It was Clint Eastwood Day in Hollywood last week. Make that “Days.”
On Thursday, Eastwood remained the master of understatement at the world preem of Warner Bros.’ “J. Edgar,” kicking off the AFI Film Festival and marking his 36th film for the studio.
“I’ve been at Warner Bros. for 41 years,” he told the aud at the Chinese. “Sometimes it’s worked out pretty good.”
Brian Grazer credited Leonardo DiCaprio with offering him plenty of support for the project even before it was set up, noting, “He really wanted to do this. Every time I ran into Leo, he’d mouth the word ‘Hoover’ to me.”
Dustin Lance Black said the mystery of unraveling Hoover’s character especially intrigued him.
“I’m a total history buff so I talked to everyone I could find in Washington, D.C., who knew Hoover — people in their 80s and 90s,” said the scribe. “And once Clint came on board, I knew I had to get the script absolutely right since he usually shoots the first draft.”
On Saturday, Hollywood and high art mingled at LACMA for the inaugural Art + Film Gala honoring Eastwood and artist John Baldessari.
“I want to thank LACMA and Warner Bros., who bought two tables,” Eastwood joked, thanking execs for “suspending that two or three hundred dollars that must have cost. I know this wasn’t a cheap ticket.”
Eastwood said he didn’t have “the foggiest idea” of what to say that night when Black came by his table and suggested, “Why don’t you sing a song from ‘Paint Your Wagon?'”
Eastwood quipped, “It’s a pretty good idea, except that it might empty the room a little faster than normal.”
Instead, Stevie Wonder provided the musical entertainment, and his rendition of “Superstition” had guests including Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Jon Hamm dancing.
Eastwood’s take on Wonder? “I know you’re disappointed, but anyway, he’ll have to fill in for me.”