Since bursting onto the scene in 1989 with Sex, Lies and Videotape (for those of you to young to remember, that’s a movie title, not a strategy), Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh has just about done it all, from slick heist movies to hard hitting drug dramas to even a movie about Channing Tatum’s butt cheeks.
But every good run has to come to an end, and for Soderbergh that end comes in the form of Behind the Candelabra, the biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace that will be airing on cable network HBO due to it apparently being “too gay” for the studios. And now thanks to this new teaser trailer, we get to see exactly what that means.
Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his (much younger) lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted.
Well, if you’re going to go out on a bang, then Matt Damon dolled up in make-up and a little soldier boy uniform is definitely the way to do it. Besides for just tawdry male companionship, Liberace also had a taste for extravagant purchases and plastic surgery, all of which he had to keep hidden from the then not so accepting public eye. All of which will be dealt with in the film, according to Damon (via EW), who portrays the famed musician’s secret gay lover.
“He was the biggest act in the world, and the whole time, petrified of his secret coming out. You see him in the movie going to a sex store — nowadays, he’d be [exposed] on Twitter so fast.”
As one of the most famous and successful pianists of the modern entertainment industry, Liberace had a lot to lose. For Michael Douglas though, who portrays the idol, that meant he had a lot to learn when it comes to tickling the ivories. Despite the fact that the actors head was digitally imposed on the bodies of accomplished pianists for the film’s more complex numbers, the veteran actor still went out of his way to try and emulate the showman, by being tutored by special instructors as well as studying archival footage of Liberace to perfectly emulate his hand and body movements. So devoted was he to perfecting this, that his study rubbed off on the people around him, as Damon explains.
“The moment I knew we were fine was the Sunday before we started shooting. Michael had a brunch at his house, and his son sat up in front of everybody and did the entire monologue with the [piano-playing] hand movements and everything. And I thought, ‘Oh my God. I can’t imagine how much Michael has been rehearsing for his 11-year-old son to be able to actually do the thing!’”
Screw Michael Douglas, somebody book his kid!
Behind The Candelabra, which will be Steven Soderbergh’s final feature film directorial effort, will air on HBO on May 26, 2013, and what better way to end a career than with a showstopper.
Last Updated: April 2, 2013