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Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood on Gay Issues, 'J Edgar'

In the new issue of GQ, Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio discuss the gay element in J Edgar, Eastwood's forthcoming biopic of FBI director J Edgar Hoover.

Dicaprio First, a little talk about same-sex marriage.

Says Eastwood to GQ:

"These people who are making a big deal about gay marriage?" I don’t give a f**k about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of ... Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want."

DiCaprio: "That's the most infuriating thing--watching people focus on these things. Meanwhile, there's the onset of global warming and these incredibly scary and menacing things with the future of our economy."

As for the gay element in the film (via USA Today), Eastwood says:

"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....[Associate FBI director Clyde Tolson and he] were inseparable pals. Now, whether he was gay or not is gonna be for the audience to interpret. It could have been just a great love story between two guys. Or it could have been a great love story that was also a sexual story...It's not a movie about two gay guys. It's a movie about how this guy manipulated everybody around him and managed to stay on through nine presidents. I mean, I don't give a crap if he was gay or not.""

Says DiCaprio:

"What we're saying is that he definitely had a relationship with Tolson that lasted for nearly fifty years. Neither of them married. They lived close to one another. They worked together every day. They vacationed together. And there was rumored to be more. There are definite insinuations of—well, I'm not going to get into where it goes, but…If I were a betting man, I actually don't know what I would bet [regarding his sexuality]."

Armie Hammer Opposes Inauthentic Gay Lovers, Chest Waxing [tr]
Leonardo DiCaprio as J Edgar Hoover: New Film Still [tr]
J Edgar Gets Release Date [tr]
Armie Hammer Discusses Weird Hype About Kissing a Guy [tr]

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  1. love Leo! he is a great actor and handsome man!

    Posted by: custom dissertation | Sep 14, 2011 9:27:38 AM

  2. It's kind of difficult to think that Lance Black, who wrote the screenplay, wouldn't have had an opinion on Hoover's sexuality, or that you'd know how to play it or direct it without having a point of view. I guess the movie will tell.

    Posted by: frank o'file | Sep 14, 2011 9:31:51 AM

  3. They are either being extremely coy, or the rumored gay angle has been straight-washed from the production. I'm betting on the latter.

    Posted by: Karl | Sep 14, 2011 9:36:47 AM

  4. Eastwood straight washed the gay right out of the lead character of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, so nothing surprises me. Hoover was absolutely gay and I don't need Eastwood to tell me one way or the other.

    Posted by: MrJ | Sep 14, 2011 9:55:21 AM

  5. And it looks like the cover is Leo asking me if I'm horny. That's while I'll be buying this issue.

    Posted by: MrJ | Sep 14, 2011 9:59:24 AM

  6. Clint Eastwood is a Republican so that tells you all you need to know.

    I love the whole "I don't give a s**t if someone is gay or not" meme. Oh please, it's tired and a lie. EVERYONE cares if someone is gay or not.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Sep 14, 2011 10:17:33 AM

  7. Was J. Edgar Hoover gay? Well, I guess it depends on how you define gay or homosexual. If you accept Roy Cohn's definition, then Hoover wasn't homosexual, he was just a very powerful man who liked to have sex with other men. Hoover was also smart. He knew one of the best protections against blackmail was to have enough material on hand to blackmail any potential blackmailer. He was very clever and in his position very well equipped to have all the material he needed in his files to thwart any potential extortion plot.

    This is how he survived in office for so long. He had the "dirt" on everyone. He knew where literally all the "bodies were buried". LBJ justified keeping Hoover in position when all his advisers wanted Hoover out by telling them it was better to have Hoover "in the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in."

    Were I a betting man, I'd bet Hoover was a big ole girl. A vicious, closeted, self hating queen. Just like Roy Cohn. Powerful gay Republicans have never changed down through the years. They're just the same today as in the 50's. I think he and Tolson were lovers. But,no one will ever really know for sure.

    Posted by: Bob R | Sep 14, 2011 10:30:41 AM

  8. Hoover had such overwhelming difficulty in expressing emotion I seriously doubt that he ever did the deed with Clyde. Of course he loved him. Of course he was gay. But he was also totally messed up.

    Hoover wasn't like Roy Cohn at all. Cohn ran around with other men openly. He even used to take his boytoy du jour with him on his dates with Barbara Walters (who longed to marry Roy and constantly warned him that he would be "lonely" if he didn't marry her.) I can't imagine J. Edgar and Clyde at Studio 54 -- and neither can anyone else. They were both DEEPLY REPRESSED.

    Ive no doubt Eastwood's film will be replete with longing looks and chocked sobs. IOW "Brokeback Mountain" it ain't.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 14, 2011 10:54:16 AM

  9. They need to rename the movie "Gay Edgar Hoover".

    Posted by: shle896 | Sep 14, 2011 10:56:13 AM

  10. The angle that never seems to get articulated about so-called "self-hating" homosexuals is that the "shameful, despicable nature" they paradoxically abhor is part – if not the central aspect – of the erotic appeal. Dirty, disgusting, "wrong" sex has an enormously intoxicating effect on such men, to the point where the preservation of categorical rejection is part and parcel of maintaining the thrill.

    Posted by: rascal | Sep 14, 2011 10:59:10 AM

  11. I don't really buy the "J Edgar Hoover wore dresses!" business. There were rumors about Hoover and Tolson when they were alive, but everyone was scared of Hoover and hated him so after he was gone the "he wore dresses" thing was good way to get revenge.

    But yeah, I think he was gay whether he acted on it or not. Profiler John Douglas, one of the original members of the FBI's BAU (profiling unit), said something in one of his books about meeting Hoover when he first joined the FBI; despite Douglas having longer-than-regulation hair Hoover singled him out as a great potential agent and Douglas got a "vibe" from him that the praise had more to do with his physical appeal than anything else.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 14, 2011 12:20:31 PM

  12. It's so funny how they both list so many obvious facts about Hoover and Tolson, then end up by saying they don't care or the conclusions are unclear. Is homo-apathy the new homophobia?

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 14, 2011 1:36:21 PM

  13. wth? why all the tiptoeing around the gay subject? oh well I've always thought dicraprio was a hack anyway. only thing he ever did was gilbert grape. but eastwood has really come down in my esteem with this pussyfooting around about hoover's homosexuality. of course he was gay, everyone knew it who worked with him and even my parents knew way way back in the 60's.

    Posted by: wtf | Sep 14, 2011 2:17:35 PM

  14. "Hoover had such overwhelming difficulty in expressing emotion I seriously doubt that he ever did the deed with Clyde."

    Please. He was close with another men for 50 years, his emotional problems weren't THAT bad.

    Posted by: Peron | Sep 14, 2011 4:03:22 PM

  15. Yeah, it sounds like they're tip-toeing the gay/same-gender love stuff, which (sadly) is what many str8 people do. "the movie isn't about being gay, it's about two people in love." what a copout!

    Posted by: Stan L | Sep 14, 2011 5:32:53 PM

  16. "I don't care if he was gay..."

    That's what straight people say about someone powerful or admirable or interesting who's gay...

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Sep 14, 2011 5:59:34 PM

  17. @SHLE896 yesssss! best comment ever.

    Posted by: billy | Sep 14, 2011 5:59:49 PM

  18. @KARL/I agree. Despite what JLB said, if the gay angle doesn't test well with audiences it'll be whitewashed out of the film. I think it's pretty clear that's what has happened.

    Posted by: ian | Sep 14, 2011 8:53:43 PM

  19. It's a movie about "the love that dare not speak its name."

    Who knows what Hoover and Tolson did behind closed doors? Or even on top of J. Edgar's desk!

    If they weren't gay, then what's the movie about? Two government office workers who kept their files in order?

    Posted by: Hysterical Record | Sep 14, 2011 10:24:28 PM

  20. I wish someone would investigate the probable gay milieu that existed in Warren Harding's administration. It was that period that J.Edgar joined the Feds. It seems that a gay men were the forces supporting Harding for many decades

    Posted by: Von Lmo | Sep 15, 2011 5:27:10 AM

  21. I'm straight and I don't care who is gay or straight. I want to live in a world where that is the case with everyone.

    I don't want gay friends.
    I don't want black friends.
    I don't want Muslim friends.

    I want friends.

    If you act like you're living in the world you want to live in eventually it will happen.

    Posted by: Rin | Sep 15, 2011 9:49:52 AM

  22. Humans will always value differences over similarities. Get used to it.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Sep 15, 2011 2:42:37 PM

  23. What's wrong with being apathetic towards gay people? I'm apathetic towards straight people. I honestly don't care if someone is gay or straight. It's kind of irrelevant in the scheme of things.

    There is no such thing as homophobia. It's a myth created by gay activists so you can't argue with them. As for Hoover, I have no idea if he was gay or not, but it seems logical that he might have been. I do think it is a very unfair thing to assume that a person is a homosexual for not marrying.

    "I hate men, but I'm not a lesbian." Elaine from Seinfeld

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 16, 2011 8:34:45 PM

  24. It is extremely rude for people to gay guys that it is somehow wrong for them to want to know if someone like Hoover was gay or straight. After centuries of "are you gay or not?" being a cipher for "should we execute you, castrate you, imprison you, or fire you"--a cipher only now increasingly destroyed by openness and anti-discrimination laws and attitudes--to act like it doesn't matter if some famous official was gay or not is poppycock. Alexander the Great's sexuality is extraordinarily relevant--to say we had an amazing leader who loved the same sex--powerful stuff. To know Hoover's sexuality is to understand how repression leads to paranoia and fear--how fear of discovery as a deviant can define a person, and unconventionality can poison someone on the supposed empathy and humanity that should prevent us from ruining other people's lives. Hoover's sexuality is extremely important--and anyone who says otherwise is being disingenuous. Not discriminating against someone because they are gay is not the same thing as indifference to their sexuality--covering your ears with your hands and screaming while a person tries to come out to you is hardly demonstrating your tolerance.

    Posted by: Max | Sep 22, 2011 2:39:15 PM

  25. Hoover was most definitly GAY. I am actually proud of him for hiding this secret with such tasteful alacrity.

    Posted by: Basra | Oct 1, 2011 3:15:06 PM

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