Michael Douglas broke down in tears as he spoke about the first acting role he took on after winning his battle with cancer.
The iconic actor got emotional at the Cannes Film Festival press conference for his new movie Behind the Candelabra, in which he plays flamboyant pianist and singer Wladziu Valentino Liberace.
The drama tells the life story of the US artist and focuses on his tempestuous six-year relationship with younger lover Scott Thorson, played by Matt Damon.
Directed by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, it was the first movie role Michael took on after being given the all-clear in 2011, following his battle with throat cancer.
“It was an eternal gift. It was right after my cancer,” the star told press in the South of France.
Michael added that the movie made uncomfortable viewing for his family when his character dies of AIDS-related pneumonia.
The Hollywood legend said it was difficult to watch for his famous father Kirk, a movie star himself.
“I think he was very uncomfortable with my death scene,” Douglas said.
The 68-year-old recently revealed he was lucky to be alive after the stage IV illness was missed by two doctors before he was correctly diagnosed in 2010.
Michael believes the cancer was “karmic retribution” for his successful career, but has ultimately led to renewed interest from movie producers.
“That’s life. Things had been going good for me for a long time. I was ready for some karmic retribution,” he told New York Magazine.