Clint Eastwood had the FBI after him for his latest directorial project, J. Edgar. The organization was worried Eastwood would touch on J. Edgar Hoover's homosexuality, which they argued was based on "vague rumors."
Well, not only did Eastwood touch on it, he sealed it with a same-sex kiss. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the historic figure in the film, and in it, he shares a kiss with actor Armie Hammer. Hollyscoop talked to both Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood about the controversial decision. Leo deflected the question, telling us:
"Oh, you should talk to Clint about that one."
So we did. Regarding the kiss, Eastwood told Hollyscoop: "I just felt like it was the right thing to do."
Eastwood was put under immense pressure during this project. First, he had Hollywood after him, saying he wasn't making the character "gay enough." J. Edgar Hoover was the very first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the movie deals with themes of trust, corruption and morals.
DiCaprio revealed to Hollyscoop that the role was a challenging one.
"The most challenging part of the role was the transformation and flipping back and forth from being in his early twenties and forties all the way up to his seventies," DiCaprio told Hollyscoop.
But if anyone can handle that, it's Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo also explained to us just how influential Hoover was in politics:
"The man stayed in power for eight different presidents over fifty years. He was in that seat of power longer than anyone has been in American politics, and he had his hand in sort of every political activity that went on in the last century."
The movie also focuses on the inner turmoil of J. Edgar, and in the trailer, the character is briefly seen holding Clyde Tolson's hand. Tolson was Hoover's right-hand-man, and the two were reported to have a romantic relationship. Tolson is played by Hammer in the film. Back in September, in regard to that controversy, Eastwood said:
"It's not a movie about two gay guys. I don't give a crap if he was gay or not."
Eastwood continued: "I'd heard all the various controversies and gossip—that he wore dresses at parties. Everybody was saying, maybe he's gay because he'd never gotten married. But that's the way they did it back in the '40s. If a guy didn't get married, they always thought, 'Oh, there's something wrong with him.'"
But after contemplating "the right thing to do," Eastwood added the kiss, placating some of Hollywood. That's when the FBI got their feathers ruffled. Assistant FBI Director Mike Kortan said:
"Vague rumors and fabrications have cropped up from time to time, but there is no evidence in the historical record on this issue."
Either way, the flick is cut and coming to theaters November 9th. With a director like Eastwood behind it, and Leo in the lead, one thing's for certain—it's going to be a movie to remember.