Jonah Hill's Work On The Wolf Of Wall Street Included Taking A Real Beating From Jon Bernthal

It's no secret that "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a tale of a man whose penchant for excess affected every aspect of his lavish, selfish lifestyle. A cautionary tale of epic proportions, the seemingly implausible nature of Jordan Belfort's drug-laced journey is felt from start to finish. Martin Scorsese lets the audience indulge themselves in the wild true story with every (very) expensive frame of the movie. From having a suit-wearing chimpanzee stroll around the offices of Stratton Oakmont to depicting a mile-high orgy on an airplane for a bachelor party, "The Wolf of Wall Street" lived up to its name. One scene, in particular, literally didn't pull any punches, much to Jonah Hill's disappointment.

In the latter half of "The Wolf of Wall Street," Brad (Jon Bernthal) gets fed up with the antics of Donnie (Jonah Hill). The scene has Brad punch the snot out of Donnie, which was pretty well-deserved. However, Hill may have begged to differ before filming it. The Oscar-nominated actor got punched by Bernthal for real in the comedic sequence. Despite many attempts to fake the punch, the real thing proved too great of an idea for the filmmakers to pass up. Even Hill looks back fondly at the scene. Post-punch, of course.

'Try hitting him for real'

In a 2018 interview with Vanity Fair, Jonah Hill explained the creative process that led to Jon Bernthal actually punching him on-screen, which started at the top with Martin Scorsese:

"I had stayed in character that whole time with him, and had kind of been talking s*** to him in the makeup trailer every day. And I was like 'Oh, it's just acting.' [...] We go back in the room. Marty's in there going, 'It looks stupid. It looks fake.' Leo[nardo DiCaprio] and I are sitting on a tiny little couch, and Jon is pacing back and forth, and I'm not scared because, you know, it's just a movie. And Marty's like, 'Why don't you try hitting him for real?'"

Despite looking for reassurance from his good friend, Leonardo DiCaprio didn't do much to stop the inevitable. "Long story short: Jon punches me in the face, and it's one of my favorite scenes I've ever acted in," Hill recalled. Once an inspired idea like that was in the air, it was tough to get it out of their heads. Hill's face soreness probably didn't last that long, either. He was nominated for an Academy Award, and the final product was well worth the price of admission.  

Bernthal actually punching Hill in "The Wolf of Wall Street" is honestly not that shocking, all things considered. In another scene, Hill put a live fish in his mouth. I imagine a punch to the face by the "Punisher" himself was probably worse, though.