DiCaprio stars in the Oscar buzzy flick as the late FBI boss man J. Edgar Hoover with Hammer taking on the role of Clyde Tolson, Hoover's right-hand man, who many believe was also his lover.
There is no concrete evidence proving or disproving that Hoover was gay, so...
It's up to moviegoers to make up their own minds—if they can.
"To tell you the truth, I don't have the answer to that question and I don't think there's anyone still alive who really does," DiCaprio told me last night at the premiere of the movie, which also served as opening night of the AFI Film Festival presented by Audi, when I asked if he thinks Hoover was gay.
"If you talk to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are staunch believers that these two men carried out a very professional relationship and they were sort of inseparable pals."
Inseparable is an understatement.
"These two men went on every vacation together," DiCaprio said. "They ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. They went to work together. They were together for 50 years. They lived together. They were buried together. They never had a family. They never had a girlfriend. You know, put it together in your mind and..."
Director Clint Eastwood said if Hoover was gay, there was no way he would have identified as a gay man, "especially in the 1930s."
"He had an inseparable pal," Eastwood said. "Whether it went from there, I don't know. He could have been."
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black said the romantic status of the relationship had to be kept a "bit vague."
"I think the audience will come away like they have clear answers but we do leave some things up in the air," he said. "We allow the audience to watch behavior and observe things that went on and to draw their own conclusions."
Echoing Eastwood, Black said, "In 1919, when Hoover was 24 years old and in his sexual prime, no one said they were gay because they would lose their family, their job and everything."
No one could argue with that.
Josh Lucas plays Charles Lindbergh in the movie. "I think he was probably deeply closeted," Lucas said, adding, "I don't even know if he knew. I think that's how troubled he was. It's probably the ultimate Achilles' heel—if you don't know yourself sexually, if you don't know your heart. That has to be a miserable place to exist."
Hammer agreed that there's no answer to the lingering question about Hoover and Tolson. He says he took "creative license and made those decisions for myself."
One thing that's certain, no actor thinks twice if Eastwood comes calling. "It's a good call to get," said Naomi Watts, who plays Hoover's longtime secretary Helen Gandy. "Even though I really didn't think I wanted to work at the time because I had just come from another project, it was Clint. I've always wanted to work with him. I didn't want to miss the opportunity."