"Behind the Candelabra" Casting

PALM SPRINGS — Hundreds of fun seekers, Liberace fans and actors came to the Palm Springs Convention Center on Sunday for a chance to be an extra in the upcoming Liberace TV biopic, “Behind the Candelabra.”

The open casting call for the HBO film continues today. Click here http://casting360.com/castingcalls.php?view=846737 for more information. Parts of the movie, starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant piano man and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson, are slated to be shot in Palm Springs in late August. Liberace had two homes in Palm Springs.

Douglas' father, actor and author Kirk Douglas, had a home in Palm Springs for years and his brother Joel lives only a few blocks from Liberace's home near Alejo Road.

Those attending the casting call fill out information cards and will receive a phone call if they're cast. The process took less than 15 minutes for most.

About 100 extras are needed to play fans, medical personnel and likely other parts, casting director Rich King said.

“We're shooting in some of the places where he lived and places he frequented,” King said. Locals “are gonna be used to the heat here, I think. You bring L.A. people out here, they'll pass out.”

Filming in Palm Springs is scheduled for the week of Aug. 20. Extras are paid minimum wage.

All men and women 18 and older are eligible. Hopefuls can bring a snapshot — 3 inches by 5 inches — or have photos taken on-site.

Sue Emery, a high school career counselor from Palm Springs, brought her school photo. She said because she has the summer off she let her friend Norma Marcus talk her into coming to the casting.

Marcus, a spa technician from Palm Desert, has experience as an extra.

“I've done so many that I forgot,” she said.

She said she'd played a waitress when “Hidden Palms” filmed at the Parker Palm Springs. Another role landed her in a fictional Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

“It's just fun to hang out, see how they work, the actors, watch their moves,” she said.

That chance to be a fly on the wall during a feature film production drew Renee Espar, a Palm Springs stage actress.