Michael Douglas choked up only once, saying, “I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support,” telling The Hollywood Reporter at the end of an exclusive interview. “Cancer has shown me what family is. It showed me a love that I never knew really existed.”
This is the first time Douglas has talked to anyone since his throat cancer announcement three months earlier.
“I haven’t really digested it yet, truth be told,” Douglas says about his past year, as breathtakingly foul as a biblical curse. “As I looked through the stats, I didn’t think of this as life and death; I just saw it as an illness to get over. So I didn’t dig into the bottom of my soul to see what I could see. It certainly has put a little perspective on mortality, obviously.”
His long-suffering son in prison for drug sales; stage four cancer; ex-wife suing for half of his Wall Street 2 grosses. One after the other. Then rad-chemo.
“The level of chemo, the amount they’re giving you, combined with radiation, was the max they could do in that period of time,” he says. “It’s amazing that they almost have to try and kill you to bring you back.”
Although Douglas comes from a religious family (observant Jewish father, Church of England mother), but Michael is only religiously agnostic. “I believe there is a spirit within us, which we nurture based upon our efforts and what we bring to the world,” he says. “But it doesn’t come from the outside; it comes from the inside.”
Is Douglas feeling better? His mind is working just fine. He’s preparing for director Steven Soderbergh’s next film, Liberace, that will begin in about six months.
All he has to do besides memorize lines, not trip over set furniture and become the well-known Liberace onscreen and off is endure special prosthetic work while learning to play piano.
The compete exclusive interview is at hollywoodreporter.com