Michael Douglas forced director Steven Soderbergh to cut gay porn scenes in their new Liberace biopic because the actor wanted to be able to show his young kids the film without having to explain the explicit shots. The Wall Street star portrays the flamboyant pianist in Behind The Candelabra, and, although he had no problem filming intimate scenes with his co-star Matt Damon, who plays Liberace's young lover Scott Thorson, Douglas refused to allow footage of men's penises to grace the TV screens in the movie.
He tells New York Magazine, "Liberace loved sex, and I didn't have a problem with that. But, at one point, Steven Soderbergh wanted to show Lee (Liberace) watching a gay porno...
"I said, 'I'd like my kids to see this R-rated movie, but I don't want to show them a 14-inch d**k!' It was the only thing I objected to, so we cut to different parts of the apartment during the porno... It may not have been 14 inches, but it was huge."
Douglas is father to son Dylan, 12, and 10-year-old daughter Carys with his second wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker reveals he had initially shopped the life story of the flamboyant pianist to top movie executives - but no one was interested in investing the $5 million (£3.13 million) needed to turn the project into a reality, despite the success of 2005's Brokeback Mountain, which featured same-sex love scenes between leading men Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger.
Soderbergh tells TheWrap.com, "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, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us."
The Traffic director eventually landed an offer from bosses at U.S. cable network HBO - and he's happy to have finally found a home for Behind the Candelabra.
He says, "(HBO) are great and they're really good at what they do, and ultimately I think more people will see it, and that's all you care about. Studios were going, 'We don't know how to sell it.' They were scared."
Behind the Candelabra will star Michael Douglas as the famed entertainer and Matt Damon as his gay lover Scott Thorson.
The Bourne Identity actor Damon recently admitted the film may be too much for his more conservative fans to take as it features a large amount of nudity, telling Playboy magazine, "It's tastefully done... But this movie's not going to be for everyone."
Thorson carried on a six-year affair with the flamboyant entertainer until 1982, and he wrote about their controversial romance in his memoir Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.
Producer Jerry Weintraub picked up the project in the hopes of adapting the book into a new movie and it is now in production, with Douglas playing the piano legend and Matt Damon starring as his much younger boyfriend Thorson.
In August (12) Thorson was diagnosed with advanced anal cancer, prompting him to reach out to the Oscar winner, who recently beat stage four throat cancer, for support, but his request was promptly shut down.
He tells the National Enquirer, "All I wanted to do was meet Michael and talk to him about my cancer. But I was bluntly told it would be impossible. That really hurt... Right now, I'm very scared... I don't know if I'll make it to the premiere in May (13)."
But Thorson admits he did get some sympathy from Weintraub: "About three months ago, I got one phone call from Jerry Weintraub when he found out that I had cancer. He said, 'I'm very sorry that you're going through cancer.'"
Editors at tabloid The Globe claim doctors have told Thorson, who was once the late showman's teenage toyboy, the deadly disease has also spread to his lungs.
A source says, "Scott is in a terrible state. This has come as a tremendous shock just as he thought he was turning his life around."
And Thorson, 54, allegedly fears the illness will kill him before he gets a chance to see upcoming TV movie Behind The Candelabra, in which he is portrayed by Matt Damon opposite Michael Douglas as the flamboyant pianist.
The biopic is currently in production in California and the film is scheduled to air on the HBO network next year (13).
The Ghostbusters star will join Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as gay toyboy Scott Thorson in the film about the flamboyant pianist, according to Variety.
Production is set to begin on Behind the Candelabra later this summer (12).
In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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