In 2012, Clint Eastwood adapted the life of J. Edgar Hoover to the big screen. For the occasion, he chooses Leonardo DiCaprio to play this former boss of the FBI. The film required a hallucinatory transformation of the actor.
J. Edgar : another success for Clint Eastwood
Filmmaker Clint Eastwood enjoys directing biopics or films centered on American figures. It is in this approach that he staged, in 2012, J. Edgar, a work by J. Edgar Hoover, the former director of the FBI. Indeed, John Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI from May 10, 1924 to May 2, 1972, on the day of his death. He remains to this day the man who remained the longest at the head of a US federal agency.
Clint Eastwood has decided to retrace the history of this influential man of the twentieth century. Casting side, the filmmaker surrounded himself with Leonardo DiCaprio in the skin of J. Edgar, Naomi Watts in Helen Gandy, Armie Hammer in the role of Clyde Tolson or Judi Dench in the clothes of Anne Marie Hoover. Without being considered the best film by Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar is of quality but made a rather shy score at the box office. Indeed, the feature film reported only $ 84 million in box office revenue (for a budget of 35 million).
Leonardo DiCaprio’s mind-blowing transformation
Obviously, the great strength of J. Edgar, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor, once again, offers a performance lived in the skin of this former boss of the FBI. A realistic incarnation that must also much to his physical transformation. Indeed, during the shooting, the actor spent several hours in makeup. He wore a full-face plaster cast, contact lenses, graying hairpieces, braces and a nasal prosthesis. The goal was obviously to age the actor on the screen. For further, DiCaprio even had some real hair pulled out to get even more into the character’s skin.
The transformation was so complete that one day when Clint Eastwood arrived on set, he ran into Leonardo DiCaprio without even recognizing him. The director greeted him without knowing that it was his actor. Leonardo DiCaprio is the fourth actor to portray the historical figure of J. Edgar. Before him, Kevin Dunn had embodied him in Chaplin in 1992, Bob Hoskins in 1995 in Nixon, and Billy Crudup played it in Public Enemies in 2009. Finally, for its participation in J. Edgar, Leonardo DiCaprio was paid $ 2 million, a fee much lower than his usual salaries which amount to 20 million dollars per film.