Michael Douglas and Matt Damon are as you’ve never seen them before.
Both actors are starring in a forthcoming HBO feature film in which Douglas plays flamboyant pianist, the late Liberace, and Matt Damon plays his lover, Scott Thorson.
In the stills, 68-years-old Douglas — who looks like he may have relished every minute of filming — wears a bouffant brown wig and an outfit that bears more than a passing resemblance to a costume of a bullfighter.
Damon, wearing slightly more make-up than a geisha, looks equally transformed.
The film is titled Behind the Candelabra.
Mirroring Liberace’s own life, the biopic will focus on not only on the maestro’s talent but also his struggle to keep his homosexuality a private matter in what were less equality conscious times.
Reportedly, the film also covers the entertainer’s legal feud with live-in lover Thorson, who sued Liberace after their five-year relationship ended.
Liberace’s later battle with AIDS-related pneumonia, which resulted in his death at the age of 67 in 1987, will also be dealt with.
Thorson was allegedly 17-years-old when he and Liberace began a relationship in 1976. After a childhood spent in foster care, Thorson went on to feature in Liberace’s lavish stage shows and travel the world with his benefactor.
When the relationship eventually became untenable — allegedly due to Liberace’s sexual promiscuity and Thorson’s substance abuse, which led to him contracting Hepatitis C — the goodwill between the two men came to an end.
In 1982, Thorson filed a $113 million lawsuit against Liberace. Widely reported on at the time, it was the palimony component of the suit that received the most tabloid coverage. After four years of acrimony, the pair reportedly settled out of court for “$95,000, two cars, and two pet dogs.”
Reconciling on Liberace‘s death bed, Thorson published the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace a year later.
With a cast that includes Dan Aykroyd as Liberace’s long-time manager, Rob Lowe as the plastic surgeon who attended both men, and Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother Frances, the film is scheduled to air in 2013.
Helmed by Steven Soderbergh (Magic Mike; Haywire; Ocean’s 11,12, and 13; and Erin Brockovich), this film is likely to pack a serious punch. The physical transformations alone should be worth it.