Leonardo DiCaprio has stepped into the shoes of Howard Hughes (The Avaitor), and real-life con man Frank Abagnale Jr. (Catch Me if You Can) on the big screen, but his newest project has the actor playing the controversial first Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. DiCaprio admits the role was a especially tough one, but not in the way you might be expecting.
While the veteran actor may have had his acting chops finely tuned to the part, DiCaprio says the hours-long process of prosthetic application used to age the actor required every ounce of focus he had to remain in character.
"It became incredibly claustrophobic," said Leo of the makeup. "Each piece was sort of made to fit my face, over 50 different intricate little pieces that they glued on every day. It was a six-hour process."
DiCaprio explained that after the application, he required "a lot of concentration" to become J. Edgar as he (like most people would) had "every natural tendency to want to rip the makeup off your face because it really confines you."
Luckily Leo only had to endure those excruciatingly long sessions in the makeup chair for only a few weeks, which he credits to director Clint Eastwood. "Thankfully, he organized a schedule where I got to do a lot of the younger J. Edgar Hoover work so we went through the 1920s and then the 1930s and his sort of heyday in the FBI and for the last two weeks."
The soon-to-be-released film chronicles the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's rise as the most powerful man in America for close to 50 years, often bending the rules to keep his countrymen safe through the administrations of eight presidents. A man who put great value on secrets, Hoover had some incredibly startling secrets of his own, from his mother to his lover.
J. Edgar also stars Naomi Watts as Helen Gandy, Hoover's longtime secretary; Armie Hammer as Hoover's closest colleague Clyde Tolson; Josh Lucas as the legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh; and Judi Dench as Hoover's over-protective mother, Annie Hoover.
Don't miss J. Edgar, in theaters everywhere November 11.