An expansive biopic about the man who, quietly, had more impact on 20th century American history than any President, businessman or dignitary. An Oscar-winning director, an A-list leading man nominated three times over. And all anyone wants to talk about is the gay thing.
As buzz begins to build up to the Clint Eastwood-directed, Leonardo DiCaprio-starring, "J. Edgar," the question on everybody's mind is not how the filmmaker and his star will tackle the supposed affair between former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and his top assistant, Clyde Tolson (played in the film by Armie Hammer). As filming began on the movie, the FBI reached out to Eastwood in an effort to discredit claims that America's former top cop was secretly gay, and Eastwood assured them publicly that his film would not sensationalize such stories. But there's more to it than that.
Early screenings have revealed that DiCaprio does indeed wear a dress -- another claim about Hoover was that he wore women's clothing -- and kiss Hammer's Tolson, and both DiCaprio and Eastwood discuss that decision in an upcoming feature story in The Hollywood Reporter.
"Whether he was gay remains to be seen," Eastwood tells the magazine. "But [he and Clyde Tolson] were inseparable buddies. Was that becase he didn't trust anybody else or was it a love story? I think they had a great affection; whether it was gay or not, I don't know."
That's a similar sentiment to what Eastwood said to the New York Times in an article published Wednesday.
"Obviously there's a love story here," he said. "Whether it is a gay love story or something else -- well, the audience can interpret it. My intention was to show two men who really love each other, and beyond that it's none of my business."
DiCaprio continues to THR, hinting at some sort of relationship.
"What you cannot doubt is that Clyde Tolson and he had a relationship that spanned most of their life; they lived with each other, had lunch and dinner, and [Hoover] left everything to Clyde," the three time Oscar-nominee says. "Unarguably, they were partners in some sense."
As for the kiss itself, Hammer addressed the smooch scene earlier in the year.
"It wasn't that weird - I have never kissed a guy - it's not something I'm going to do in my private life, but at the end of it I was, like, man, there is a lot of weird hype," he told Entertainment Tonight Canada. "You always have a special relationship with someone when you finish a movie with them, but...he's got a bunch of stuff he is doing after that, I've got a bunch of stuff I'm doing....we didn't start a book club together or anything."
For more, click over to The Hollywood Reporter.