Matt Bomer: How the Magic Mike actor conquered Hollywood on his own terms
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Matt Bomer: How the Magic Mike actor conquered Hollywood on his own terms

By Dan Rookwood for Mr Porter

To become a star in Hollywood and realise the American Dream, you often have to adopt a persona and leave your true self behind. That’s the experience of Monroe Stahr, the central character in Amazon Prime’s lavish new period drama The Last Tycoon, a wunderkind studio executive who ditches his Jewish name (Milton Sternberg) and heritage in order to metamorphose into a power player in the golden age of cinema. But for Mr Matt Bomer, who plays Stahr in the 10-episode adaptation of Mr F Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel, the opposite is true.

After making his name on US TV, most notably as a suave conman in 81 episodes of White Collar and then in 13 episodes of American Horror Story, Mr Bomer found international recognition in 2012 playing a ripped male stripper who drives women crazy in Magic Mike and its equally wild 2015 sequel Magic Mike XXL. In a demonstration of his range, that same year he won a Golden Globe for his moving performance as HIV/AIDS sufferer Felix Turner in the HBO film The Normal Heart. But his “first real acting role” was to spend several years as a young man growing up in a loving, conservative Christian family in Bible Belt Texas pretending he was straight.

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The Last Tycoon reveals Hollywood’s Golden Boy
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The Last Tycoon reveals Hollywood’s Golden Boy

Matt Bomer enbraces role as 1930s Jewish producer in F. Scott Fitzgerald novella.
By Frazier Moore to Toronto Star

When he landed the lead in The Last Tycoon, Matt Bomer had never read the timeless F. Scott Fitzgerald novella on which the series is based. But by chance, he had just finished an other celebrated novel set in 1930s Hollywood, Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust.

“I was contemplating the themes both books deal with: How do you mantain your artistry in such a commercial industry as the movies – and can you? And I was thinking about how much Hollywood has changed since that time period. And how little has really changed.”

Before long, Bomer would be poring over Fitzgerald’s prose to prepare for his Last Tycoon portrayal.

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Matt Bomer’s Tycoon Costumes Were Breathtaking!
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Matt Bomer’s Tycoon Costumes Were Breathtaking!

YAHOO – There’s no doubt that if it’s a fantastic period wardrobe you’re looking for, Emmy-winning Mad Men and Deadwood designer Janie Bryant is the go-to costumer.

Matt Bomer, star of Amazon’s new drama The Last Tycoon, couldn’t agree more about the “incredible” wardrobe Bryant designed for him and his castmates. The sharp duds he wears as 1930s Hollywood producer Monroe Stahr in this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel, in fact, often left the Golden Globe winner literally breathless.

“You hold yourself differently when you’re wearing an impeccably tailored, double-breasted suit,” Bomer tells Yahoo TV in the video above. “Where the waistline is, how the pants fall, and the shoes you wear all affect the movement of the character.

“The tougher part is, there were times that it was so tailored that breathing became an issue, so I guess that’s the hardest part about it, making sure I can breath.”

Bomer, who says Bryant’s work “informs your physical life as an actor and just brings you right into [the character],” lost weight to portray Stahr, a slim man who’s been dealing with a serious health issue his whole life.

“It was a bit of a physical undertaking to inhabit the role. He’s had a congenital heart defect since birth, and so, hasn’t been able to go to the gym and exercise, and has to be careful about his physical status,” says the actor, whose Last Tycoon character was written by Fitzgerald as a fictionalized biography of legendary producer Irving Thalberg. “So not only was that something to keep in mind in the scenes, but I also had to lose some weight.

“It was more a dietary thing. Walking, a lot of walking, and laying off the exercise, really. But all of that is part of the fun of going role to role. I’ve done it before, and it’s an enjoyable process. It didn’t inhibit the work at all, it allowed me to, hopefully, dig in a little deeper.”

Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammer talks “The Last Tycoon” to USA Today
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Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammer talks “The Last Tycoon” to USA Today

Amazon is picking up the pen where F. Scott Fitzgerald left off.

On Friday, the streaming service premieres its 10-episode adaptation of the literary giant’s unfinished novel The Last Tycoon, which traces the careers of two Hollywood moguls (played by Matt Bomer and Kelsey Grammer) in the late 1930s.

Talking to executive producer Joshua D. Maurer midway through the shoot, “I was like, ‘Hey, Josh, when did we divert from the original book?'” Grammer recalls. “And he was like, ‘Oh, God, a long time ago.’ The beauty of an unfinished novel is you get to finish it.”

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