‘Behind the Candelabra’: LaGravenese, Soderbergh Focused on Love Story

behind the candelabra Soderberg Emmy Writer

Liberace's dazzle still takes the breath away

Despite a resume that includes screenwriting duties for directors such as Clint Eastwood, Jonathan Demme, Barbra Streisand and Terry Gilliam, Richard LaGravenese still sounds a little breathless as he describes the call he got from friend and previous collaborator (on “Erin Brockovich”) Steven Soderbergh.

“He said ‘I have the rights to the Liberace biography. I’m not kidding. Are you interested?’ ” recalls LaGravenese, leading to the much Emmy-nommed and critically lauded HBO film “Behind the Candelabra.”

Even more music to the writer’s ears were the words: “Don’t be afraid of long scenes with lots of dialogue,” which LaGravenese says was Soderbergh’s way of saying “this film is going to be about character.”

In LaGravenese’s view, “character” was the connection point for the writer and director. “We were on the same page from the beginning,” says LaGravenese, “which was about five years ago. We both loved the cosmetic surgery aspect and we knew that was going to be a centerpiece. I think I received a couple of pages of notes per year as the project developed. But most importantly, we knew that you had to believe in this as a story about two people who loved each other. That never changed.”- Steven Gaydos

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. G. Jardoness says:

    I would’ve enjoyed it a whole lot more as an animated feature. That Bugs Bunny always nailed Liberace, “I wish my brother George were here”. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t find Bugs and Daffy in a tub quite provocative?

  2. andyinoregon says:

    Our experience was identical to Jimmy Kimmel’s. My wife and I watched the premiere of “Behind the Candelabra” and immediately watched it again. Better than 90% of films in theatres these days.

More TV News from Variety

Loading