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So you listen to me and you listen well. Are you behind on your credit card bills? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! Is your landlord ready to evict you? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! Does your girlfriend think you're a f--king worthless loser? Good! Pick up the phone and start dialing! I want you to deal with your problems by becoming rich! All you have to do today is pick up that phone and speak the words that I have taught you. And I will make you richer than the most powerful CEO in the United States of f--king America!
~ Belfort training his brokers

Jordan Belfort is the titular protagonist villain in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street. He is a fictionalized version of the real-life Jordan Belfort, who went to prison in 1996 for fraud and money laundering.

He was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also played King Louis XIV in The Man in the Iron Mask, Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can, Calvin Candie in Django Unchained and Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.

In the film

Jordan grew up in a middle-class home, the son of two accountants, and was obsessed with money from a young age. In the late 1980s, he becomes a stockbroker and is mentored by alpha broker Mark Hanna, who teaches him how to manipulate clients into buying worthless stocks and how to "relax" with cocaine and prostitutes. After the stock market crashes on Black Friday, Jordan goes into business for himself, opening a "boiler room" firm called Stratton Oakmont and employing his friends as brokers. In no time, Jordan's brand of aggressive, unethical salesmanship makes him millions, which he spends on drugs - particularly cocaine and Quaaludes - and prostitutes.

Jordan meets Naomi LaPaglia, the beautiful trophy girlfriend of one of his clients, and is immediately smitten with her. He cheats on his wife Theresa with Naomi until Theresa catches them in the act and divorces him. He and Naomi get married and have two children, but Jordan still has sex with prostitutes on the side.

Eventually, Jordan's greed and drug addiction grow out of control, and he begins semi-openly breaking the law to make more and more money. He and his right-hand man Donnie Azoff go into business with corrupt attorney Jean-Jacques Saurel to smuggle money in from Switzerland and launder it through Stratton Oakmont, which attracts the attention of the FBI. Jordan agrees to step down from the company in return for immunity from prosecution, but at the last minute changes his mind and reneges on the deal. Jordan decides to travel by yacht to Switzerland to close his Swiss bank account in order to hide money from the Feds, but the yacht is caught in a storm that nearly kills everyone on board. When they are saved at the last minute, Jordan takes it as a sign from God and decides to sober up.

Two years later, Saurel is caught by the police in a petty scam and informs on Jordan in return for a light prison sentence. Jordan is arrested, and makes a deal of his own to inform on his employees in exchange for leniency. In a rare moment of conscience, however, Jordan decides he cannot go through with it and warns Azoff, who turns him in to the Feds to save his own skin. Jordan relapses into drug use, which is the last straw for Naomi, who tells him she is leaving him and taking their children. Enraged, Jordan hits Naomi in the stomach and tries to take their daughter Skyler, but ends up crashing his car.

Jordan is arrested for breaching his deal with the FBI, and is sentenced to three years in a minimum security prison. After he is released, he starts over as a motivational speaker, teaching people how to sell stocks.

Personality

Jordan is the personification of the corrupt, decadent Wall Street lifestyle of the 1980s. Like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, he believes that "greed is good" and that having money makes him superior to everyone else. He takes pleasure in swindling people, deriving excitement from the act of selling even though he knows that the stocks are worthless and that his clients will lose money. He also has a superhuman appetite for drugs and illicit sex; he regularly has sex with prostitutes and consumes "enough drugs to sedate a small country", including cocaine, Quaaludes, morphine, marijuana, and Adderall.

Jordan is not without redeeming qualities, however. He genuinely loves his first wife Theresa and his second wife Naomi, even though he cheats on both of them, and also loves his children and is very close to his father. He also has real affection for his brokers and believes in their potential, going so far as to give a new hire a huge advance on her salary to pay for her children's school tuition because he knows she has it in her to be a success.

Trivia

  • The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street, both of which DiCaprio starred in, came out in 2013.

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