Sure, we’ve previously said that we love movies that are based on actual people or events. But have you ever considered what these actual people thought of the biopics that were based on their real-life stories? How about how much of the storylines in the biopics were actually true? Because let’s face it, Mark Zuckerberg couldn’t have been that much of a loser in university as depicted in “The Social Network”, could he? And what about the story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, whose character was played by the late Robin Williams in “Patch Adams”?
What exactly did WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange have to say about “The Fifth State”?
We find out what these real-life figures thought of their biopics.
You are not ready for this:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a 2013 American black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name. Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, it documents his life from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. And yes, as scandalous as a scandalous film would have it, it also documents Belfort and his cronies partaking in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs, and thrills.
Jordan Belfort’s thoughts on this:
The drug use and the stuff with the hookers and the sales assistants and the sex in the office? That stuff is really, really accurate, and, in some respects, my life was even worse than that. Though I’d say I did more quaaludes than cocaine.
2. The Fifth Estate
“The Fifth Estate” is a 2013 thriller film directed by Bill Condon, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The storyline is based on real events that reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organisation.
Julian Assange’s thoughts on this:
(addressing Benedict Cumberbatch) I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film. I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about. It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation.
3. Erin Brockovich
“Erin Brockovich” is a 2000 biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Susannah Grant. The film is a dramatization of the true story of an unemployed single mother Erin Brockovich (portrayed by Julia Roberts), who fought against the energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). She becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.
Erin Brockovich’s thoughts on this:
I was thrilled to have been a part of Erin Brockovich. It’s kind of weird but it was done right, well meaning, good intentioned that we hope can create more awareness for others so that we can have a safer and better life for every one of us.
4. The Social Network
Although this movie really doesn’t need no introduction, “The Social Network” is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book, “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal”, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook by then Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and the resulting lawsuits filed by 2 brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Mark Zuckerberg’s thoughts on this:
The whole framing of the movie is that I’m with this girl – who doesn’t exist in real life – who dumps me … which has happened in real life, a lot. They (the filmmakers) just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things.
5. Catch Me If You Can
“Catch Me If You Can” is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. His primary crime was check fraud; he became so experienced that the FBI eventually turned to him to help in catching other check forgers.
Frank Abagnale’s thoughts on this:
It’s quite flattering to have Leonardo DiCaprio play you in the movie. He’s a great-looking young man. I have 3 sons so when I mentioned Leo they weren’t very excited. But when they saw the movie, they all agreed he did an incredible job of portraying me.
6. Patch Adams
“Patch Adams” is a 1998 semi-biographical comedy-drama film starring Robin Williams, Monica Potter, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bob Gunton. Directed by Tom Shadyac, it is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams and his book, ‘Gesundheit: Good Health is a Laughing Matter”, by Adams and Maureen Mylander. The film mostly centred on how in the 1970s, medical student Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams treated patients (illegally) using humour.
Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams’ thoughts on this:
Well, I think I understood Hollywood enough when I entered this contract to know that it wasn’t important to get my biography correct.
7. 127 Hours
“127 Hours” is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and produced by Danny Boyle. The film was based on Aron Ralston’s memoir, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” and stars James Franco as real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who became trapped by a boulder in an isolated slot canyon in Blue John Canyon, southeastern Utah, in April 2003. Although it was quite a draggy film, the intense tale of a mountain climber trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone and him having to resort to desperate measures in order to survive was absolutely dripping.
Aron Ralston’s thoughts on this:
The first time that me and (director) Danny Boyle met in 2006, there was actually a large gulf between our visions for this film. My experience of watching it for the first time was incredibly intense, I was in an audience in a theatre and crying from about 20 minutes into the film, all the way through to the end. And not because of a pain that I felt, but because in a lot of ways it reminds me so effectively of what was so important that I got out of that canyon for.