(CBS) -- In a candid interview, Michael Douglas opens up to New York Magazine about his 40-plus-year career, his frightening battle with cancer, why it was easy playing a gay man and his troubled son Cameron.
The 68-year-old actor plays the flamboyant performer Liberace in an HBO biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” that premieres May 26. See what he has to say about that role, as well as the recent events that have rocked his life, including a battle with stage four cancer.
On playing Liberace:
“Once you get that first kiss in, you are comfortable,” Douglas said. “Matt [Damon] and I didn’t rehearse the love scenes. We said, ‘Well—we’ve read the script, haven’t we?’” he laughed. “The hardest thing about sex scenes is that everybody is a judge. I don’t know the last time you murdered somebody or blew anyone’s brains out, but everyone has had sex and probably this morning, which means everyone has an opinion on how it should be done.”
On his battle with cancer:
“They recommended that I try to eat and I never got the feeding tube. Matzo-ball soup was great, but I still lost 45 pounds.” Douglas paused. “That’s life,” he said finally. “Things had been going good for me for a long time. I was ready for some karmic retribution.”
“I watched a lot of sports, anything where I didn’t know the ending.” When asked if he missed working, he responded, “I did, but I was too weak to miss much of anything. I was stage four, and there is no stage five. After complaining for nine months and them not finding anything, and then they told me I was stage four?! That was a big day.”
On his son Cameron, who is in jail for drug possession and dealing:
“Since he was 13, Cameron has been a chronic substance abuser,” Douglas said. “He was kicked out of school for dealing pot when he was 13, and that’s when I became aware of his problems. He’s a wonderful, talented kid who I love to death, but when heroin became his drug of choice in the last eight years, the situation became difficult. He was shooting up seven times a day.”
“I have gone from being a very disappointed but loving father who felt his son got what was due him to realizing that Lady Justice’s blindfold is really slipping,” Douglas said. “I’m not defending Cameron as a drug dealer or drug addict, but I believe, because of his last name, he’s been made an example.”