Steven Soderbergh is in the midst of his final jaunt behind the camera, in production on the Liberace biopic “Behind The Candelabra”, with Michael Douglas as the famed performer and Matt Damon as his young lover. Liberace was famed for being the world’s highest-paid entertainer at one point, and enjoyed his fortune with an extravagant lifestyle. Soderbergh revealed that while plans are still coming together for the movie, which is set up at HBO, he hopes to take it to Cannes on May 2013.
The movie is based on the book “Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace” written by Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson who met him when when he was seventeen in 1976. Liberace had promised Thorson, who was raised in foster homes, that he would adopt and care for him and eventually the performer incorporated his lover into his lavish Las Vegas stage performances.
Liberace’s story is tragic and his relationship with Scott Thorson was not less extravagant than some of his outfits. Liberace always publicly denied that he was homosexual and insisted that Thorson was never his lover. He went to great lengths until his dead from AIDS to cover his sexuality. To get an idea of how eccentric their life was, read the following excerpt from an interview with Scott Thorsonon on Larry King Live that aired on August 12, 2002:
Thorson: Well, he brought the surgeons in. I picked him up in my Rolls-Royce. I drove. They were in Las Vegas. I picked him up and brought him to a Las Vegas mansion on Shirley Street. And Lee was introduced to the doctor and he says, “I want you to come with me.” And Lee walked him through — went into the — you know, into the bedroom and said — there was a picture of Liberace. Oh, I guess he was probably in his 30s, Larry. He says, “I want you to create Scott to look like me when he was younger; so he looks like my son.” He wanted me as his son. But at the same time, he wanted me as his lover.
The romance ended due to the pianist’s sexual promiscuity and Thorson’s drug addiction, which led him to contract Hepatitis C. In 1982, Thorson filed a $113 million lawsuit against Liberace, with the palimony suit being the more famous part. But in 1986, the pair reportedly settled out of court for $95,000, two cars, and two pet dogs.
Scott reconciled with Liberace on his death bed, and a year later published the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace on which the film is based.
Watch below a short clip of Liberace’s Entrance to a las vegas show, featuring all the glamour and glitter only Lee Himself could pull off.… Freaturing Scott Thorson as the limousine Driver.