Matthew McConaughey Explains Iconic Chest-Thumping Scene in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

by Caitlin Berard

Wolf of Wall Street is not only an award-winning, critically-acclaimed mega-hit, it also produced a number of memorable, highly quotable scenes. The most iconic Wolf of Wall Street scene of all, however, is unquestionably Matthew McConaughey and his chest-thumping ritual.

The best part of all is that the scene is 100% McConaughey. Between takes, Matthew McConaughey thumped on his chest while humming to get into the zone for the coming sequence. Wolf of Wall Street co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio, noted the ritual, and suggested that McConaughey add it to the scene.

By injecting a bit of himself into the Mark Hanna character, Matthew McConaughey created one of the most beloved scenes of his entire career.

In an interview with LadBible, Matthew McConaughey gave fans further insight into the legendary scene. “I mean, it’s music,” McConaughey said. “I love music and I think part of my performances and what I try to bring to these characters is a different type of music, tone, inflection, how they speak, what their words are.”

“And you know, that was so out-there, and Wolf of Wall Street and that scene is so out-there. Then it comes back at the end of the scene, then Leo uses it later in the movie. It was all so odd, but so rhythmically right-on. You’re like, ‘That scene couldn’t have been anything else, but where in the hell did that come from?!'”

Matthew McConaughey Led Austin FC Fans in a ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Chant

Though he invented the Wolf of Wall Street chant, Matthew McConaughey is more than willing to share it with anyone who wants to use it. “It’s funny, it’s anarchic, it’s inconsiderate,” McConaughey told LadBible. “But it’s empowering at the same time, and it’s fun. And everyone can do it.”

“Like I say, you don’t have to go get lessons to do it,” McConaughey continued. “Everyone’s got their own bass. It’s just – here’s the drumstick, here’s the drum. Get your hum on, whatever it is, singing, you can’t do it wrong. There’s no way to do it wrong. And I think people just pick it up and find it fun, and it’s a good pump up.”

“I mean, there are bands all over America and beyond that at games and stuff have their version that the band play. I’ve heard players come out to the batter’s box, or onto a pitch, or called into a game, and that’s their theme chant over the speakers or by the band. It’s very cool.”

Matthew McConaughey believes in the power of his ritual so deeply that he stood on the field ahead of an Austin FC soccer game and led the stadium in the chant. And whether it was skill, luck, fate, or the mystic powers of the chest-thumping chant, the pre-game pump up worked! Austin FC went on to score the biggest win in the club’s history, defeating Cincinnati FC 5-0.