There was a lot of joking around today at the Cannes press conference for “Behind the Candelabra.” Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, and Steven Soderbergh, plus producer Jerry Weintraub and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese were a lively bunch. It was clear they were happy with the overhwhelming positive reaction to their movie about Liberace and his lover, Scott Thorson.
But there was a moment that stopped the frivolity.p That’s when Douglas started speaking about how he became involved in the project. Recalling hos Soderbergh had first mentioned Liberace to him when they were making “Traffic” years ago, Dougals suddenly choked up and had to check himself. “I’m sorry,” he said, “this was right when I was getting sick,” he said of his successful battle with throat cancer. “And these guys waited for me.”
Douglas has not had an easy time of it. He’s been sick, his actress wife Catherine Zeta Jones has courageously dealt with being bi polar, his eldest son is in prison until 2018 on drug charges. But Michael Douglas is a survivor. Not only could he win a Best Actor prize in Cannes for “Candelabra” but he’s got a major commercial hit coming out this fall called “Last Vegas.” It’s an adult version of “Hangover” with Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline, and said to be “huge.”
Meantime, Matt Damon–who’s also topnotch in “Candelabra”– just among his best work ever– laughed that now that he’s in bed with Douglas on screen he can share stories with Glenn Close, Demi Moore, and Sharon Stone among others. “We can get together,” Damon laughed.