Jonah Hill Defends ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ at Variety’s Annual Brunch In Palm Springs

Jonah Hill said naysayers have misunderstood the lesson of “Wolf of Wall Street” at Variety’s Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors to Watch brunch honoring him at the Parker Palm Springs on Sunday.

“I personally take away the message from the film that this behavior, this lifestyle, leads to a very bad ending,” the actor said. “I think the movie is not glorifying this behavior, it is showing that it leads to bad places whether their judicial punishment doesn’t reflect that is one thing. Where your life ends up, who you are as a person, is another.”

PHOTOS: Jonah Hill, Colin Farell attend Variety gala

Marisa Tomei, who introduced Hill, Variety’s Creative Impact in Acting honoree, called him, “my friend, a sweetie pie and who’s handsome,” adding, “he can make us laugh, but he has got the craft to back it up.”

Saving Mr. Banks” director John Lee Hancock, who accepted the Creative Impact in Directing award, had this advice for up-and-coming helmers: “What part is Colin Farrell going to play? That is always a good harbinger of success,” referring to the thesp who intro’ed him.

Hancock said he’s not competitive and reflecting on the gala said 2013 was a good year for film. “I want all these films to do well. I do adult dramas and I want another job.”

Sharing a moment from the previous night when he presented the composing kudo to Thomas Newman, Hancock said he had a tough time with the Teleprompter, which gave him “a crick in the neck.

Of Variety’s 10 to Watch, all but helmer Clio Bernard was present — Paul Duane, Anthony Chen, Gita Pullapally & Aron Gaudet, Gren Wells, Amma Asante, Ben Falcone (with wife Melissa McCarthy), Justin Simien, Dome Karukoski and Maya Forbes.

Variety was well repped by publisher Michelle Sobrino, editor-in-chief Claudia Eller, executive editor Steven Gaydos, Tim Gray and Peter Bart.

Industryites in attendance included Ron Yerxa, Sean Bailey, Palm Springs fest director Darryl Macdonald and a.d. Helen Toit.

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  1. Paco Charte says:

    Then have Jordan Belfort (or Paramount) direct a portion of the profits to paying the restitution that this criminal has still not paid.

    • DOLLFACE says:

      Jordan Belfort already announced via Variety story that 100% of his portion of the profits will be paid to court fines.

  2. Antonio says:

    The “problem” is the movie is tediously repetitive. After the first few “F” words and full female body nudity scenes, one understands the culture/theme of the story. The movie could easily have been 1 hr 59 minutes, not 2 hrs 59 minutes.

  3. DOLLFACE says:

    Why r people in such a hubbub??? The movie clearly lays out what a jerk he was with the fraud, drugs n hedonism. It is so crazy it seems farfetched! Anyway, this portrays Wall Street or white collar crime. Remember Michael Milken and the dozens or more of others in the 80’s that were locked up for this. It is the story of one man and let me tell you, it is one roller coaster ride of acting and Leo deserves an Oscar! At the Grove Pacific theatre, a packed crowd have a 2 min standing ovation!!!! SERIOUSLY!!! Leo was amazing!!!!

  4. Boule says:

    At least this movie doesn’t lie to you. That’s the way it went for Jordan and that’s where it lead him.The way that it is made is attractive and the performances are believable, that’s why it’s very impressive to watch. But the reality of it, that lifestyle, these characters are sad and destructive. I think people have to make the difference as viewers between beautiful images and what they are telling us about the story. People are mistaking because I saw this movie and the message was really clear: the character tells you upfront that what he is doing is illegal and shows it to you. it can’t be more honest. I don’t understand what the fuss is about. Maybe people are shaken by it and it’s starting to make people look at films differently. Voilà!

  5. Tom Snyder says:

    The ending clearly attacks the American Dream. The protagonist is still preaching to the suckers at the end to get money from them. Also, hedonistic depictions that should be rated NC-17 do indeed glorify such unbridled license.

  6. Ron H says:

    As long as the picture makes a lot of money, it doesn’t seem to matter if it makes evil people even more rich and famous. Remember Di Caprio’s early glorification of that miscreant con man that made a career of screwing good people?

  7. The point isn’t that “Wolf” is or is not an edifying film, but that the producers abetted the criminal Jordan Belfort in profiting from his crimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for film rights. Better to have crafted a story from whole cloth and to have cut that vile human being out of any payment.

  8. Craig James says:

    All do respect but Jonah Hill has it wrong, we didn’t misunderstand the ‘lessons of Wolf of Wall Street’. The lesson was simply misrepresented. Jonah & Leo, please stop putting this on the audience! As the storytellers, take some of the responsibility for not delivering the story with the lesson you intended. Perhaps this is just about creating butzz but if not, accept that your message failed. And please stop assuming we’re too dumb to get it. It’s okay to admit that you may have gotten it wrong.

    • Ammar Nemo says:

      Just shut up and watch the movie!!! this movie is a masterpiece. I’m a artist I know movies and this is the best movie of 2013! Just appreciate what you are watching Because movies these days suck!! Oh my God There is naked girls and drugs everywhere WOW let it go you guys sounds dumb.. In the end of the day it’s a fucking movie that has a good message. Don’t do drugs and don’t party too hard! also dont scam people that’s the message!

      • Ammar Nemo says:

        Leonardo DiCaprio better win a Oscar for best male performance! Also Martin Scorsese should win best director! It’s about time for Leo to win he got screwed over too many times with the Academy Awards.. I’m really starting to think that critics don’t know shit about movies.

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