The Wolf of Wall Street and Tulsa King with Terence Winter
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Terence Winter didn’t just write The Wolf of Wall Street – he almost was The Wolf of Wall Street. The 62-year-old creator of Boardwalk Empire – also renowned for penning some of some of the most beloved ever episodes of The Sopranos – was a stone’s throw away from the film’s subject, Jordan Belfort, on the day of the infamous “Black Monday” stock market crash of 1987. They moved in some of the same circles, and Terence – by his own admission – had a certain “conman, bullshit artist” streak to his behaviour as a young man. He sometimes wonders what might have happened had they met in real-life; the degree to which he might have been seduced into a life of selling penny stocks in the hedonistic world of high finance.
Instead, Terence moved to Hollywood in 1991, intent on writing screenplays. What happened next would help define the future of television. The Brooklyn-raised writer, after a brief stint writing for sitcoms, became a man synonymous with American criminality and the humans beings behind the most monstrous behaviour imaginable. He wrote 22 episodes of The Sopranos, including the famous Pine Barrens episode. After that, he stepped out on his own with the Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire, which ran for five brilliant seasons.
This month, Terence added a new show to his list of accomplishments: Tulsa King, co-created with Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan. Starring Sly Stallone as a mobster rebuilding his life and criminal empire following a lengthy stay in prison, it hits some familiar beats for fans of Terence’s work, while also gravitating into exciting new territory. In the conversation you’re about to hear, Terence breaks down his script for The Wolf of Wall Street and gives a spoiler-free guide to how he crafted Tulsa King – delving deep into his unique storytelling philosophies and writing habits.
Script Apart is hosted by Al Horner and produced by Kamil Dymek. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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