Critics have praised Michael Douglas for his ability to portray morally-flawed characters without losing the essential ethical qualities of a hero. Douglas also has a knack for playing the contemporary, white, middle-to-upper-class American male – angry with women due to real or perceived slights. The theme of male victimization is prominent in many of his films, including “Fatal Attraction,” “The War of the Roses,” “Basic Instinct,” and “Disclosure.”
Douglas is equally adept at playing powerful characters such as Gordon Gekko in the Wall Street franchise, the quintessential yuppie who believes greed is a good thing. In “Romancing the Stone” and “The Jewel of the Nile,” he played an idealistic soldier of fortune.
His Conversion to Judaism
Michael Douglas, although not raised in the Jewish faith due to his non-Jewish mother, converted to Judaism later in life following his cancer diagnosis. He is today a Reform Jew, inspired by his father, Kirk Douglas, who also embraced his faith in his later years, and his son Dylan, a devout believer.
In 2015, the Genesis Prize Foundation, an organization that promotes Jewish culture, recognized and honored Douglas' commitment to his faith. The recognition stirred controversy among the Jewish community, who questioned why the prize went to Douglas - someone who converted late in life and had a non-Jewish wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Michael Douglas on Netflix
In 2018, Michael Douglas teamed up with Alan Arkin for the hit series “The Kominsky Method,” where he played the role of Sandy Kominsky, a seasoned acting coach grappling with the challenges of aging in Hollywood. Douglas' standout performance earned him a Golden Globe Award. The story revolves around the relationship between Sandy and his millionaire agent friend, Norman Newlander, played brilliantly by Alan Arkin.
Together, they navigate the often-harsh realities of getting older. The show is an inside joke on Hollywood, poking fun at its obsession with aging (especially for women) – instead subverting the stereotype by portraying two men who are far from aging gracefully. The show - said to be Chuck Lorre's most personal creation to date - is a rare blend of irreverence, heart, and class.
He Makes a Memorable Guest Appearance
In 2002, Michael Douglas made a guest appearance on the popular sitcom “Will & Grace” as a gay cop who becomes attracted to Will Truman, portrayed by Eric McCormack. The performance was so impressive that Douglas earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Show.
Debra Messing, who plays Grace, was amazed at how easily Douglas embodied his character. Entertainment Weekly even ranked his guest spot as the fourth most memorable appearance on the show. Reviewers and critics were particularly impressed with Douglas, who stole every scene thanks to his brilliant acting and commanding presence on screen.
The Joys of Acting and Producing
Michael Douglas considers himself primarily an actor, but he also enjoys producing because it involves more adult responsibilities and risks. He has shared how producing allows him to be more creative and learn the business side of things. The chameleon-like ability to adapt to different situations has served him well in various facets of life.
The actor believes the same quality helps him fit in different movie roles as long as he stays true to his values and remembers why he got involved in the first place. Douglas maintains that an impulsive and intuitive approach to filmmaking can lead to success, even when the going gets tough.