Matt Damon on getting naked for Liberace movie: Michael Douglas was a wonderful kisser
"Normally I'd say no to nudity, but I just did a lot of it," he tells Playboy of the film. "I mean, it's tastefully done. Steven Soderbergh directed it, and Michael Douglas plays Liberace. But this movie's not going to be for everyone."
Though the film is about extraordinary people, Damon says it's a relatively simple love story. "These two men were deeply in love and in a real relationship--a marriage--long before there was gay marriage. That's not an insignificant thing. The script is beautiful and relatable. Their conversations when they're dressing or undressing or having a spat or getting ready for bed? That's every marriage. It feels like you're witnessing something really intimate you would normally see with a man and a woman, but instead it's two men, which was thrilling. There's stuff I think will make people uncomfortable. Great. It's HBO--they can change the channel," he says.
It was important to Damon to get it right, because he felt that the story was worth telling honestly. "We both have a lot of gay friends, and we were not going to screw this up or bulls*** it," he says. "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 longue 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."
While shooting the scenes, he remembered some advice from an old friend.
"I remember asking Heath Ledger after 'Brokeback Mountain,' 'How'd you do that scene with Jake?'--meaning the scene where they start ferociously kissing. He said, 'Well, mate, I drank a half case of beer in my trailer.' I started laughing, and he goes, 'No, I'm serious. I needed to just go for it. If you can't do that, you're not making the movie.'"
Turns out, though, that a lot of Damon's concerns were unfounded. "Michael is a wonderful kisser," he jokes.