“This is one of the wonderful things about this business. There are still parts for old people. I never think about retirement.”
That’s Michael Douglas in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Michael and Matt Damon sat down to talk to EW about their hotly anticipated HBO film “Behind the Candelabra.” This tells the story of entertainer deluxe Liberace and Scott Thorson, his much younger lover.
What touched me about Michael’s quote is that it reminded me of the premiere of “Wall Street 2” several years back, when Michael was battling cancer. The supermarket tabloids had written his death sentence – and, in my opinion, they are, unfortunately, usually 90 percent correct. Michael himself appeared frail and ravaged by the illness and his treatments. This was especially so in contrast to his gorgeous wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. She was more subdued than usual the night of the premiere, but Zeta-Jones, even worried, can’t ever look too subdued.
I recall it was one of the most tense, overcrowded and unruly film openings I’d ever attended. And I knew why. Everybody thought it would be Michael’s last film, perhaps his last public appearance.
But he recovered. And like his remarkable father, Kirk Douglas, adversity and age have given Michael a better appreciation for his life and his gifts. (There have also been the unhappy events surrounding Michael’s imprisoned son, Cameron; more sobering introspection for the actor.)
At the recent Academy Awards, he was positively ebullient, escorting Zeta-Jones into the ceremony; proud of her, glad to be alive, and not ever retiring, thank you very much.
The funniest part of the EW interview was Matt Damon telling how he had to be spray-tanned all over for his role as Liberace’s lover. This tanning included his backside. After the first treatment he woke up to find his pajama bottoms had turned brown. When his wife noticed, she screamed, “What the ---- happened to your a--?!!” Matt continued, “We’ve had three children, we’ve been in the trenches, there are no secrets. But I really wish she didn’t see that!”
“Behind the Candelabra” airs May 26. And a great big bravo to HBO. They were the only entity brave enough to tackle this story.
Maybe you read my praise for the statuesque beauty, composure and poise of movie queen Charlize Theron. (I don’t mean to make her stuffy; she isn’t. She is daring and intelligent and a great actor. She won an Oscar when she set everything aside – vanity mainly – and played a murderous serial killer in “Monster.”) She is also – despite her goddesslike gliding on various red carpets – an earthy woman, with a frank vocabulary and an amazing appetite. I interviewed Charlize and Bill Paxton some time ago, when they were promoting “Mighty Joe Young.” We were at the Four Seasons and she ate.
But the Hollywood Reporter is telling us how practical Charlize is. She and stylist Leslie Fremar have an idea for “Theron Jeans” to be sold in mass market stores.
Speaking of the Reporter, it had great Oscar coverage and fabulous photos, including one of Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey and Adele, all of whom performed memorably on the telecast. The three ladies had changed their gowns for the Governors Ball. And the party gowns were prettier than what they wore on the show.
Barbra in particular looks great. She changed her hair slightly and it made all the difference.
Tribune Media Services