Johnny Depp’s ‘Public Enemies’ Will Leave Out FBI Chief’s Cross-Dressing

As anyone who has seen “Stage Beauty” will remember, Billy Crudup is not above slipping into women’s clothing when his art demands it. So now, with the new trailer for his upcoming flick “Public Enemies” burning up the Internet, we just had to ask: How comprehensive is his portrayal of FBI founder (and supposed cross-dresser) J. Edgar Hoover?

“I won’t be [cross-dressing] – well, not on film,” Crudup said of the flick, which casts him alongside Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

With a grin he insisted that between takes in his trailer, however, all bets were off: “I like to do my due-diligence and really get into the character.”

Directed by Michael “The Man” Mann, the flick dramatizes the government’s efforts to take down notorious gangsters in the 1930’s. The movie brings us Depp as bank robber John Dillinger, Channing Tatum as Pretty Boy Floyd, and “Inkheart” star Stephen Graham as Baby Face Nelson. Bale is Melvin Purvis, a lawman appointed by Hoover to take down the badboys.

But, although Crudup is seen multiple times throughout the trailer, the “Watchmen” star revealed to us that his role didn’t give him a lot of screen time in the July 1st flick.

“It’s a supporting part,” he said of the J. Edgar Hoover role. “It’s kind of a cameo.”

The film’s poster – which apparently features a 20-foot-tall Johnny Depp – would seem to agree. But with or without Billy Crudup in a dress, “Public Enemies” has become one of the most anticipated films of the upcoming summer, and we can only hope that “Heat” director Michael Mann can once again re-invent the genre of crime flicks.

“It’s a movie that’s really about Purvis and Dillinger,” Crudup said of the film’s central showdown. “I’m there to get Christian Bale motivated to go and get Johnny Depp.”

Where does “Public Enemies” rank among your most anticipated summer films of 2009?