Naomi had to throw water in the face of DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort after she discovers he has not been exactly honest. Knowing how movies are made, we knew that was a scene that could not have been successfully captured in one take. So, how often did she douse DiCaprio?
“So many times! It was so funny, the angle I was throwing the water, somehow it got upside into his eyelids, and I was temporary blinding him and he didn’t tell me until the fourth take. And so every time he flinched and held his eye, I thought ‘Oh God, he’s such a good actor.’ But, then he said ‘You need to throw it at my chin or something because I cannot see anything!’”
The film is based on a true story of a man (Belfort) who bilked investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Robbie plays the real life wife of Belfort, whose name was changed for the film from Nadine. Meeting Nadine proved more fruitful and insightful than the Australian actress could have ever imagined.
“She was great about it, really unfazed by it all. It’s a real attribute to her, how strong she is as a person. She has to be to put up with Jordan and his shenanigans. What I got from her was why he was so obsessed with her, because after meeting her for a half an hour I was in love with her,” Robbie said.
What was fascinating was, as seen in this The Wolf of Wall Street trailer, the two fought quite a bit. But about what, was the most surprising thing to Robbie. “When I asked her, ‘What did you fight about?’ she said, ‘The drugs, the fact that he was a drug addict.’ He conveniently doesn’t talk about it in the book. He makes it sound like she was upset because he was sleeping with hookers and coming home late at night,” Robbie admitted.
“Her version of events was ‘I didn’t care about the hookers. He’s a man, he’s going to (expletive) around, I don’t give a (expletive).’ What upset her was him doing crack in front of their newborn baby. Any mother would divorce their husband for that! That was so helpful for my character, so I could say any horrible thing and know that my motivation was out of protection for her child.”
Robbie also had interesting insight into her expectations for The Wolf of Wall Street viewer. “Whether or not the audience sees my side of events is another matter. You’re not meant to sympathize with my character. The audience doesn’t need to see my side. You’re meant to see Jordan’s version of the events. If you get the opportunity to sympathize with Naomi’s side that’s great, it’s not necessarily the goal of the film.”
The actress also found that perhaps she put up with the cheating because of her becoming used to the lavish lifestyle that Belfort’s questionable business practices provided them.
“She got caught up in the whirlwind. She enjoyed the lifestyle, but when that lifestyle stopped she felt like that wasn’t what she signed up for,” Robbie said. “That coincided with his drug habit becoming more of an issue. It became dangerous. Drugs were a fun byproduct of the lifestyle, but it became the lifestyle. Plus, she had kids then, and it wasn’t worth it any more. She had different priorities. At least that’s the way I see it.”
One thing that stands out, besides Robbie’s overall awesomeness in the role, is how the Australian actress nailed a New York accent in The Wolf of Wall Street. She had never done an accent from the area before, and was in fact quite specific about how she approached it.
“It’s meant to be Bay Ridge. This is how specific I was hoping it would be. It was meant to be a Bay Ridge accent from the beginning, and then once they were living in Long Island, it was meant to have Long Island influences with her making a conscious effort to dull down the Brooklyn from the accent because she was aware she was hanging out with people with a lot of money. She would be a little bit embarrassed by her original humble beginnings,” Robbie said.
When the actress moved to America, she noticed something immediately about us that she infused into her portrayal in The Wolf of Wall Street. “Often, people have these general American accents. But when they get upset or angry their original accents come out! I thought whenever she’s angry or overexcited the accent should come out.”
As we mention in our The Wolf of Wall Street review, the film features many memorable and outrageous party scenes. Robbie was only privy to one, and it also featured star Jonah Hill whipping something of his out. “That was my first day of shooting,” she said of the scene that featured Hill’s “wolf.” “I thought… 'Nice to meet you, Jonah,'" she said with a laugh. "That was literally our first day of working together!”