Michael Douglas was overcome with emotion as he promoted his new movie Behind The Candelabra at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday (21May13).
The actor, who plays flamboyant pianist Liberace in the drama, cried as he discussed his role at a press conference during the seaside event in France.
Douglas told reporters the film is close to his heart as he began shooting "right after my cancer", referring to his battle with throat cancer in 2010, and thanked director Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon, who plays Liberace's gay lover, for their support.
He called the part "a beautiful gift" and told the pair, "I will be eternally grateful," prompting a round of applause from the crowd.
The Wall Street star also played down reports Hollywood studio bosses snubbed the project due to its gay plotline.
He said, "It's a difficult time for smaller independent pictures. Things seem to still be led by gambling on very large-budget movies with large marketing budgets. I don't think the problem they had was with the gay issue, it (is) that they don't like to be bothered with smaller pictures."
The film will air on U.S. Tv network HBO later this month (May13).