Michael Douglas has described the late pianist Liberace as an “alpha male” character at the “top of his game.”

Douglas plays Liberace in the made-for-television movie Behind the Candelabra. The film's Sunday premiere netted HBO an estimated 2.4 million viewers, the biggest audience for an original movie on the network since 2004.

The film also stars Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Liberace's alleged lover.

When asked about his previous alpha male roles, Douglas said that he included Liberace in that category.

“I consider Lee a totally alpha male character,” Douglas told UK's Short List. “He may be gay, but he's an alpha male on top of his game.”

In agreeing that it would be more difficult for an openly gay actor to play straight than the other way around, Douglas appeared to suggest that he knows some closeted actors.

“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,” he said. “It's probably a little bit more difficult going that way. I think that's true.”