Who is that famous actress who's unrecognizable under the fake nose and two-hour makeup applications it took to pass her off as Liberace's mom in HBO's upcoming biopic "Behind the Candelabra"?
Hint: She's got a famous ex-husband and a famous daughter who has a famous ex-stepmother … give up? It's Debbie Reynolds.
HBO has released a 12-minute making-of featurette on the May 26 movie, and viewers get a peek at Reynolds, who was a real-life pal of the late singer and plays his tough mama, Frances. Though Frances Liberace was in her mid-to-late 80s during the time period the movie covers, 81-year-old diva Reynolds says she initially thought she was too young to play the role.
"I didn't think I was ready to play that age, but when I ran to my dressing room to look in the mirror, I decided I can play the part," Reynolds joked to Entertainment Weekly.
Reynolds -- mama to "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher, whose dad, Eddie Fisher, famously divorced Reynolds in 1959 to marry Elizabeth Taylor -- underwent two-hour makeup sessions, and donned a prosthetic nose to portray Frances, whom she got to know when she and Liberace partied together in Las Vegas.
"I'd have to wear all my diamonds and dress in white, and he'd dress in white, and we'd be like twins and go out," Reynolds told EW.
She continued, "[Frances] was a powerful woman, and she got her way, always, with Lee."
For those as obsessed with "Behind the Candelabra" as we are, the making-of video also includes fantastic previews of Liberace's spectacularly over-the-top houses, collectibles, and, of course, costumes.
The movie, which stars Oscar winner Michael Douglas as Liberace and Oscar winner Matt Damon as his lover Thorson, is based on Thorson's 1983 book of the same name -- which will be rereleased on May 14 -- about his relationship with the singer.
In the video, "Behind the Candelabra" screenwriter Richard LaGravenese says Douglas and Damon are "fearless in their performances" and shares that much of Liberace's inspiration for his opulent lifestyle came from King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
The video also includes interviews with Reynolds and Scott Bakula (#HotScotts alert!), who plays Bob Black, the Liberace friend who introduced his singer pal to a then-16-year-old Thorson.
"People are going to be jaw-droppingly amazed by Michael and Matt in this," Bakula says. "It is a wild, wild ride."
Check out the video above for a look at the incredible movie sets (which included Zsa Zsa Gabor's house and three other homes reconstructed to represent Liberace's "palatial kitsch" style) and the re-creation of Liberace's most famous costumes, including a white coat with a 16-foot train studded with Austrian crystals.
Meanwhile, the network has also released information about the "Behind the Candelabra" soundtrack, which will include Douglas singing "Why Do I Love You" and "The Impossible Dream." The CD, which will be released on May 21, is available for pre-order at HBO.com.
"Behind the Candelabra" premieres on HBO on May 26 at 9 PM.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Debbie Reynolds