×

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

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

More TV

  • Alton Brown

    TV News Roundup: Food Network Announces Premiere Date of 'Good Eats: The Return'

    In today’s roundup, Showtime releases a full-length trailer for “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” and Food Network announces the return of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.”  DATES After taking a break from the series, Alton Brown will bring “Good Eats” back to Food Network’s primetime lineup with “Good Eats: The Return.”  In its first [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the series

    Fox Sees Primetime, Sports Ad Gains As TV Upfront Wraps

    Fox Corporation is the latest to benefit from stronger-than-expected trends in TV ad spending, as the company notched strong gains in advertising commitments for its next cycle of programming – its first since selling off a large chunk of its media assets to Walt Disney. Ad demand was stronger than many executives anticipated, according to [...]

  • Charles Levin Obit

    Missing 'Seinfeld' Actor Charles Levin's Body Believed to be Found

    Oregon authorities believe they have found the body of the missing “Seinfeld” actor Charles Levin. He was 70 years old. According to Associated Press, Levin’s son reported the actor missing from Grants Pass on July 8. On July 12, search and rescue teams determined a search area in a remote area northeast of Selma with [...]

  • Oliver Jackson-Cohen Invisible Man

    ‘Haunting of Hill House’ Star Oliver Jackson-Cohen Returning for ‘Haunting of Bly Manor’

    Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who was recently cast as the titular character in the upcoming Blumhouse-Universal Pictures feature “The Invisible Man,” is set to haunt viewers once more on Netflix. Jackson-Cohen, who starred in “The Haunting of Hill House,” will return to star in the second installment of the Netflix anthology series, titled “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” [...]

  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

    Amazon to Develop 'Jack Reacher' Series

    Watch out Tom Cruise, there’s going to be another Jack Reacher in town. In a competitive situation, Amazon has won the rights to develop a series based on the protagonist from Lee Child’s novels. The series hails from “Scorpion” creator Nick Santora, who will write, showrun and executive produce. Child’s “Jack Reacher” series has sold over [...]

  • Fox News Media Taps Jason Klarman

    Fox News Media Taps Jason Klarman as Executive VP, Marketing

    Jason Klarman, a veteran TV executive who has served stints at NBCUniversal and Fullscreen Media, has been named executive vice president of Fox Corporation’s Fox News Media, and will supervise brand strategy for Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and other assets that are part of the division. Klarman will report to Suzanne Scott, CEO [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content