December 22, 2011 4:44pm PT by Scott Feinberg
First Look at 'J. Edgar' Clips, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, and Q&A Highlights (Exclusive Video)
I'm very pleased to exclusively debut for visitors to "The Race" a special featurette about the awards hopeful J. Edgar -- the Clint Eastwood film that was based on an original screenplay by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and stars four-time Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) -- that Warner Brothers will soon be disseminating across the Web.
Last week, DiCaprio's performance as longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover earned him best actor nods from the BFCA, SAG, and HFPA -- a combination that all but guarantees an Oscar nod -- while Hammer's turn as Clyde Tolson, Hoover's chief deputy and rumored lover, earned him a best supporting actor nod from SAG, which is the single best predictor of acting Oscar nods.
The featurette intersperses clips of the film and behind-the-scenes production footage with highlights of a Q&A that the New York Times' Charles McGrath moderated with the aforementioned individuals on November 4 (I attended the event and chatted with Eastwood afterwards), the day after the film's world premiere kicked off the 25th AFI Fest, and just minutes after the film screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of a weekend-long tribute to Eastwood.
Some personal favorite moments:
- Eastwood, always iconoclastic, taking the stage munching on a cookie and donning white tennis socks;
- Hammer, always charming, joking about the lack of information that exists on his character: "It is a problem, but, at the same time, it's not, 'cause I can mess it up and nobody would know, so there's always that!" (and then adding that he -- with the help of a private investigator that he hired -- had actually gathered 6,000 pages of research and photos of and letters penned by Tolson); and
- Black remarking to DiCaprio, "When I got the tour of the Department of Justice it was with, like, some lackey, some aide there; you got [U.S. Attorney General] Eric Holder himself!"