|Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra|
It's been a while since I've done a "Gayest Thing" post, but I think this movie warrants one.
I'm still not sure how I feel about HBO's upcoming film Behind the Candelabra. When I was kid in the 60's and 70's (I keep telling you I'm old), Liberace was a huge star, as famous for his diamond-encrusted pianos and feathered capes as he was for his prodigious talent as a pianist. He loved performing and loved his fans, most of whom were middle-aged straight ladies who imagined the fairly attractive son of Polish immigrants could be theirs for the asking. Liberace was so popular, he even appeared on "Batman" as concert pianist Chandell and his evil twin, Harry who goaded Chandell into becoming the villain "Fingers." In real life, Liberace was born with a twin brother who didn't survive and parodies of him often refer to his brother 'George.' His flamboyant life of excess came to an end in 1987 when he died of AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of 67. Though he was sued for palimony by former chauffeur and alleged lover Scott Thorson in 1982, Liberace denied his homosexuality up until his death. Thorson settled out of court for $95K. At one time the highest paid performer in the world, Liberace supposedly made Thorson have cosmetic surgery in order to make him look like a younger version of himself.
Director Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike; Contagion) and HBO have teamed up to bring us Behind the Candelabra, screenwriter Richard LaGravense's take on the tumultuous three-year relationship between Lee (as Liberace's friends knew him) and Thorson. Michael Douglas plays Liberace and Matt Damon is Thorson. As seen in the trailer below, Douglas went out of his way to study and emulate Liberace's iconic vocal patterns, while Damon obviously buffed up to play the flamboyant entertainer's boy-toy:
Rob Lowe; Dan Ackroyd; Cheyenne Jackson; Debbie Reynolds; Scott Bakula and Paul Reiser all have supporting roles (all of whom may well prove far more interesting to see than Douglas and Damon) in what promises to be an exploitative and over-the-top movie from one of the most innovative directors in Hollywood. Uncle P is actually considering subscribing to HBO just to see this film, though in all honestly, I'll probably wait until it's on Netflix or available on DVD.
Honestly, does it get any gayer than this?