Actor Matt Damon spoke candidly to Playboy about his gay role in the upcoming HBO biopic on Liberace as well as gay rumors that have long swirled around him and friend Ben Affleck.
In Behind the Candlelabra, Damon plays Scott Thorson, the longtime partner of Liberace, the flamboyant pianist who remained in the closet his entire life. Damon says there's a lot of nudity in the film: "Well, normally I’d say no to nudity, but I just did a lot of it playing the long-term partner of Liberace... 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."
Damon is careful to not sensationalize the film, or its central relationship: "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."
The Bourne Identity actor admits he had to work up to some of the intimate scenes with Douglas. "We both have a lot of gay friends, and we were not going to screw this up or bullshit it. 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."
Damon admits he once asked Heath Ledger how he filmed his love scenes with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (Ledger admitted to drinking a lot of beer).
And on rumors between him and actor Ben Affleck: "I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn’t want to offend my friends who were gay — as if being gay were some kind of fucking disease."