Alex Blaze

Tons of Kissing in Hoover Biopic

Filed By Alex Blaze | February 04, 2011 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: biopic, Clyde Tolson, J. Edgar Hoover, leonardo dicaprio

"It's not a kissing scene. It's a ton of kissing scenes. I actually just met [DiCaprio] for the first time Saturday at the DGA Awards. He's a talented actor. I am not nervous or afraid of it being awkward. The script is great. The scenes are in there for a reason."

--Armie Hammer, who plays opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming biopic of J. Edgar Hoover

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Uh, Clyde Tolson died 36 years ago this April. Armie Hammer plays Tolson opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming biopic of "J'Edgar."

And no less than superstar DiCaprio himself visited Movement icon Frank Kameny in the latter's home a couple of weeks ago to discuss Kameny's personal encounters with the FBI years back, including their request that he stop sending J'Edgar copies of the Mattachine DC newsletter.

"To the dismay of the agents, Kameny said he told them he could not make any decision on the matter without first consulting the Mattachine board of directors. He said he and the group, after conferring over the matter, agreed that they would not remove Hoover from their mailing list unless he agreed to certain conditions, including his designation of another high-level FBI official to receive the newsletter and that the newsletter would still occasionally be sent to Hoover to inform him of important developments.

In a phone interview Thursday, Kameny said the group sent a letter to the FBI agent informing him of those conditions.

'It said we would remove him from our mailing list but we wanted somebody else to be substituted and within the framework of the agreement we reserved the right, if the newsletter had some special item of particular relevance to J. Edgar, to send him that issue', Kameny said.

'We never got a response, and that was the end of it', said Kameny, who added that the group continued sending Hoover the newsletter for as long as the group kept publishing it—possibly for another few years." - Washington Blade, January 20, 2011.

And before anyone repeats the myth in heavy rotation again because of the film, no, Tolson and his lifetime BFF Hoover are not buried side-by-side.

Thanks for providing that fact, Michael! You have a great memory for such information.

I'm one of those who don't think the film project's director, Clint Eastwood, is quite as "gay friendly" as some others do. But script writer Dustin Lance Black insists that the alleged 40-year affair between Tolson and Hoover will be included. Still, whatever their sexuality, no serious movie about Hoover could either leave out how much the subject of OTHER people's homosexuality played a role in the history of the FBI which is, of course, until his death, Hoover's history, too. At least DiCaprio's visit with Kameny is encouraging about that.

From raiding a gay brothel in New York City in 1942 to harassing the publishers of the gay magazine "ONE" in the early 50s after they wrote of Hoover's possible gaiety [see below] to harassing gay government employees during the McCarthy era [McCarthy himself allegedly gay, and definitely aided by publicly closeted gay monster Roy Cohn] to , as noted above, demanding Kameny stop sending Hoover copies of his DC Mattachine newsletter in the 60s to providing Nixon's right hand thug, Halderman, with a list of gay reporters he could try to intimidate he'd asked for in the 70s.

That article about the at least BFFs in a 1953 edition of “ONE” is thought to have led to the magazine’s first trouble with the US Postal Service, which in turn led to a precedent-setting Supreme Court free speech ruling. The following is an excerpt of an interview with the late Jim Kepner in “Making Gay History” by Eric Marcus:

“That article attracted the interest of the FBI. Much later, through the Freedom of Information Act, we found a note from Hoover to Tolson, which I have a copy of somewhere in storage, saying, ‘We’ve got to get these bastards’. There was also a note to the post office from Hoover urging them to check into ONE.

At the same time as the seizure, the FBI showed up at ONE’s office wanting to know who had written the article about Hoover. They also came to visit me a couple of times and visited most members of the staff. One of the FBI agents sat right there in that chair. I was nervous; it was a tense situation. They asked me if a couple of members of the staff were Communists, and I hooted and said that they were very conservative. They were. I probably shouldn’t have even told them that. I did say that I had been a member of the Communist party and that I had been kicked out for being gay. They wanted me to name people I had known in the Party and what they did. I owed no thanks to the Party for kicking me out, but I would not.”