Michael Douglas choked back tears
during a news conference to discuss the premiere of Behind the
Candelabra, in which he plays flamboyant pianist Liberace.
The film premiered Tuesday at the
Cannes Film Festival in France, where it is competing for the
prestigious Palme d'Or award.
Flanked by the movie's main stars,
Douglas and Matt Damon, who plays Liberace's lover Scott Thorson,
director Steven Soderbergh acknowledged that the film's subject
matter was timely.
“In making the film, the
socio-political aspect of it was not really in my mind but I was
focused on … trying to make this relationship as believable and
realistic as we could,” Soderbergh
said. “When this issue comes up, of equal rights for gays, I
am hoping 50 years from now we will look back on this and wonder why
this was even a debate and why it took so long.”
Douglas, who fought off a diagnosis of
throat cancer in 2010, became emotional when he was asked how he
became involved in the project.
“It was right after my cancer and
this beautiful gift was handed to me and I am eternally grateful …
to everybody for waiting for me,” Douglas said with tears in his
Behind the Candelabra will
premiere on HBO in the United States on Sunday.