First Look: Matt Damon, Michael Douglas Get Naked in Saucy Trailer for Behind the Candelabra
Before Gaga, Madonna, Elton John, and even Elvis—there was Liberace. Liberace was an American pianist and vocalist who had a career that spanned the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. He was flashy and gaudy with bedazzled suits and elaborate capes, but he was also one of the first acts in the world to be not only a performer, but an entertainer—a phenomenon.
Last week, HBO released the first trailer for its Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. The original movie is based on the tell-all memoir of the same title written by Liberace’s lover, Scott Thorson. Matt Damon plays Thorson in the film, alongside Michael Douglas as Liberace.
After the pair’s buzzed-about appearance in Vanity Fair last fall and another splashy appearance on the March 8 cover of Entertainment Weekly, Behind the Candelabra grabbed a lot of attention thanks to Liberace’s raunchy, yet dazzling, yet secretive, yet expensive real-life relationship with Thorson.
In spite of their age difference and Liberace’s public denial of his homosexuality, the two reportedly had an affair for five years. In 1982, Thorson sued the singer for $112 million in palimony after Liberace fired him. The case was settled in 1986, and in 1987, Liberace died of pneumonia caused by AIDS.
As for the intimate scenes in the film between Thorson and Liberace, Damon told EW that they were “awkward no matter who was involved.” Damon said, “We do it. Cut. There’s a long pause. And then you just hear Steven [Soderbergh] go, ‘Well…I have no notes.’”
Here is HBO’s first look at Liberace’s over-the-top world of extravagant clothing and secret affairs in Behind the Candelabra:
The TV movie Behind the Candelabra premieres Sunday, May 26, at 9 p.m. on HBO.