"How do you compare any other work experience to working with Martin Scorsese for six months?"
"The Wolf of Wall Street" star Jonah Hill is currently weighing that very question, as he told MTV News at the film's red carpet premiere. He's not alone with that question, either, based on what other castmembers said about working with Scorsese.
"I love the guy. I always have," said Jon Favreau, who stars in "Wall Street" as attorney Manny Riskin. "To work on this type of movie with him, was a huge treat."
Favreau, best known for directing projects such as "Iron Man" and "Cowboys & Aliens," learned a lot about his craft by watching Scorsese work.
"He's such a visionary, so I expected him to come in with a book of notes and storyboards, like a Hitchcock type," he said. "I was amazed at how loose he is, how collaborative he is, how much fun he has, and how much he laughs."
Favreau wasn't the only "Wall Street" actor who had high expectations of Scorsese prior to working on the film. Believe it or not, actor Matthew McConaughey, who has a small but scene-stealing turn in "Wall Street" as hot-shot Mark Hanna, admitted that he was nervous about meeting Scorsese for the first time.
"I studied Martin Scorsese in film school in 1992, at the University of Texas. All of the sudden, a year and a half ago or two years ago, I'm going to meet Martin Scorsese at this apartment in New York," he recalled. "I was just nervous to meet an icon like that. And the first thing I got from him was, 'This guy loves funny.' It occurred to me that most of the people who are great at what they do, they love funny."
Scorsese also loves collaboration, according to Favreau. "Any improvisation was welcome," he said. "Any ideas were welcome, whether it was from crew members or cast. Yet, it was always his set. He was always the captain. It was quite a masterful combination of openness and vision."
If any of the "Wall Street" stars are familiar with Scorsese's work, it's his frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio stars in the lead role of Jordan Belfort, the Quaalude-abusing Wall Street scoundrel at the heart of the film. "Wall Street" marks the fifth collaboration between DiCaprio and Scorsese — and according to the actor, there was no one else who could direct the film.
"In my mind, there was nobody that could portray the darker nature of these characters in sometimes a very comedic way, like Marty could," said DiCaprio. "If there's something magical happening, between the actors, he'll keep the camera on you. Even if it has nothing to do with the structure of the plot. He realizes, ultimately, that the character is the plot."
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is in theaters now.