See Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff in 'Wizard of Lies' Clip - Rolling Stone
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See Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff in Gripping ‘Wizard of Lies’ Trailer

Michelle Pfeiffer also stars in HBO’s Barry Levinson-directed film

HBO has unveiled a new trailer for The Wizard of Lies, which stars Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff, the now-imprisoned financier who perpetrated a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that’s recognized as the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.

The Barry Levinson-directed film addresses Madoff’s deceptions surrounding his crime and the profound effect it had on his victims and family. The trailer doesn’t hold back on displaying the callous side of its subject: Madoff is seen bilking an investor for more money and vehemently reprimanding his eight-year-old granddaughter for innocently asking about how things are going on Wall Street.

When it comes to his dealings with other family, he’s continually unsympathetic. Wife Ruth Madoff (portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer) tells her husband she’s tired of being hated. “You got yourself into trouble, you couldn’t get out, ” she says. “Why does the world hate me? They all think I’m some kind of a mastermind.” “Take it as a compliment, Ruth,” Bernie responds.

The clip also shows Madoff pleading guilty in court, while his victims recount how his unconscionable actions ruined their lives. In December 2008, Madoff was arrested for securities fraud. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

Alessandro Nivola, Nathan Darrow, Kristen Connolly, Lily Rabe and Hank Azaria co-star in the film.

The Wizard of Lies premieres on May 20th on HBO.


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