Last night, we got our first taste of Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood‘s “J. Edgar” and while these new pics from EW don’t do much to sway us from the opinion that the actor looks more like himself than he does Hoover, we’ve also yet to see the prosthetic work that will age the actor 50 years over the course of the film. As befits one of the most controversial Americans in history, the film itself will touch on his long-rumored closeted homosexuality, but don’t expect the filmmakers to give you a definite answer on the matter.
“Some people might interpret it that way. Some people might say [he and Tolson] were just inseparable pals. Or maybe it’s a love story without being gay, I don’t know,” Eastwood told the magazine. “But it’s very interesting, the way Lance laid out the script. It was nicely written. It didn’t go to the obvious.”
For “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black — who believes that Hoover’s ultimate mad grip on his power was driven by his own suppressed desire — it’s that question of why Hoover viciously clung to power that drove his vision of the story. “I started to become curious about the ‘why,’ ” said Black. “He did wonderful things for this country, but why did he ended up doing so many things that were heinous and harmful? I think it was all in the name of trying to fill that void, where love goes, with public admiration. This is a guy who from his earliest years was told he could never express the love he felt.”
And while Hoover might have had the dirt on everyone else, his own life was kept very close. “He knew what he could do to everybody else by finding out what their life was like, but on the same token, everything in his life was pretty much kept between he and Helen Gandy and Clyde Tolson,” Eastwood said.
It’s certainly a man whose accomplishments and oddities should make for a fascinating portrait. With a great cast lined up including Armie Hammer, Ed Westwick, Damon Herriman, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts, Ken Howard, Jeffrey Donovan and Stephen Root, this should be one to watch. “J. Edgar” opens on November 9th.