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Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as His Lover Scott Thorson: First Look


Though we have seen some preview pics and paparazzi shots, here's the first 'official' shot from HBO's Behind the Candelabra, which Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his younger lover Scott Thorson, via the Hollywood Reporter:

"The couple met in 1977, when Thorson was just 18 and Liberace was 57. They remained together until 1982...Director Steven Soderbergh told journalists at TCA in January that he had sought out to tell the story of a 'real' relationship. Damon echoed the sentiment, saying: 'We weren’t giggling about it. These were people's lives. We wanted to get it right.'"

Coming to HBO in May.

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  1. Wait. Matt Damon is playing an 18 year old? I love the guy, but... really?

    Posted by: Cal | Feb 6, 2013 6:36:07 PM

  2. Casting straight men in these gay roles is getting real tiresome. It's almost verging on blackface.

    There are so many gay actors out there who need work and I really don't like seeing these Hollywood A-Listers femming up for the camera...and being congratulated for it.

    Posted by: Andrea Towle | Feb 6, 2013 6:43:13 PM

  3. Matt's hands look really awkward in that shot.

    Posted by: David | Feb 6, 2013 6:48:24 PM

  4. @Cal, thought the same thing! haha. AND he's wearing cuban heels...was wondering why he looks so tall.

    Posted by: zeddy | Feb 6, 2013 6:49:55 PM

  5. You can't "get it right" when the actors' ages are so wrong.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 6, 2013 7:01:51 PM

  6. Andrea, are you not familiar with the concept of acting?

    And if only gay actors are qualified by your standards to play gay roles, are only straight actors cleared to play straight roles?

    Speaking of roles, some big fat eye rolls for your absurd post.

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 6, 2013 7:02:51 PM

  7. The clothes, gestures, total look is so right & familiar if you lived during that time. It brings back memories.

    Posted by: RFH | Feb 6, 2013 7:14:04 PM

  8. I'm OK with straight actors playing gay. I just don't think Michael Douglas is a good enough actor to do it. Never believed him as a straight character, not likely to buy him as Liberace.

    Posted by: Trev | Feb 6, 2013 7:31:57 PM

  9. This isn't a "First Look." That photo is old.

    Posted by: brian | Feb 6, 2013 7:32:14 PM

  10. Looks like a bad gay 70's cartoon.
    Dialing down expectations.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Feb 6, 2013 7:34:26 PM

  11. The suits are to just too...tasteful...go back and take a look at the real dazzlers.

    Posted by: VDUFFORD | Feb 6, 2013 7:36:52 PM

  12. wow... tough crowd. Personally, I'm kinda psyched to see it. Plus, I love Palm Springs so it'll be fun to see how they show it on film.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Feb 6, 2013 7:38:38 PM

  13. Damon at 18?
    I thought every gay man believed that with clothes and makeup nothing is impossible;-)

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Feb 6, 2013 7:54:43 PM

  14. Congratulations Andrea, it took you a whole 11 minutes to make the first idiotic comment. By your thinking Neil Patrick Harris should be playing Barney as gay and play only gay parts.

    Posted by: HUH | Feb 6, 2013 7:58:50 PM

  15. Damon means well, while I'd suspect Douglas is just plain clueless. But a better question than why THESE actors is why ANY actors? Any REAL dramatization of their "REAL relationship" would only give us a black eye. Publicly, Liberace RUTHLESSLY denied he was gay all his life—including filing and incomprehensibly winning a defamation suit in Great Britain; and I've never read of a SINGLE thing he did for the Movement; not a single dime that he diverted from his mega-narcissistic conspicuous consumption lifestyle to donate to the fight for equality or even AIDS which, of course, was even lied about on his death certificate. Maybe we should be THANKFUL that the story of all that, of 58-yr. old sexually addicted, perpetually popper-snorting Chicken Queen seducing a 17-yr. old with money, etc., etc., and insisting he have his face cut to look like him, who contributed to that kid becoming a drug addict by insisting he lose weight, telling Larry King: “(I was put) on the Hollywood diet, which contains pharmaceutical cocaine, quaaludes, Biphetamine, demerol," etc., ad nauseum, or of that boy who grew up to fall deep into a cesspool of drug dealers and murderers will get less publicity now that it got dumped to HBO—which I refuse to believe, as Soderbergh claimed, because it was "too gay"—how about "too big a piece of crapola"? Just because someone IS gay doesn't mean they're heroes, or dramatizations of their lives are good for us. Thorson has said he knows of at least 3 young men who tricked with Liberace and he believes died of AIDS because of Liberace’s promiscuity. WHATEVER his intentions, what Soderbergh's called a “funny” “love story” sounds more like a ready made commercial for Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Maggie Gallagher, the so-called Family Research Council, American Family Association, Traditional Values Coalition, etc. ALSO SEE: Roy Cohn, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 6, 2013 8:17:21 PM

  16. MICHAEL BEDWELL I want to have all your babies. Come here and let's make babies. I want to have all your 32 babies. And you make a good point to about what's his face. Now about those babies....

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 6, 2013 8:37:25 PM

  17. would have been so much more interesting if they'd cast a 17ish year old for the part - I suppose douglas is more or less the right age
    what's the point of casting a man in his 40s for the role - it makes the quote about getting it real - laughable - not to mention three major het dudes running the show - imagine a movie about another minority that doesn't have that minority involved - you'd have to go back a ways for that - black face

    Posted by: jw | Feb 6, 2013 8:54:49 PM

  18. Exactly what Cal said.

    Posted by: Lars | Feb 6, 2013 9:12:18 PM

  19. As today's gays fight to become "mainstream" they've already killed what made being gay fun. The word "GAY" today is something people are simply sick of or bored with. Even in "The New Normal" "groundbreaking" show one of the gay couple is a straight actor. I'm sure Elton John and family will look equally ridiculous in future years, and "Daddy Dearest" -- Ryan Murphy, creator of the new gay order will be ripe for ridicule.

    Posted by: GB | Feb 6, 2013 9:17:01 PM

  20. In a better world, it would have been Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Groff or Luke McFarlane or Scott Evans. Oh well. At least be true(er) to Scott's age - maybe give Zach Efron a meaty role and a good director to grow with.

    Posted by: JD | Feb 6, 2013 9:17:43 PM

  21. Is this suppose to be a comedy? Damon still looks young.

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 6, 2013 9:21:44 PM

  22. Not sure what difference any of the remarks here make, I mean, the era was what it was, was a long time ago, and is so heavily redacted only rare honest untouched glimpses of it leak through occasionally, only to be heavily critiqued and denied by the modern current PC gays.

    Perpetually assaulted from all sides, constantly struggling, constantly high on a dizzying array of drugs, many of which are rare now, and yes, very, very flawed and very very human.

    Posted by: JustSayin' | Feb 6, 2013 9:30:54 PM

  23. Justssayin' If you were 21 at the time, it was the best gay had to offer in NYC, Boston and other cities. I feel fortunate to have lived it. It was the gay perspective we all shared. It was closer quarters for every type of gay, with room for beauty and boyfriends we never could dream were real. Old queens got more respect, many as performers. No, our generation was never afraid of drugs. Neither was the entire country. It was also the music. Our music. There was a freedom about it. Making one's way in the gay world, and living in the straight one.

    Posted by: Jack | Feb 6, 2013 9:53:43 PM

  24. @ Andrea Towle
    Please explain how straight actors playing gay roles is even remotely close to racist white actors plastering their faces with black oil paint and big red or white shiny lips for the specific purpose of degrading and humiliating black people.

    Posted by: Robert Ellison | Feb 6, 2013 9:54:45 PM

  25. Most blackface performers thought they were liberals, and had no conscious awareness that their mimicry was degrading. Sounds pretty familiar to me.

    Posted by: adamblast | Feb 6, 2013 10:30:34 PM

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