Slap On Some Leather: The Trailer For The Tom Of Finland Biopic Is Here

One of the most seminal artists of the 20th century finally gets his due.

Every year it seems there are more biopics, but we’ve had our eyes peeled for Dome Karukoski’s dramatization of the life of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland.


Laaksonen’s drawings of hyper-sexualized macho men have been a favorite of gay men for decades and are now being appreciated by legitimate culture and arti critics. It turns out his life was just as fascinating as his artwork.

Born the son of schoolteachers in 1920, Laaksonen was drafted into the Finnish army during WWII and served as a anti-aircraft officer alongside Nazi officers, who inspired his fascination with men in uniform.


“The whole Nazi philosophy, the racism and all that, is hateful to me. But, of course, I drew them anyway,” he said. “They had the sexiest uniforms!”

In the 1950s Laaksonen lives a double life—working as a advertising artist and pianist by day and an erotic mastermind by night.

tom of finland teaser

The increasing popularity of Tom of Finland artwork matched the rise of the gay subculture and physique pictorial magazines, often the only link closeted men had to their sexuality in the ’50s and ’60s. In the decades to follow, artists, filmmakers and advertisers took their cue from Laaksonen in sexualizing the male form.

Tom of Finland coffee

“It’s impossible to overstate the impact Tom’s work has had on the image and self-image of gay men all over the world,” biopic producer Aleksi Bardy told Variety.

“He created the archetypes that now form an integral part of the iconography of popular culture, both gay and straight.”

Laaksonen, who passed away in 1991 at age 71, is played in the film by actor Pekka Strang, who calls it “the role of a lifetime.”

Tom of Finland is slated to hit theaters in February 2017.

Watch the teaser below.

h/t: Variety

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."