Scott Thorson, author "Behind the Candelabra"
BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- When the HBO biopic based on Scott Thorson's memoir first aired, its author wasn't in front of a television - Liberace's former lover was in jail on charges of using a stolen credit card.
Thorson is now living at the Bunny Ranch, and working on a sequel to Behind the Candelabra, which he says will be published later this summer. He was pleased with Matt Damon’s portrayal of him in the film and seems to take some ownership of the fact that “Behind the Candelabra” is the “biggest hit since 2004 that HBO has had.”
“We didn’t think this film was going to get made for several reasons – Michael Douglas dying of throat cancer almost, none of the box office theaters would take a chance on it. And that’s their loss and HBO’s gain.”
Thorson revealed additional details about one of the more bizarre aspects of the film and his time with Liberace – when the pianist requested that Thorson get plastic surgery to make his face more like showman’s.
“It was mainly to throw the press off,” says Thorson. “I was running around Vegas wearing million dollars worth of jewelry and driving Rolls Royce cars and things like that. He had to do everything to protect his image.”
Thorson promises that the plastic surgeon, Dr. Jack Startz, was at least as weird as portrayed by Rob Lowe in the biopic.
“He was nothing but a drug addict and an alcoholic,” says Thorson. “He’s in there having a martini as he’s working on Liberace’s face when I came in there to collect Lee afterwards. He was really whacked out, this guy. Then later on he took a gun and shot himself in the head. Bad, bad, bad doctor.”
If, like us, you can’t get enough of Thorson’s story, good news: He says that "Behind the Candelabra" producer Jerry Weintraub is working on a deal to take the story to the Broadway stage, with Hugh Jackman mentioned as a possible lead.