In what can only be described as one of the most interesting casting to be discussed at the TV Critics winter meetings, Michael Douglas plays Liberace in the new HBO feature film “Behind the Candelabra.” His portrayal of the flamboyant performer will have to be based on the script and tales from those who knew him because although the Douglas family had a home in Palm Springs when Liberace was living there, the actor only met Liberace a few times.
“I remember seeing him. You couldn’t miss his car. But never had, like, an evening with him or anything like that,” Douglas says.
A lot of his performance will be built on what others had to say about Liberace such as how he was an extraordinarily gracious, extremely professional guy.
“I think he had a very good sense and a very savvy sense of showmanship. You’ve got to remember, besides all his popularity in Las Vegas, it was the television show that really made him so well known to everybody in the world. And we talk about it in the movie and he sort of prided himself, but he was probably the first person on television to talk directly to the camera and it was one of his great abilities to sort of bring in everybody to it. And with that, you know, camp style, he just there was a genuine a genuine, genuine, genuine quality about him and his performances and how happy he wanted to make people that won over,” Douglas says.
How well Douglas portrays Liberace can be seen when the HBO movie debuts in May.