The Making Of Behind The Candelabra

3 Jun

Behind The Candelabra focuses on the ups and downs of Liberace (a famous pianist) and Scott Thorson’s secret relationship which lasted from 1977 to 1982. It is directed by Steven Soderbergh; Liberace is played by Michael Douglas and Scott is played by Matt Damon.

The film has had a difficult time being made ever since it was first thought up of by Soderbergh the year 2000. He talked about it to Michael Douglas while they were filming Traffic but was stuck on what kind of film it should be. Six years ago he read Scott’s book of the same name (the first chapter of the book can be read here) and knew that was the way to go. [1] In 2008 Steven asked Richard LaGravense, who he has worked with before, to adapt the book into a script. [2]

The next problem was getting funding to make the movie which took years to get. Steven said the reason for it was because it was too gay. He explains that

They weren’t convinced that anybody who’s not gay is going to want to see it. That was really their attitude. It’s not like, “We don’t like gay people.” They had concerns about how to sell it.” [3]

Eventually in 2012, after raising $18 million themselves from foreign investors, they got the remaining money they needed from the Home Box Office (HBO) cable channel. [4]

The film aired on the 26th of May and was watched by 2.4 million, followed by 1.1million people watching the repeat. [5] On Rotten Tomatoes it received a critic’s scoring of 92% and an audience scoring of 97%. On Metacritic it received a score of 82 out of 100 and an audience score of 7.9 out of 10. So Hollywood has really missed out on this hit movie!

Behind The Candelabra is released in the UK on the 7th of June.

Interesting Information

A video of Liberace playing the song in the trailer.

Click here

Behind the scenes of Behind The Candelabra!

Click here

An interview with costume designer Ellen Mirojnick can be read here.

Essential References: ———————————————————————-






68 Responses to “The Making Of Behind The Candelabra”

  1. Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM #


    I’ve known about this movie for a long time. I knew Rob Lowe, Matt Damon, and Michael Douglas were going to transform themselves yet the visual results (of the trailer) still took me by surprise. I think I’m very impressed that they we’re willing to be this ambitious.

    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM #

      So am I. Michael and Matt have been on board since 2008. They stood by the project through out all the problems. So they were very dedicated even back then.

      • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM #

        I did not know the movie had problems gettting made.

  2. Open Book June 4, 2013 at 6:40 PM #


    Great! Great! article and research. I love the interview with the costume designer its very inspiring. Also, will it be released in Theaters in the UK?

    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:20 PM #

      I knew you’d love that interview! 🙂 Yes, it will be in theatres in the UK. I read somewhere that most countries were showing it in theatres.

      • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

        Hi Ozzie!

        Why do u think this film is opening in theaters in the UK and other countries and not in the US?

        • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:43 PM #

          Unfortunately because no one in Hollywood wanted to take the risk. They thought no one apart from the gay community will see it. I think over here and in Europe, art is art no matter the content. Also long as it’s not extremely controversial/offensive it will be shown. However it does look like it’s a limited release here. It’s not in any cinema close to me.

          • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

            Well I’m heterosexual and I would see it. How ridiculous.

            Do u think if it does well in Europe they will show it in theaters in the US?

            • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

              I would hope so. I also hope if it does well in limited release here, it will encourage them to go wide here. I’m upset I can’t see it. I dread telling my Mum, lol! She was going to drag me to see it even if I didn’t want too!

              • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM #

                Well given its already been shown on HBO I doubt it will be shown in theaters in the US.

                • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM #

                  That’s such a shame as it does look like it would be out of this world on big screens.

                  • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:28 PM #

                    Yes! I guess I will have to come visit u Oz to see it in theaters. Your Mum would not have to drag me to go with her. Hahaha!

                    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM #

                      I’ll bring a mop and bucket as there’ll be three people drooling over the costumes! 🙂

                    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:55 PM #

                      AWESOME! This is my kind of crowed. Hahaha!

      • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

        YEs! I love the interview because she talks about the collaboration and support she received that impacted the developmental process of such a elaborate endeavor.

  3. Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM #


    When male actors want to risk their masculinity on film, how many options do you think they really have?

    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM #

      Honestly, I do not know!

    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

      I think if the male actors were single with no children than it might be risky IMO! Its sad because they are actors and people should be able to separate characters from actors but most don’t.

      • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:02 PM #

        That’s a good point. I’ll add marriage and biological children helps. Hugh Jackman’s kids are adopted and people think he’s gay. *eye roll* His wife and him are infertile. That doesn’t mean they are in bearding relationship.

        • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:09 PM #

          Goodness! Do u think his career has suffered from these gay rumors?

          • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

            Not one bit! He’s a great actor who can play many diverse roles, plus he has a great sense of humour about it.

            • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:26 PM #

              That’s good!

          • parisienne June 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM #

            When Hugh played a gay man on Broadway (I forgot which play) his wife went to the ladies room and some women in there were discussing whether or not he was gay and she shouted HE’S NOT GAY from the stall.

            He told that story on Oprah but honestly I think every celeb has gay rumors at one point in their career whether they are or not.

    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:53 PM #


      Would u see this film in theaters? If yes or no please explain why?

      • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:38 PM #


        You’re mean! No other comment.

        • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:39 PM #

          Yes, I’m afraid of the content, but I ‘m honestly wondering about the acting. So yes I can imagine going to see it, my attention might suffer from me being interested in other things, But I’m interest in how far these actors are willing to go to get the approval of audiences. I remember Liberace and there was nothing subtle about him. All of aforementioned actors have had horn dog reputations in the past, yet I’m equally sure all are desperate for an Oscar nod.

          Speaking of challenged attention, I’ve fallen asleep in movies I wanted to see. Sleeping wasn’t a remark about the quality of the movie. The habit really isn’t so surprising when you think about being in a dark room sitting in really comfortable seats.

          • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:43 PM #

            See that wasn’t so bad. Thanks for sharing and being honest as always. LOVE U!!!

        • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:39 PM #

          Come on! Why am I mean?

          • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM #

            It’s so typical for you to try to put me on the spot by asking me that sort of question. I watch HBO tv shows but I STILL MIGHT be equally afraid of the content.

            Of course I never ask you questions like this, but I’m sure that doesn’t matter…..

            • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:58 PM #

              Hahaha! U still love me though right?

          • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 9:14 PM #

            To be honest, I usually most fearful about the potential to stereotype more than anything else. But I’m sure there are others whom would do a much better job with a gender or sexuality stereo typing article than I.

  4. ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:22 PM #

    Hello everyone! 🙂

    Hope you are all well.

  5. Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

    Hello Everyone!

    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

      Hi OB! How are you?

      • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM #

        Hi Ozzie!

        I’m just swell! How about u?

        • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM #

          I’m tired but good!

          • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

            I’m sorry! I’m sending u cyber chocolate to help!

            • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

              Yay, chocolate! Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom!

              • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM #

                HAHA! Are u a milk or dark chocolate person?

                • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM #

                  I’m a milk person, lol!

                  • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:22 PM #

                    Milk it is! HAHA!

                    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM #

                      Not chocolate but it expresses the sentiment!

                    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM #

                      Hahahaha! That is so funny! Here u go Oz!

                    • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

                      I agree gluttony is a sin, but I can’t believe you both equally think that’s funny.

                    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:48 PM #

                      I’m in heaven!

                      I can watch and hear a video on here, yet when I’m on youtube I can only hear the video. Wierd!

                    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:50 PM #

                      Well I’m a freak and can’t eat chocolate without gaging. It smells wonderful but I can’t eat it.

                    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

                      CR would u say the same thing if it were apple pie? Hahaha!

                      Oz! I’m glad I made your day!

                    • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM #

                      Enabling food addicts should be against the law, or Amnesty international should at least protect victims of the crime.

                    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM #

                      White chocolate gives me a headache and dark chocolate I can only have one or two bites before stopping and pulling a “it’s too bitter” face. Milk chocolate is the only one I can eat so milk Moonstruck treats get in my tummy! Not as many as Homer Simpson eats though, I would be sick then, lol!

                      Thank you for brightening my day! 🙂

                    • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM #

                      CR & Oz! I’m sorry! But it did get u fired up didn’t it? Please don’t go out a binge on chocolate and apple pie folks!

                    • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 9:09 PM #

                      I’m warning you, I have Amnesty international on speed dial and I might just hit the number

                    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 9:17 PM #

                      ROTFLMAO! I have no chocolate (or anything else that is sweet) in the house to binge on. You can put the phone down CR, lol! 🙂

  6. Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:38 PM #

    Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing this film on the big screen. I like the cast, director, costume and production design.

    • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM #

      It will be amazing on the big screen. It would come to life more and really express what Liberace was about.

      • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

        I know! ITA

        What interested u in writing about this topic?

        • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM #

          I actually knew very little about Liberace. I heard the buzz about the film and was interested in what it was about. After seeing the trailer, I thought it was too good to not get a mention here! Plus it fits in with what we talked about earlier (Hollywood big wigs who don’t take risks). I’m glad I picked it because I’ve loved learning about him. I wish I could of gone and seen him live!

          • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:21 PM #

            I’ve always wanted to go to the Liberace museum. Its sad it closed in 2010. It would be amazing to see these costumes up close. I’m sure with the film the museum attendance would have improved.

            • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 8:36 PM #

              It’s a shame that’s closed too. Apparently his Las Vegas house is in desperate need to be restored. 😦 Maybe they’ll get some funding now.

              • Open Book June 4, 2013 at 8:40 PM #

                I hope so!

  7. Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 9:06 PM #

    OB and Ozzie,

    Given his popularity as an entertainer, I think Liberace story is worth hearing. Are either of you concerned when productions that clearly can’t earn their money back get made?

    Oddly, I don’t hear anyone complaining about this being a vanity project like some other films. Or do either of you suspect this movie has some redeeming value(s) that we as yet don’t know about?

    • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 9:10 PM #

      Sorry; “Liberace’s”

      • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 9:30 PM #

        Good questions! On one hand it does concern me when any project the looks like it won’t bring in the money but still gets green lit. On the other hand you never try then how do you know it won’t. It could be something the audience is crying out for but executives never realised it. It could start new trends. I think that hand wins.

        As for the last questions, I can’t really answer it having not seen the film.

        Kind of OT, Soderbergh and Channing Tantum financed most of Magic Mike. I may not agree with male stripping but I admire them for that. And they pulled it off too. Apparently a second one is going to be made.

  8. Open Book June 4, 2013 at 9:10 PM #


    I have to go for the evening. Oz great article and discussion. I will have to check this film out on HBO.. Goodnight!

    • Comic Relief June 4, 2013 at 9:16 PM #

      Look who is running away from a direct question, OB? Oh well, see everyone later.

      • ozzie20 June 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM #

        Lol! Night everyone. 🙂

      • Open Book June 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

        CR-Are u calling me a yellow belly? Hahaha! Goodness well. Hmm! although Oz did a great job answering, let me take a stab at your Q to save face. LOL!

        “Are either of you concerned when productions that clearly can’t earn their money back get made?”

        Its hard to know what might appeal to audiences. IMO a film has to strike the right balance meaning the concept and story can’t be too formulaic or Avant-garde. A film like “The Artist” for example it had a formulaic linear story done in B&W etc. It was a risky film but audiences loved it and it did well in theaters. It cost 15 million and it made 133 million. That’s not a bad gamble. Now we can look at a really formulaic sci-fi film like “After Earth” it cost 130 mil and it might not even make back its budget at the box office. IDK i would rather loose 15 mill on a small indie than loose 100 mill.

  9. parisienne June 8, 2013 at 6:14 PM #


    Extremely informative article. I’ve seen the film twice. The first time I caught the tail end of it and the second I watched from when they went to the porn shop until the end. Both Matt and Michael were superb in their roles.

    i will admit though that I thought the actual film was going to be released in theaters and thought what I was watching was the making of it. LOL

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: