Although his career has spanned nearly four decades, spawning numerous award nominations and wins, Michael Douglas said he has always felt “underestimated” as an actor.
GQ named the 69-year-old their “Diva of the Year,” and the New Jersey native told the men’s magazine that he is proud of the work he has done.
“Well, I’ve always felt a little underestimated, personally,” Douglas said. “I’ve got a pretty good batting average over forty years. Sometimes maybe it looked easy.”
Michael Douglas earned a Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra, which is based on Scott Thorson’s memoir of the same name. Although the film was played in theaters internationally, it was made for HBO, meaning neither it nor its stars could be nominated for Oscars.
But that didn’t seem to bother Douglas, who won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. Douglas also won the Academy Award for Best Picture for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which he produced.
“I’m actually taking a sort of joy, a revengeful joy, in the fact that all the studios turned it down,” he said. “To me it was just a reflection of how constipated and conservative the studios have become.”
Douglas added, “It’s been a couple of tough years here, and this has been sort of the candle on top of the cake, I guess.”
In August 2010, Michael Douglas announced that he had stage IV throat cancer. But in October, he confessed that he lied about the diagnosis following his doctor’s advice. He actually had tongue cancer, but his physician felt it would be unwise to reveal the real diagnosis because of its negative prognosis and the potential for disfigurement.
Douglas’ son, Cameron, was arrested in 2009 for possession of methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs and heroin possession in January 2010, and was sentenced to five years in prison in April. Cameron Douglas pleaded guilty to possessing drugs in prison in October 2011, and was sentenced to an additional 4-1/2 years in December. A year later, he had his leg broken by another inmate, and in January 2013, he was found to have drugs in his system. He appealed to have sentence reduced in April, but was denied.
Michael Douglas said it was his son’s own fault that he was in prison, but that he couldn’t say he “wouldn’t want to strangle him when this all happened.” He has since spoken out against the prison system.
In August, Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones separated after 13 years of marriage. The couple quietly reconciled on Halloween.
“I hope to resolve my marriage in a positive fashion,” he said.