The Wolf of Wall Street told the story of former stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Leonardo DiCaprio played Belfort in the 2013 film. Alongside DiCaprio was then-Hollywood newcomer Margot Robbie. Robbie’s character, Naomi Lapaglia, was based on Belfort’s second ex-wife, Nadine Caridi.
Margot Robbie initially didn’t like her ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ character
Before The Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie couldn’t land her big break in Hollywood. At the time, the actor only had some television appearances under her belt. However, that didn’t stop director Martin Scorsese from picking Robbie as Naomi.
While filming The Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie spoke to IndieWire about playing Naomi. During the interview, Robbie admitted that she had an adverse reaction to her character when she first read the script. She recalled feeling as if Naomi married Belfort solely for financial reasons.
“In the first draft that I read, it very much seemed like a transaction, and that’s why I didn’t like the character when I first read it,” Robbie said. “I was like, she’s a gold digger, very superficial and very transactionary. I thought it didn’t seem much deeper than that.”
As filming continued, Robbie said she noticed specific changes to the script. The edits to the character showed more of Naomi and Jordan’s connection, which Robbie appreciated.
“The more we worked on the character, the more we kind of beefed it up, and the story and the relationships developed and became multi-faceted,” Robbie noted. “It was like a complete marriage. They had kids over those years. I think it was more that she got caught up in the whirlwind, and that was fine—she enjoyed the lifestyle.”
Margot Robbie insisted on meeting Nadine Caridi, the woman who inspired her ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ character
The Wolf of Wall Street is an adaptation of Belfort’s book of the same name. Belfort wrote the book in September 2007, eight years after he went to prison for fraud and money laundering. At the time of his sentencing, Belfort was married to Caridi. The couple tied the knot in 1991 and had two children together. They divorced in 2005.
Robbie told IndieWire that although Caridi inspired Naomi, she didn’t need to meet with her directly to develop the character. However, Robbie wanted to meet Caridi and said speaking to the real “Duchess of Bay Ridge” was “helpful.”
“I was creating a character that was in the same situation that she was in, that lived the life that she was in, but I was by no means trying to be her or portray her at that time,” Robbie insisted. “She was really great about it, really understanding, which is a real attribute to how strong she is as a person. She has to be, to have put up with Jordan and his shenanigans.”
Margot Robbie said she channeled Nadine Caridi’s role as a mother in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Although Robbie improvised many of Naomi’s characteristics for The Wolf of Wall Street, she said she took one gem away from her meeting with Caridi. She explained that in Belfort’s book, his cheating led to his and Caridi’s divorce. According to Robbie, Caridi said Belfort’s past substance misuse ended the relationship. Caridi said Belfort’s alleged use of crack cocaine in front of her child forced her to leave. Robbie said Caridi’s protection over her children is something she wanted to convey in the movie.
“I could do or say any horrible thing and know that my character’s motivation was out of protection for her child,” Robbie said. “Whether or not the audience sees my side of events is another matter, but just to know my motivation can give me an authentic performance.”
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