Michael Douglas’ “Traffic” co-star Benicio Del Toro interviewed him as part of an “Actor on Actor” series [via Variety]. The real gimme of this chitchat is the fact that Douglas truly believes that he missed out on the Cannes 2013 Best Actor prize due to Steven Spielberg’s bias against television. Spielberg was the Jury president that year and Douglas’s film was the HBO-produced Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra.”
“The word was I was the favorite for the best actor award,” Douglas told Del Toro. “[Spielberg] put the kibosh on that, because it was an HBO film. So when I now see this argument and beef about Showtime or Netflix, in this case, doing feature films, I think they’ve got to get this resolved.”
In Steven Soderbergh’s “Candelabra” Douglas gave the performance of his career as Liberace, with Matt Damon almost just-as-good playing Liberace’s partner, Scott Thorson. This admission from Douglas does come after Spielberg’s infamous fight with streaming giant Netflix and how their original movies should be excluded from Oscar eligibility unless they adhere to more sustainable theatrical windows.
Spielberg’s 2013 Cannes jury was incredibly packed with talent, it included Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman, Lynne Ramsay, and Christoph Waltz. In the end, the Best Actor prize went to Bruce Dern from “Nebraska,” no complaint here.