Michael Douglas: Thanks for the role, Mr. Soderbergh

David Azia / AP

Academy Award winner Michael Douglas got teary at the Cannes Film Festival while thanking director Steven Soderbergh for casting him as Liberace in Behind The Candelabra.

“It was right after my cancer that this beautiful gift was given to me," Douglas, 68, said at a press conference at the Palais de Festivals, referring to his battle with stage-four throat cancer, according to People.com. “I’m eternally grateful to Steven, [co-star] Matt Damon and [producer] Jerry (Weintraub)."

Douglas said he met Liberace when he was 12 at his father Kirk Douglas’ home in Palm Springs. “He came out of a Rolls Royce convertible, and the light was just bouncing off of all of his jewelry. He was very charming.”

Behind the Candelabra premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on HBO.

In other Douglas family news: wife Catherine Zeta-Jones is out of a mental health facility where she was being treated for bipolar disorder, according to TMZ.com

The Oscar winning actress was seen in public Wednesday, driving in New York.

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