An interesting story recently caught our eyes and one that contradicts everything we’ve heard about and read from Clint Eastwood‘s ‘J.Edgar,’ his biopic of FBI Bureau chief J. Edgar Hoover.
Leonardo DiCaprio is playing Hoover, Naomi Watts now has the role of his faithful, life-long assistant and ‘Social Network‘ breakout star Armie Hammer is taking on Clyde Toulson, Hoover’s right-hand man and alleged lover. There’s nary a second of sex in the script and instead just sexual tension and innuendo, but recent comments from Hammer suggest the exact opposite. He told E! Online recently (via Anne Thompson) that the duo will be making out onscreen.
“It’s not a kissing scene—it’s a ton of kissing scenes,” Hammer smiled. “I’m not nervous or afraid of it being awkward. The script is great. The scenes are in there for a reason. I’m really excited.”
Curious. Having read the last five scripts of the films he’s made and then seen the finished product we know, for better or worse, Eastwood never changes a hair on the head of any script he’s directing, once he’s decided it’s something he likes and is going to helm (see “Hereafter,” a screenplay Peter Morgan said was an unfinished first draft that he was surprised was made in that embryonic form).
Eastwood’s already said himself Hoover’s gay life wasn’t of much interest. “He was a very complex person. The homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems. But he was also very clever, whether rightfully or wrongfully, he was very clever about keeping himself in a certain position in life, so it is an interesting study,” Eastwood remarked last fall.
And our review of Dustin Lance Black‘s script says, “there’s a few seeds relating to Hoover’s sexuality planted early on, although they don’t start to pay off until he meets Clyde Toulson, at the beginning of the second act. Due to Hoover’s deeply closeted nature, however, the relationship is never consummated; when Toulson makes a move on his boss, the two even come to blows. It’s clearly the most important relationship in the script, and the emotional hinge of the piece. Hoover’s sexuality is the driving force of the film, and you couldn’t miss it, but its treatment is quite subtle, for the most part, and some of the grandstanding from “Milk” has been toned down. This life of repression is where the real emotional sting comes, particularly in a quietly devastating scene where Hoover attempts to confess all to his mother. The cross-dressing is hinted at in only one key scene, and in a very different manner from that which you’d expect.”
So where’s the confusion? Well, yes, it is entirely conceivable we read an old draft, but it’s E! for one so its also entirely possible that Hammer is fucking with the network (we would). So while it sounds good and makes for good copy. Make out sessions between Hoover and Toulson? Hmm, we won’t be convinced until we see it on screen.
“J. Edgar” stars DiCaprio, Watts, Hammer, Josh Lucas as famed aviator Charles Lindbergh; Ed Westwick as Agent Smith, an operative gifted with writing skills; Damon Herriman as Bruno Hauptmann, the man convicted of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby; Judi Dench as Hoover’s mother; and Ken Howard will play lawyer and jurist Harlan F. Stone. Production should be shooting in L.A. any minute now if it’s not already. While there’s no release date for the picture yet, Eastwood is a notoriously fast shooter and he could easily have the picture turned around for the late fall season, the time of year WB has released his last four films.