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Polished Edge: Matt Damon of ‘Behind the Candelabra’ on HBO
Q: Why did you want to play Liberace’s 17-year-old lover?
A: I knew I would do the part before I read the script because Steven (Soderbergh, director) gave me the book. It is such an interesting dynamic between the two guys. Richard LaGravenese handed in an unbelievable screenplay, all of the complexities of it and it was so well written.
Q: Why did it take so long to get made?
A: It was a question of finding when Michael and I both were there. It had to shoot in L.A., and I am moving to L.A. at the end of the school year.
Q: You sport a bunch of different looks in this -- sort of waifish to chunky and all different hairstyles and even a new face at one point. Did you start buff then gain weight, or how was this done?
A: There’s the ’77 long hair with jeans; someone just called it the Jimmy McNichol look. We shot in 35 days. I wish I gained the weight. I had a fat suit, and then I was in a Speedo. There was a Flock of Seagulls wig, and prosthetics in the cheeks, a nose and a chin. I put plumpers in my cheeks to fill out my face.
Q: Did you talk with anyone who knew Liberace?
A: Debbie Reynolds (who plays Liberace’s mom) was very close to his mother and to him. She adored him, and you could never find anyone to say anything bad about him.
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