The Wolf Of Wall Street is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort. Set in the late 80s and early 90s, the film centres around Jordan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, starting his own brokerage firm and then defrauding wealthy investors out of millions of dollars.
Despite being a well-known and established actor already, Jonah Hill’s performance in The Wolf Of Wall Street cemented him as an incredible actor and Hollywood started to take him seriously; Hill was even nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role as Donnie. And rightly so, because Donnie has so many superb moments that were acted to perfection by Hill in The Wolf Of Wall Street.
To celebrate the icon that is Jonah Hill, here are his best moments in The Wolf Of Wall Street.
When Donnie admits the rumours about his cousin are true
Jordan tells Donnie that he’s heard some rumours about Donnie and his cousin, which initially Donnie denies, “No… it’s not like that. It’s not like that.” Then he completely 180s and admits that he’s married to his first cousin in an extremely funny ramble that only Jonah Hill could pull off.
“Yeah, my wife, yeah, my wife is my cousin or whatever; but it’s not, like, what you think… Her father is the brother of my mum…”
“We grew up together and she grew up hot, you know, she f***ing grew up hot, and all my friends were trying to f*** her, you know, and I’m not gonna let someone, you know, one of these assholes f*** my cousin, so, you know, I used the cousin thing as like, like an in with her. I’m not gonna let someone else f*** my cousin, you know? If anyone’s gonna f*** my cousin, it’s gonna be me. Out of respect.”
Plus, when Jordan asks what would’ve happened if Donnie’s kids were disabled, Donnie says he’d drive them out to the country, tell them to get out of the car and “run free”. Hill’s deadpan delivery is *chef’s kiss*.
When Donnie quits his job
Donnie approaches Jordan in a diner and enquires whether the nice Jaguar out front is his. Donnie then asks how much money Jordan makes. When Jordan replies that he made roughly $72,000 last month, Donnie says “You show me a pay stub for $72,000, I quit my job right now and work for you.”
The film then cuts to Donnie and Jordan at a pay phone where Donnie says into the phone, “Hey, Pauly, what’s up? No, yeah, yeah, no everything’s fine. Hey, listen… I quit!” Hill’s comedic timing in this scene is hilarious and the way he delivers the line “don’t f***ing tell Susan. It’s none her business” is the funny cherry on top of this hysterical scene.
When Donnie doesn’t understand what non-alcoholic beer is
Once Jordan is sober, he offers Donnie a non-alcoholic beer. Unable to comprehend what non-alcoholic beer is Donnie has multiple funny responses such as “you drink a lot and it’ll get you f***ed up?” and “I don’t know what the f*** you’re talking about”.
When he finally does understand that the beer doesn’t contain alcohol, Donnie jokes “what, you wanna go inside and blow some lines of f***ing baking powder?” A rather witty line paired with Hill’s impeccable inflection is what makes this underrated scene golden.
When Donnie eats a goldfish
During the issuance of a new IPO, Jordan notices that an employee is cleaning his fishbowl. Donnie decides to intervene. The small preamble before Donnie loses it, especially the way he says so calmly “and, today you needed to clean the fishbowl, today?”, is acted to perfection by Hill as you can see the anger brimming beneath his composed facade.
Then, when Donnie inevitably loses it, gets up on a table and screams “Hey, everybody, listen up! This is what happens when you f*** with your pets on new issue day!” you can’t help but watch in fascination; especially when Donnie proceeds to eat the employee’s live goldfish.
Fun fact: Hill was more than willing to actually eat and swallow a real, live goldfish but he legally wasn’t allowed. However, he did put (and then spat out) a real, live goldfish into his mouth multiple times to shoot the scene.
When Donnie pretends to be intoxicated
Donnie pulls up to meet Brad inebriated which immediately frustrates Brad as he specifically asked Jordan to make sure Donnie didn’t turn up to the exchange ‘drugged out’. Donnie’s speech is slurred, and he struggles to put the car in park. Eventually, he stumbles out of the car.
It’s when Donnie suddenly stands upright with a huge grin on his face and explains “It’s a joke! I’m sober!” that you can’t help but laugh at how Hill comedically conveys how reckless Donnie can be.
When Donnie’s on Jordan’s tapped phone
Donnie and Jordan take a lot of quaaludes after feeling no effects but then discover they’re expired and therefore mustn’t work. Shortly after, Jordan leaves his house at the request of Dietl who then tells Jordan that his home and work phones have been tapped by the FBI. It’s then that Jordan starts to feel the effects of the quaaludes and goes home. But when he gets there, he sees Donnie, also now high, on Jordan’s home phone.
The two are both completely intoxicated and the two struggle as Jordan instantly tries to get Donnie off the phone and explain that the FBI are listening but Donnie tries his darndest to stay on the phone. The way Hill shouts “Hey! I’m on the phone” and the facial expression Hill pulls when he hits himself in the face with the phone is just pure hilarity.