"Behind the Candelabra" got a red carpet treament just days before it has its debut on HBO. The stars and the crew were flying to France to support the biopic premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, May 21.
Lead stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as well as producer Jerry Weintraub, director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese put on their best suits for the occasion. Also joining them when posing on the red carpet after the special screening were Damon's wife Luciana Barroso and Soderbergh's wife Jules Asner.
More notable celebrities got an early look at the Liberace biopic as Petra Nemcova, Jessica Hart, Jessica Chastain, Rosario Dawson, Milla Jovovich, Adrien Brody and Christoph Waltz, who is a juror at the festival, were seen attending the premiere.
Based on Scott Thorson's 1988 memoir "Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace", the upcoming TV movie follows the flamboyant pianist-vocalist who embarked on a secretive five-year love affair with Thorson despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds. Douglas portrays Liberace with Damon as his lover. It will air May 26 at 9 P.M. on HBO.
Prior to the film's screening at Cannes, Damon warned everyone who would see it on the big screen because of a scene involving a robe and a spray tan. "We'll see it on the biggest screen ever. It will be jarring," he said during a press conference. "This is not something you can un-see. So you're all welcome to look. But you cannot un-ring that bell. It will be seared into your memory."
The Jason Bourne of three "Bourne" films had a share in coming up with the idea of the scene. He recalled, "I said, 'What if at the end of the scene, I drop the robe and get into bed?' And Steven just looked at me for a long time and said, 'Oh I know where to put the camera.' I said, 'It's the wrongest thing you have ever seen.' "
The biopic has received impressive reviews at the film festival. The Hollywood Reporter described it as "a wonderfully entertaining and revealing look at Liberace's final decade," while Variety wrote, "Set to unspool Stateside on HBO, 'Behind the Candelabra' is the most bigscreen-worthy film Steven Soderbergh has made since 'Che'."