Michael Douglas’s well-received performance in Behind the Candelabra may have been partially inspired by true-life experience. That is, he claims to know “a couple of people” who have “not come out in the spirit of protecting their careers and livelihoods.”
The quote comes from a Shortlist interview, during which he discussed the film, his own career, his battle with cancer, and the subject of gay actors. More specifically, he grappled with the question of whether American audiences would have difficulty accepting a gay actor in a straight leading role.
“It’s a good question. Without naming names, I certainly think there are a couple of people out there who have not come out in the spirit of protecting their careers and livelihoods. It’s probably a little bit more difficult going that way. I think that’s true.”
He also remarked:
“It’s a much smaller minority of people who think they still have to stay in the closet. It’s quite interesting to see how fast it’s all changed.”
"Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. We needed $5 million. Nobody would do it…They said it was too gay. Everybody. This was after Brokeback Mountain, by the way."