Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Douglas boosted from beating cancer

Michael Douglas plays Liberace in a new film
Michael Douglas plays Liberace in a new film

Michael Douglas has revealed that beating cancer has made him feel "rejuvenated".

The 68-year-old actor, who is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, was diagnosed with life-threatening throat cancer in 2010, and was later cleared in 2011.

"Cancer does give you a new rejuvenation. I know what it's like to be down," he told New York Magazine.

"I lost a couple of good friends - Larry Hagman and Nick Ashford - who had the same type of cancer that I did, and that makes you think. In the past, on purpose, I've never known what movie I'm going to do next. I never knew how I would feel when I finished a picture. Now it feels great to be back at work."

He added: "When I was ill, I mostly lay on that couch. I watched a lot of sports, anything where I didn't know the ending. I did (miss working), but I was too weak to miss much of anything. I was stage four, and there is no stage five."

Michael next stars as flamboyant entertainer Liberace alongside Matt Damon as his screen lover Scott Thorson in Steven Soderbergh's biopic Behind The Candelabra, which is in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Hollywood star admitted he found the gay scenes easy, joking: "Once you get that first kiss in, you are comfortable. Matt and I didn't rehearse the love scenes. We said, 'Well, we've read the script, haven't we?'."

He admitted the physical transformation into Liberace was more challenging: "I was the girl on this movie! The hair and make-up for Liberace took two and a half hours. I've never done elaborate hair and make-up before."

Michael was "impressed" with his co-star, saying: "In the prime of my career, I don't think I'd be choosing to play Scott. I mean, he has to wear a white sequinned thong! That takes real guts."

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Your dry humour will be very popular. It's always difficult bringing a large group of people together. Everybody feels like they are walking on eggshells. After cracking a few jokes, you'll put the group at ease. Resist the temptation to make fun of relatives, especially the more sensitive members of the group. Nobody likes feeling singled out. Watching a light hearted comedy can also be a great way to generate a festive atmosphere. This is a time when people can put their differences aside.More