When Hollywood makes a movie out of someone's life, the "movie" part always takes priority over the "life" part. That philosophy goes beyond the standard amount of complete fakery that you get in every biopic: Movies have to have satisfying endings, even when they're about people who are still alive and out in the world doing their thing. Yet once you turn off a movie, the story isn't over. So what happened to the subjects of biopics once the movie version of their lives ended? Read on to find out.

The Wolf Of Wall Street Is Still Hunting

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Martin Scorsese took a break from mafia movies with The Wolf of Wall Street, though he just focused on a different sort of life of crime. The movie follows Jordan Belfort as he uses legal loopholes to make money off the stock market. It doesn't sound as romantic as life in the mob, but if Belfort was ever sad about that, he could dry his tears with the hundreds of millions of dollars he made off frauds and scams.

Wolf Of Wall Street promo image

Paramount

Not to mention all the sex, drugs, cars, clothes, and yachts, though it's hard to dry your tears on a yacht.

After years of living high on the hog, the movie ends with Belfort's crimes catching up to him, as he's sent to prison and banned from the world of finance. Lucky for him, he becomes a motivational speaker and sales instructor, teaching his secrets for thousands of dollars a pop -- though he only covers the legal stuff, which should probably entitle everyone to a discount.

So What Happened Next?

Even for a guy without a reputation for being to sell anything, getting played by Leonardo DiCaprio in a huge movie is one hell of a sales pitch. Thousands of people looking for financial advice are willing to pay Belfort whatever price he asks for, especially since he's legally required to give all the profits to his victims.

Jordan Belfort on Tai Lopez

Tai Lopez

Sadly, he never offers the advice "stop giving your money to scam artists." 

Then again, he was also legally required to do stuff like "comply with trading regulations" and "not snort a whole pile of cocaine every day", and we all know how that turned out. According to the government, Belfort has only paid back a tiny fraction of what he owes, and has spent most of his time since the movie came out in Australia, where he doesn't have to send one single cent back to the USA.

Even then, the Wolf of Wall Street couldn't keep his paws to himself, and a 2015 investigation found he was raking in Australian tax dollars to give his seminars. It's one more shady deal for Belfort, and it gets shadier when you find out it was handled by a man named “Paul Conquest.”

The Fifth Estate Has Packed Up And Moved

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Julian Assange spent years exposing secret documents on WikiLeaks, and he got pegged on both ends of the spectrum for it: Either he was a heroic crusader single-handedly fighting for truth and justice, or he was a terrorist who was working to destroy the very idea of privacy for anyone.

Julian Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy

Ricardo Patiño

Usually someone getting pegged on both ends looks a lot happier about it.

Somewhere in the middle you have the 2013 movie The Fifth Estate, where Assange was played by Benedict Cumberbatch -- again, either an honor or an insult depending on how you look at it. Anthony Mackie and Daniel Bruhl co-starred -- that's the Falcon and Zemo to go along with Dr. Strange, because the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become way more powerful than any government or corporation WikiLeaks went after.

The movie ends with Assange as a political refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, since pretty much every other country on the planet was ready to turn him over to the people whose dirty laundry he aired out.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate

Walt Disney Pictures

He gets to live rent-free in the middle of London? Asylum has its perks!

So What Happened Next?

For a start, WikiLeaks kept doing its thing: They published everything from the Democratic Party's emails to secret messages about Assange himself being under foreign surveillance while he was in the embassy. That's some real meta snooping, like cyberstalking yourself to find an old address you can't remember.

Snapperjack/Wiki Commons

“It was this great property in the middle of London, and I didn’t have to pay a cent.”

Unfortunately for him, Ecuador ended up joining everyone else on their shit list in 2019. Assange was kicked out and put in a British prison, where he's only allowed out to go to court and argue that his punishment shouldn't be even harsher. Just like the movie itself, we can't really give you a definitive ending here, since it's all still going on -- for all we know, Julian Assange is in the next Ant-Man movie.

The People Behind The Social Network Cleaned Up

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The Social Network showed us that Facebook didn't spring fully-formed out of Mark Zuckerberg's pallid, clammy skull. The website would be just one more weird, creepy thing about the Ivy League without Eduardo Saverin, who co-founded the site, and the Winklevoss twins, who hired Zuckerberg to work on a social networking site before anyone knew what a poke was.

The movie shows how Zuckerberg assumed full control over Facebook, by ignoring all of Saverin's decisions until he quit in disgust, and settling up with the twins by paying them a small fraction of his billion-dollar fortune. In exchange, he gets to sit alone, atop the trash pile that is everything Facebook has done for the world

Winklevoss twins in The Social Network

Columbia Pictures

It's impressive to be the creepiest person in a confrontation with blonde identical twins.

So What Happened Next?

Now that they aren't involved with Facebook, Saverin and the Winklevi haven't been in the headlines the same way Zuckerberg has -- especially not the headlines about terrible haircuts or pathetic attempts to seem relatable. What have they been doing with themselves? The short answer is getting rich. 

Facebook's co-founder Eduardo Saverin at the 8th annual edition of the CHINICT conference on May 25th 2012 in Beijing, China.

Gravesv38/Wiki Commons

Money, privacy, and people thinking you look like Andrew Garfield instead of this -- what more could you want?

Saverin has given up US citizenship and is officially a resident of Singapore, which he promises is only because he loves Kaya toast so much, and totally not because it's laughably easy to get away paying zero taxes there. The setup has worked, and his fortune has gone well into eleven figures (that's tens of billions for everyone too poor to have a working calculator app). He was briefly the wealthiest man in the entire country, and if you've seen Crazy Rich Asians, you have some sense of the competition there

Meanwhile, you know that one friend of yours, who constantly regrets that he didn't buy Bitcoin back when it first started out and was really cheap? Maybe you should make sure that friend doesn't find out what the Winklevoss twins did with the money Zuckerberg paid them to get off their backs. 

Winklevoss twins in March 2010

cellanr/Wiki Commons

"A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A few dozen Bitcoin having the same value."

The twins were a laughingstock for buying over ten million dollars' worth of the cryptocurrency nearly a decade ago, but in a classic case of "who's laughing now?", their investment has grown to over a billion dollars for each twin. It makes sense that the guys who thought "Maybe Mark Zuckerberg could help us with our social network" would also be the guys to think "Maybe there's something to this cryptocurrency idea."

The Disaster Artist Is Still Chasing The Dream

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Speaking of that one friend we all have, The Disaster Artist is the story of that one friend who won't stop talking about his screenplay, with the twist that he's somehow a multimillionaire who can finance and direct the thing completely solo. Tommy Wiseau was just a guy trying to break into the film industry, and instead he just ended up making something broken.

Still from The Room

Chloe Productions

Something torn apart. 

Wiseau's movie The Room became a notorious cult object, and he and his friend and costar Greg Sestero became the center of an entire fandom. The two of them both found themselves massively successful, bigger stars in their weird ironic way than some normal Hollywood actors. Whatever you think of The Room, it's clearly the work of ambitious people, the kind of ambition that means they would want to do more.

So What Happened Next?

You hear about A-list and B-list celebrities and so on, but it's hard to find a list for the stars of The Room -- you'd have to dip into Dr. Seuss' On Beyond Zebra letters. But in his own way, Tommy has had the kind of career you'd expect for a weird celebrity. He's popped up in everything from Tim and Eric to Samurai Cop 2 to a short-lived Machinima show. He was campaigning for an appearance in the WWE before the pandemic -- which makes sense, because he definitely gives off a "body destroyed by years of mystery potions and blunt force trauma" vibe. 

Tommy Wiseau

WENN

He doesn't look like The Undertaker. Looks like he needs an undertaker, though. 

Behind the camera, Tommy made a barely seen series called The Neighbors for Hulu -- which means that theoretically, he could show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- and starred in a movie Greg wrote called Best F(r)iends. The two friends are returning to the silver screen with a horror movie called Big Shark due out sometime, soon, but just like all their other projects, it probably won't come anywhere close to the popularity of The Room, since people who want the special Tommy Wiseau brand of complete insanity can just follow him on social media.

Uh, A Beautiful Mind's Triumphant Ending Got Ruined By Reality

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Before "game theory" was a thing you heard in memes from five years ago (piggybacking off memes from years ago, it was a sexy new branch of mathematics. The idea of applying math to games for the sake of understanding the logic behind the competition, instead of just for winning the game, became seriously hot in the 1950s thanks to people like John Nash.

Nash's story was told in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, which shows how he developed paranoid schizophrenia during the Cold War. If you squint, you can sorta see the steps of logic from "the dynamics of any competition can be mathematically predicted" to "the commies are out to get me because I figured that out!"

A Beautiful Mind

Universal

"Too many papers to grade? Shitty administrators? Lazy grad students? All communism, baby!"

Most of the movie is total Hollywood B.S. but it's completely true he was able to recover enough to win the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 for his continuing work on game theory. That work consisted of a lot more complicated math and a lot less pickup artist technique than you see in the movie, but true mind-beauty is on the inside, we guess.

So What Happened Next?

Nash was mostly retired by the time A Beautiful Mind came out, but like a lot of people on this list, a movie where you're a visionary hero played by a sexy actor can really boost your reputation. After the movie came out, his life became one long celebration of itself up until then -- Nash was racking up prizes, awards and honorary degrees like they were those phony credit cards that come in the mail. Life isn't a game, but it's hard to think of a clearer win condition.

John Nash pictured in 2011

Economicforum/Wiki Commons

"I didn't have to go to a single class for this! That'll show my commie grad students!"

Tragically, because life isn't a game, things ended in a completely chaotic and random way. In 2015, he and his wife were both killed in a car crash coming home from the airport after Nash had been on a trip to get yet another award. (They were both launched out of the cab, not wearing seatbelts.) It's a gruesome, Final Destination-esque fate for a guy who had beaten the odds and a depressing surprise for audience members who Googled “what's John Nash up to these days” minutes after finishing the movie.

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