1. Rob Lowe
In a movie full of makeovers, the most jaw-dropping is Lowe’s alienlike face as the eccentric plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Startz. ”I’ve taken great glee in showing pictures I have of Dr. Startz on my iPhone,” says Lowe. ”People, honestly, fall over. They are at once so repelled and engaged.” To achieve Dr. Startz’s freakishly elevated brow, Lowe had to endure a contraption of tape and elastic hidden under a wig. ”It’s what they used to do before there were face-lifts for actresses — you know, Joan Crawford’s whole career was this,” Lowe says. ”Then the makeup is like Earl Scheib auto-body paint sprayed on my face…. Being pulled that long and that hard for a 12-hour day gave me migraines.”
2. Debbie Reynolds
Reynolds has fond memories of partying with the real Liberace back in her Vegas days. ”I’d have to wear all my diamonds and dress in white, and he’d dress in white, and we’d be like twins and go out,” she reminisces. So it was a surprise when she got the call to play her late friend’s imposing mother, Frances, whom Reynolds also knew well. ”I didn’t think I was ready to play that age, but when I ran to my dressing room to look in the mirror, I decided I can play the part,” she says with a laugh. Not that viewers will recognize the 80-year-old actress. It took two hours to apply Frances’ angular nose and stern face, though the heavy Polish accent came more naturally. ”It wasn’t very hard for me to do her voice, because it’s so distinct,” says Reynolds. ”She was a powerful woman, and she got her way, always, with Lee.”
3. Scott Bakula
Bakula plays Bob Black, the tan, perennially open-shirted choreographer and hanger-on who introduced Thorson to Liberace.
4. Dan Aykroyd
The actor dons a retro Hollywood power suit as manager Seymour Heller, who ruthlessly protected his prize client.