If you happened to catch the Oscar-nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” or even saw the trailer and posters, you may have noticed marching band members dressed only in their underwear parading through the Wall Street offices of Jordan Belfort. The very brave Temple University Marching Band filled that role.
“They needed 25 people to do a recording session for the scene and then do a marching sequence through an office set, and the proposed costume was underwear,” says Dr. Matthew Brunner, director of athletic bands. “When I first heard it, I thought it was a joke. But they explained to me how this actually happened in real life.”
Members of the band recorded John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and rehearsed on set for a day. Then they did a two-day shoot alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill while being directed by Martin Scorsese.
“The band pauses right in front of Leonardo DiCaprio during the sequence, and he was slapping them on the back, and they were like, ‘Oh my God! Leonardo DiCaprio touched me!’” Brunner says.
The music coordinator on “Wolf” went on to work on the new “Annie” remake, starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. When they needed a marching band for a big production number of a “Tomorrow” reprise, they called Temple.
“This scene was great because it was a choreographed sequence with dancers and a crowd on the streets of New York,” Brunner says. “The lead actors are right there mixed in with the band.”
Jamie Foxx, who played the trumpet as a kid, interacted a lot with the band between takes. “He asked a mellophone player if he could try out her instrument and was remembering his fingerings,” Brunner says. “He was really down to earth and a very cool guy. He was joking around, and he asked if we knew any Dr. Dre, and actually the band does. We played something, and he went crazy. And then he asked about Kanye, and we played “All of the Lights!” He was in love after that.”