Behind the Candelabra, based on the relationship between Scott Thorson (played by Matt Damon) and pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas), does not include an “explicit sex scene” or any nudity besides Damon’s ass, but there is a kissing scene that I assume took a good 20 minutes or more to film.
Executive producer Jerry Weintraub said the film was made to “show how we’ve grown” as a nation and how homosexuality (I feel like a conservative when I say that word) has lost some of its social stigma since 1977.
The stigma thing becomes especially apparent when we hear Michael Douglas making jokes about flavored lip gloss while Matt Damon laughs about having something in common with Sharon Stone and Glenn Close.
“I forgot it was Matt and me after about 10 minutes and then I forgot it was two guys,” Douglas told People. “But I would tease Matt about which flavor lip gloss he’d like for me to use!” …So now you know…
Matt Damon’s biggest obstacle during the love scenes was deciding between raspberry and peach.
P.S. I’ve been reading a bunch of Behind the Candelabra (available on HBO May 26) reviews that make me want to watch it. Here’s a description from Lori Rackl of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Matt Damon co-stars as Thorson, whose riveting transformation takes him from a denim-and-flannel-wearing would-be veterinarian to a bedazzled boy toy destroyed by decadence and drugs. Douglas plays Liberace the way Liberace played the piano, with an intoxicating mix of gusto, showmanship and irrefutable skill. Half the fun of “Behind the Candelabra” is watching these two Hollywood heavyweights deftly tackle roles that could have been career-enders not that long ago
And another from Variety Senior Film Critic Peter Debruge:
A production designer’s dream and a gay man’s nightmare, “Behind the Candelabra” re-creates the lavish living environment and stage shows Liberace orchestrated between 1977 and his death in 1986 of HIV-related complications, while presenting the world with a sort of worst-case version of predatory homosexuality, in which an older man of means identifies, seduces and eventually tosses aside a naive, cornfed young country stud.