Soderbergh: Liberace film rejected for being 'too gay'

Director couldn't find a studio to release the film, claiming most were 'scared'

Director Steven Soderbergh has said that his forthcoming biopic of musician Liberace was rejected by the major studios for being 'too gay'.

'Behind The Candelabra' was eventually picked up by HBO, but not before being shopped around.

[Related story: Damon didn't want to deny gay rumours]

“Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town,” he told The Wrap. “We needed $5 million. Nobody would do it.

“They said it was too gay. Everybody. This was after 'Brokeback Mountain,' by the way. Which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us.

“Studios were going, 'We don't know how to sell it.' They were scared.”

Much has been made of the kissing between the film's leads Michael Douglas, who plays Liberace, and Matt Damon, who plays his younger lover Scott Thorson.

“Michael was a wonderful kisser,” Damon joked in an interview with Playboy magazine.

“My concerns ended up mattering a lot less once we were filming. The dynamic between the men was complex and interesting.

“We both have a lot of gay friends, and we were not going to screw this up. It wasn’t the most natural thing in the world to do, though. Like, for one scene, I had to come out of a pool, go over to Michael, straddle him on a chaise lounge and start kissing him.

“And throughout the script, it’s not like I kiss him just once. We drew it up like a football plan. I mean, it’s tastefully done. But this movie’s not going to be for everyone.

“If Liberace were alive today, everybody would love his music and nobody would care what he did in his private life.”