Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star as Liberace and his younger lover in a new HBO film premiering this weekend. (Photo courtesy HBO)
LOS ANGELES — “Behind the Candelabra,” a new film chronicling the relationship between iconic entertainer Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson premieres Sunday on HBO.
Liberace was 40 years older than Thorson when they began their five-year relationship in 1977. Michael Douglas portrays Liberace and Matt Damon plays Thorson. The film has generated considerable buzz and media attention over the past few weeks. Director Steven Soderbergh has said he couldn’t find a major American studio willing to take on the project.
“There was a sense,” Soderbergh told NPR, “that the movie wouldn’t have any appeal outside of a gay audience, and that that audience wouldn’t be big enough to return the investment. And so we just couldn’t get anybody to do it.”
Matt Damon, who will play the longtime lover of flamboyant musician Liberace, played by Michael Douglas. (Photo by Miguel Angel Azua Garcia via wikimedia commons)
According to the Academy Award winning director of the upcoming Liberace biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” Hollywood still isn’t ready for this kind of love story.
Discussing the film with the New York Post Friday, Steven Soderbergh said that though he intended the film about the flamboyant musician played by Michael Douglas and his longtime lover, played by Matt Damon for theatrical release, it will be released on cable network HBO instead because studios were hesitant to take on the project.
“Nobody would make it,” Soderbergh told The Post. “We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay.”
“And this is after ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ by the way, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us.”