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Exclusive interview with 'Wolf of Wall Street' star P.J. Byrne

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P.J. Byrne plays Nicky Koskoff aka Rugrat in Paramount Pictures' highly anticipated holiday event "The Wolf of Wall Street," out Dec. 25. He is called Rugrat because his character wears funny hairpiece. Byrne's character assists Jordan Belfort in his company Stratton Oakmont's fraudulent rise to greatness.

Tell me about the casting process?

Byrne: I improvised a monologue and then Mark Scorsese saw it and I freaked out, I flew out to New York to meet him and he makes you feel as comfortable as possible in an eighth of a second.

What did you say in your monologue that convinced Scorsese to cast you?

Byrne: I made up a monologue where I called up a guy trying to sell him a stock and I found out he passed away and I ended up selling a hundred thousand dollars to his wife - to the widow.

Tell me about how you immersing yourself in this world of partying and debauchery?

Byrne: You can't immerse yourself, you kind of just need to leave your morals and ethics out of the door because if you do that you might die.

How was it working with Leo?

Byrne: He is a stud. I think the biggest thing about Leo that everyone should know is he is one of the greatest improvisers around. I mean Jonah obviously is godly, but not enough people know how funny he is and what a great improvisor he is.

How was it working with Scorsese?

Byrne: Who is that? He is our iconic great director and he is a great communicator and he makes you feel like you are the biggest guy in the world and he gives you so much confidence because we improvised so much and you don't want to let him down, but you never feel like you do.

Did you meet the person that your character is based on?

Byrne: No, I did not. It is sort of an amalgamation of some other people.

Bo Dietl plays himself in the film.

How did you get involved with this movie?

Bo: I actually was involved in 1990's in the original Stratton Oakmont and I protected Jordan and it was kind of easy to play my own part and I play Bo Dietl in the movie and I am Bo Dietl.

What did you think when you found out they were making a movie about Jordan's life?

Bo: I said wow imagine having one of the greatest actors playing your part. Jordan is a very lucky guy having a greatest director and the greatest actor playing his part.

How was it working with Leo?

Bo: One of the greatest people to work with. He makes you feel so comfortable. You know he is one of the best actors there is out there and to work with him was just thrilling.

Did you talk to Jordan?

Bo: I talked to Jordan last week. He'll be here tonight.

What did he think of the film?

Bo: How could he not think of the film. You have the greatest actor playing you, with the greatest director. I wouldn't mind him playing one tough cop.

The New York premiere was held at the Ziegfeld Theater and was presented by Giorgio Armani and a party followed at Roseland Ballroom.


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