How do you feel when you hear the C word (cancer)? I'm a tad hypochondriacal so for me... let's just say I've thought about it a few times.
But here's some good news: Michael Douglas' cancer tumor under and behind his tongue is gone as of this moment. It was stage 4...
Michael just did two interviews to share this news, the spectrum of his emotions over the last several months and to chat about a couple great movie roles he had in 2010 -- the return of Gekko for which he is Golden Globe nominated and Solitary Man for which many feel he should be. Oscars may fix that.
Michael arrived looking about 20 lbs lighter than I'm used to seeing him, but good news -- he recently put back on 15.
He was gracious to our crew and staff, interested in me and my life (children especially).
I found him thoughtful and genuine. This is no surprise to anyone in the Access Hollywood New York bureau; years ago we interviewed Michael and he was 45 minutes late; he apologized to the whole crew and then bought lunch for everyone. I've waited two hours for much younger starlets who haven't said a thing. Class...respect... professional.
Michael said he is cancer free but cautious...he has a checkup in a month and then again a few months after. By summer, if the great news stands (and let's all pray hard that it does) he'll feel like dancing. He said it was hardest to tell his father Kirk, because in Kirk's vision (and all parents) DAD goes first. Kirk had seen the tabloid's gauntification of Michael...he needed to see his son for himself. In fact, Kirk came to see Michael three different times during the fight. I could tell that really meant a lot to Michael.
And Catherine, his wife, with her "Welsh stiff upper lip" stayed strong for him. He loves her so deeply... no question the love she gives him was needed fuel in his tank for this fight. Their children Dylan and Carys never felt afraid because Michael took them to see the radiation equipment, to touch it and understand it.
He says a great thrill now is being able to chase down his son again.... I almost cried. Like I almost cried when he said the tumor is gone.
Amazing is this: Michael never accepted the martyr's role; he never let the attention center on him and his plight. You hear that ladies?? Any woman will tell you, there's nothing worse than a sick man. My wife would rather have all three of our kids home sick from school than just ME!! We are babies needing our mommies at the end of the day. Not Michael Douglas. Don't tell me he can fix things around the house too.
This interview was emotional, personal, refreshingly candid and.... at one point hysterical.
I asked my if he was moving ahead with his next role, playing Liberace in the biopic of his life. He said yes and that he had only very recently begun his research. In case you didn't know, Matt Damon is playing his lover. In the name of good prep, Michael told me that he and Matt had exchanged some flirty emails and texts, like "what kind of chapstick are you wearing right now?" Haha...
To emphasize how early in the process it is for the "Liberace" team, Michael said about Damon, "He just got off a horse." And I said, "And he's about to get back on another..."
Michael burst out laughing. My heart sang. I don't know how many guttural laughs he's had in the last four or five months, but this one felt great...for everyone in the room.
It starts tomorrow on Access.
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