Clint Eastwood Says He'll Keep J. Edgar's Sexual Orientation 'Open to Interpretation'

J-Edgar_630.jpgOh, great. Just when we thought Armie Hammer's kiss with Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood's upcoming J. Edgar Hoover biopic was going to be explosive, Eastwood himself is confirming that he's leaving the first FBI director's sexual orientation "open to interpretation." I know a certain TV personality who might have damning evidence to the contrary.

Eastwood says that the rumored affair/relationship between Hoover and his Associate FBI director Clyde Tolson isn't exactly a sure bet: "Some people might say [they] were just inseparable pals. Or maybe it's a love story without being gay, I don't know. But it's very interesting, the way [Dustin] Lance [Black] laid out the script. It was nicely written. It didn't go to the obvious."

First of all, Tim Gunn told us that during his childhood, he's pretty sure he talked to J. Edgar Hoover while he was dressed up as Vivian Vance. That doesn't make J. Edgar Hoover gay, but that does mean he, y'know, dresses up as Vivian Vance. Makes you think J. Edgar Hoover had firm answers about his own sexual orientation, and none of the ambiguity that Eastwood describes. Plus, J. Edgar Hoover was a real person, not a literary character. Can we stop pretending there's anything to "interpret" about whether he preferred to sleep with men?

Mind you, there've been plenty of biopics featuring main characters whose sexual preferences remain nebulous: For instance, in 1977's Julia, Jane Fonda, as playwright Lillian Hellman, attacks a restaurant patron who questions her relationship with the titular activist. The difference between the ambiguity in that movie and in the ambiguity in J. Edgar is how that gray area relates to the public perception of the real-life subjects. Lillian Hellman is a fascinating figure for reasons other than her rumored romances, but I'd argue that J. Edgar Hoover's (allegedly) closeted behavior is central to his intrigue. I can't see how the movie will function without fully exploring his emotional side, but whatever: Maybe we'll still get an "interpretable" Armie Hammer kiss out of it! Or a couple of knowing stares! Or some fancy, arguably gay lighting!

Clint Eastwood Says Hoover's Sexuality 'Open to Interpretation; [HitFix]


  • The WInchester says:

    "I know a certain TV personality who might have damning evidence to the contrary. "
    Is it Bert or Ernie

  • Jen Yamato says:

    They're just friends! Very special friends...

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Is it wrong that I want to see Hoover as Vance exchange a forbidden kiss with William Frawley?

  • bierce says:

    Thanks, Clint, for not going too far with the gay thing. Wouldn't want to make the movie... y' know... too... interesting.

  • tn says:

    Awww another a-list movie with homosexual subtext and no peen. i'll see it anyway.

  • KevyB says:

    I would have problems with a movie that flat-out showed us Hoover having a gay affair when really all there is to back that up is innuendo. There hasn't been any real proof one way or the other. Would anyone else here want their history revealed without any proof? Hoover was a massive tool and portraying him as a pathetic closet case would be fairly awesome, but I'm sick of Hollywood making up whatever they want and then trying to call it a "biopic".

  • Andrew says:

    The guy was a proven cross dresser. He lived with the deputy director of the FBI and when he died he left his entire estate to the guy.
    They were a gay couple.
    Why do you think he was so obsessed with gathering and using other people's secrets? It was projection. HE didn't want to be blackmailed about being in the closet, so he blackmailed everyone he could FIRST.

  • AS says:

    I feared this would happen. Eastwood is going to do a complete white wash of Hoover. I think Clint is way overrated as a director.

  • knowjack says:

    I think we all learned from "Midnight In the Garden of Evil" that Eastwood is not the go-to guy for any movie dealing with homosexuality. He turned the main character in that straight and even cast his daughter as the love interest!

  • sosgemini says:

    Some of you all need some serious LGBT education. Being a cross-dresser does *not* make you gay. A guy sucking another guy's penor makes you gay. There are some straight men who enjoy (or, errr, get off) on wearing woman's clothes but that does not (always) make them gay.
    Get it?

  • bierce says:

    I don't go to see Shakespeare's Julius Caesar expecting to learn the true history of ancient Rome, and I don't go to a Hollywood entertainment movie expecting to be taught what I could read in history books. Speculation is fun.

  • bierce says:

    But Hoover is rumored to have been both a cross-dresser and gay. so what's your complaint?

  • sosgemini says:

    My complaint is that people, within this thread, are using the fact that he was a cross-dresser as evidence that he was gay when those two are not exclusive.
    Cha get?