In an interview from Cannes, Steven Soderbergh talks about how and why he got Michael Douglas and Matt Damon involved with his upcoming Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra:
For the life of me I don’t know why I was standing on the set of Traffic in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I looked over at Michael and asked him if he would ever consider playing Liberace. I really don’t know where this came from. I’m old enough to have seen him on TV at my parents’ place, and found him very entertaining. I was kind of intrigued by the incredible technical skill being masked by this flamboyant persona.
On how Matt Damon got involved:
He was in Spain doing his cameo in Che, and I gave him the book. I can only imagine what was going through his mind five years later before we started shooting. But Matt doesn’t have anything to protect. That’s not how he makes his decisions. He makes his decisions based on whether he’s engaged by the piece or not. If it turns out to be something that’s really gonna push him as a performer, even better. And Michael, he was just fearless. They both are. The movie just doesn’t work if they don’t both literally join hands and jump off the cliff. It’s intimate stuff, even if it was a guy and a girl. But for a lot of people it’ll be hard to see Jason Bourne on top of Gordon Gekko.
And how it might resonate:
There’s certainly an undertow to the movie that comes from the knowledge that they could be married today, like Elton John.
Soderbergh also talks about his planned retirement and his past remarks about the film industry.
Read the full interview here.