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B.O.O. Role: Unknown Status: Pre-Production Release: June 5, 2015
“I never really endeavored to hide anything,” Bomer, 34, told me this weekend while promoting his new movie, Magic Mike. “But there were times I chose not to relegate my history to the back page of a magazine, which to me is sort of akin to putting your biography on a bathroom wall.”
Not that he dismisses the importance of being an out actor.
“I had somebody from the military approach me a few weeks ago just saying how this helps people, affects people,” Bomer said. “It brought me to tears.”
I go so far as to suggest that he could be saving young gay people’s lives. “I hope so,” he said. “They need saving, certainly in this day and age as much as ever—no matter how much we think we’ve progressed.”
Matt Bomer on the Allure of His White Collar Con Man Role and Getting Glee-ful
TVLINE: Do you see something like Magic Mike and a growing movie career as a positive or a hindrance to your Emmy chances — as well as to White Collar‘s future? It’s always good to get your face out there, especially if you’re working with somebody like [Magic Mike director] Steven Soderbergh. I don’t think that hurts. I certainly don’t think it’ll hurt the show. The great thing about getting to do a cable series is we’re on for six months and we’re off for six months. I’ve been trying to use my hiatus to work with filmmakers like [In Time director/writer] Andrew Niccol and Steven Soderbergh that I really believe in, in smaller roles, rather than taking a lead in something big and studio and splashy – not that Magic Mike hasn’t become studio and splashy. [Laughs] But when I signed on to do it, it was a $5 million independent movie. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to go out there and challenge yourself as an actor.
TVLINE: We don’t have to worry about you leaving White Collar any time soon, right? No, I consider White Collar my home base. I’m so lucky to get to play a character that’s very multifaceted and the writers take risks on and never get into a staid process with. They’re always challenging themselves and, thusly, me as an actor. As long as they continue to do that, I’m happy. I love my job on White Collar. I won’t be leaving it any time soon.
TVLINE: USA Network shows tend to be written off when it comes to Emmys, because they’re considered lighter fare. Do you think that’s a fair characterization? I don’t think it’s fair because, to me, they are dramatic shows with elements of humor. As long as that doesn’t get overly quirky or too hokey, that’s the way life is to me. I don’t know anybody who walks through life all the time in the doldrums, constantly serious and morose. But that’s become what we generalize as drama. I’m really lucky to get to work on a show that has elements of humor. But when you’re comparing that to – I won’t list anything specifically – a lot of the shows that are pretty much straight drama the entire time, it runs the risk of being categorized as something else. But I don’t really think it is.
TVLINE: Neal Caffrey has to be one of the funnest characters to play.
He is. It’s so rare, especially as a younger actor, to find a role where it’s not just one-dimensional and it’s not just a stock leading man. He is smart, intelligent, slick. He has grace under fire. He’s excellent under pressure. He’s on point. He’s firing on all cylinders. But at the same time, he’s really a 4-year-old. He has terrible impulse control. He makes really irrational decisions, especially when it comes to anything romantically-inclined. He is a hopeless romantic to a fault. … It’s a real dream of a role to get to play. More and more, as I play the role over the years, I come to find so many things in my life that I thought were futile or silly at the time, that I may have studied or read about or practiced, led up to this opportunity for me.
60 Seconds With America’s Hottest Dad (AKA Matt Bomer)
Tell us about how you find a suit — a lot of dudes don’t know how to find the perfect one.
“Well, one thing I’ve certainly learned from being on the show is the importance of a tailor. If you like a suit, just because it doesn’t fit you off the rack doesn’t mean that you should give up on it. A good tailor can make anything work. For me, it depends from designer to designer: I feel like a lot of times I’m picking something for a specific event so that will be my guide process to which designer I wear. If I wanna pop of color, I’ll go Paul Smith; if I want something a little more traditional that I’ll feel more confident and comfortable in, I’ll go Tom Ford… it just depends.”
And what about for everyday wear, who are some of your favorite designers?
“Casual look? I love the stuff that Michael Bastian does for GANT. Especially in the summertime, the colors he uses…it fits well and it’s fun, you know? It says summertime to me. But in my personal life, I’m a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy. I really like hoodies and jeans and tees, but when I’m stepping it out, it just depends. I love Billy Reid, he has a lot of great stuff this summer.”
A cop, a con man and a fake lawyer walk into a bar…and, no joke, every head turns. Still, it’s nothing new to see the trio in question — Michael Ealy, Matt Bomer and Patrick J. Adams — with other, equally good-looking buddies. On the cops-in-therapy freshman series Common Law, Ealy’s been sparking with costar Warren Kole as mismatched LAPD partners Travis Marks and Wes Mitchell. Bomer’s White Collar schemer Neal Caffrey has spent the past three seasons bantering and buddying up to Tim DeKay’s straitlaced Fed Peter Burke. And the SAG-nominated Adams is about to kick off his second season as legal-eagle poser Mike Ross opposite Gabriel Macht’s slickster attorney Harvey Specter on Suits. Together, this holy trinity of cheekbones and charm exemplify the easy-to-look-at and easier-to-love attitude of USA’s sunniest, funniest dramedies. Over drinks at a Manhattan hot spot the day before their high-seas cover shoot, the fellas shot the breeze with us about the network’s “blue skies” aesthetic, their on-screen sidekicks and the pitch-perfect cross-over episode.
TV Guide Magazine: That comedy-drama vibe?
Bomer: Everybody talks about the “blue skies” thing, but I find our shows to be like life. I don’t think anybody walks through life serious and stone-faced the entire time. People want to laugh.
TV Guide Magazine: Chemistry helps, too.
Bomer: I tested with Tim [DeKay], yeah. We hit it off right away.
TV Guide Magazine: You could actually be siblings.
Adams: A lot of people thought the show was about [brothers]…
Bomer: There goes the Season 2 mythology!
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of mythology, we hear the new White Collar season will explore Neal’s backstory and the identity of his father.
Bomer: I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors.
TV Guide Magazine: Actually you can, since (executive producer) Jeff Eastin is the one who told me.
Bomer: Oh, OK then. Yes, we will be! [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: And the first two episodes filmed in Puerto Rico?
Bomer: We had an amazing time. It was so great to take the show to a new location. The rhythm of New York is so specific, so to slow it down to island time was really interesting.
TV Guide Magazine: As our Boys of Summer, any summer traditions you follow?
Bomer: I work during the week, fly home to L.A. to see my family on the weekends. Rinse and repeat.
Adams: Do you fly back every weekend?
Bomer: Pretty much. We always get a place outside the city for a few weeks, too. Somewhere in the country near water. So we’ll barbecue, hang out, have a good time.
For more on USA’s boys of summer, pick up this week’s issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, June 14!
We think of Park & Bond as the Intersection of Men & Style. To celebrate Father’s Day, we’re exploring a more perilous crossroads, that of fatherhood & style. The New York dads manage to navigate it with elegance, individuality, and ease. From stylish leading man (and father of three!) Matt Bomer, to the brilliant photographer Ben Watts, to the legendary journalist Gay Talese, these gents prove that being a dad doesn’t have to mean wearing dad jeans.
With the omnipresent ads for White Collar, his USA show about a rakish but well-dressed con man who crosses over to the other side to help the feds, it’s arguable that Matt Bomer has done as much as any man in recent memory to raise the stock of the four-in-hand tie knot. It’s definitely proven influential to his son. “Our oldest has a fascination with ties,” Bomer says. “We’ll be going to a family dinner and he’ll come downstairs in a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and a blue blazer with a tie. We let him rock that.” He and husband Simon Halls, a Hollywood publicist who counts Tom Ford among his clientele, are the parents to three: a seven-year-old and four-year-old twins. (What’s that like? “Busy,” he says. “With three boys, you’re constantly running around.”)
Bomer and his father bonded over sports—as a teenager, he played baseball, football, soccer, and tennis; swam, dove, and ran track—and sports have forged a bond between Bomer and his own son, too. (He calls the first Forty Niners game he took his oldest to, “One of the highlights of my life.”) He’s come to emulate his father in more ways than he might have expected. “One of the amazing things that happens when you’re a parent is you find yourself sounding exactly like your parents did. Not only sounding like them, but saying the things that you hated hearing when you were a kid,” he laughs. They diverge a bit on matters of personal style: the elder Bomer “really buys into the mythos of being a Texan” and “has moments with the ten-gallon hat,” while the younger cites Alain Delon and Marcello Mastroianni as influences.
Glee’s Best Guest Star Ever? Matt Bomer Dishes on His Debut – and Prospects of Joining Season Four
1. Matt Bomer Is More Than Just a Pretty Face: He’s got blue eyes, too, people! (Kidding) You White Collar fans know well that Bomer can handle drama and action with the best of ‘em, but his role as Blaine’s brother Cooper is his best comedic TV work yet. Work that is definitely Emmy worthy. “It was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had, truly,” Bomer tells me. “I mean, [executive producers] Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan gave me a real gift, comedic gift of a character to get to play, so just getting to do the scenes they wrote was a blast.”
2. Cooper Anderson Is So Wrong He’s Right: As the international spokesperson for a credit-rating commercial, Cooper (Bomer) believes he is a great mentor to the New Directions kids, and teaches them that pointing and yelling lines is the best way to convey real emotion. (Take notes, people!) “It was fun to play somebody who has such strong convictions and opinions that are all completely ill-founded and misguided,” Bomer tells me. “But at the heart of it, you know he’s really trying to look out for his brother and gave him some of the slings and arrows of the entertainment industry and he’s trying to help.”
3. Darren and Matt “Clicked”: “He’s incredibly talented but also a really great guy,” Bomer says of his onscreen bro. “He’s completely accessible, and when I got the job, we went out to dinner to talk about our characters but also to just get to know each other, because in order to play brothers you have to have a sort of inherent understanding of the person. And he was thankfully a great professional and totally open to becoming friends so that it would translate onto the screen. Interestingly enough, I felt a very brotherly kinship with him. When we sing together, our voices seem to blend well together so it all worked out great. He’s just a fantastic guy.” And fantastically wet and shirtless in this episode, FYI. There is a boxing-shower montage you Darren Criss fans won’t be mad at! Get those freeze-frame fingers ready.
‘Glee’s’ Matt Bomer Teases Cooper Anderson’s Arrival: It’s an Emotional Tornado
When Matt Bomer’s Cooper Anderson arrives at Glee’s McKinley High, Blaine’s (Darren Criss) older brother will cause quite a stir when everyone — including Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester — is impressed with the local celebrity.
While his heart is in the right place, the White Collar star tells The Hollywood Reporter that his hilariously named character is a total hot mess when it comes to offering career advice for the kids of New Directions: Point to be dramatic! Wink to be funny! “Unfortunately, the wisdom he’s dispensing is really illegitimate and awful,” Bomer says.
THR caught up with Bomer to discuss how he connected with Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy for the role, covering childhood fave Duran Duran and whether Cooper Anderson could be back for graduation.
THR: Considering your partner, Simon Halls, is Ryan’s agent, has working with Ryan been something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?
Matt Bomer: I’ve been a huge fan of Ryan’s work for years, so yeah, absolutely. I’ve met him socially at the Golden Globes and incidentally at things over the years. But the first time we sat down together was at the meeting for was for The Normal Heart in September, and I was blown away by his talent. To be honest, nobody makes me laugh harder.
Is that where the idea for the best-named character ever — Cooper Anderson — was hatched?
(Laughs) I can’t take credit for that, I’m sure that was either Ryan or [writer] Ian Brennan. Ryan called me one day and asked if I wanted to play Darren Criss’ brother on the show. I was floored and said absolutely. He pitched a story line, and I was literally crying from laughter hearing what a hot mess this character was and how much fun it was going to be to get to play him. He, Ian and [Glee writer] Michael Hitchcock put together a real gift of a role for me.
How much of a “hot mess” is Cooper Anderson?
He’s somebody who has really strong convictions and opinions that are completely misguided and ill-founded, but his heart is in right place. He’s back in town to rekindle a relationship with his brother, and he really wants to help him and his classmates skip out on some of the flames and arrows of the business that he’s had to endure. I wanted to make sure that all the advice and “wisdom” he dispenses to the kids were all founded and based in something. He tells them, “Whatever you do, don’t go to New York,” because he didn’t have a good experience there and wants to save them the heartache of a very difficult business. Unfortunately, the wisdom he’s dispensing is really illegitimate and awful. (Laughs.)
Matt Bomer talks playing Blaine’s brother and how it differed from ‘Magic Mike’
Gleeks already knew that Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) was dreamy. But, on the April 10 episode of Glee, viewers will get to meet Blaine’s even dreamier older brother, Cooper — yes Cooper Anderson — played by White Collar‘s Matt Bomer.
Cooper is the star of a credit-rating commercial, which makes him an A-list celebrity in Lima, Ohio, and major crush material for Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). He also gives the New Directions kids a “master class” in acting with such gems as “The key to a dramatic scene is pointing,” and “The secret to great acting is ignoring whatever the other actor is doing.”
Says Bomer, “It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. It’s so fun to play a character who has such strong convictions and opinions that are completely misguided and come from all the wrong places.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you a Gleek?
MATT BOMER: Yeah, I definitely had tuned in for quite a few episodes. Ryan just gave me the call and said, “Do you wanna come on and be part of an episode?” And I said, “Absolutely. That would be fantastic.” He called me the next day and pitched me the character and the story arc and I literally had tears rolling down my face. [Co-creator] Ian Brennan is a friend of mine as well. They both just gave me such rich material to go off of. They let me go as cray cray as I wanted to.
I love that you just used “cray cray.” I always say that.
I use cray cray in the episode too. I’m not sure if it made it.
When you go back to White Collar, will you be pointing more?
[Laughs] Definitely. There’s definitely going to be a lot more pointing just to make sure the audience knows who I’m talking to. And if you see me in a two shot with Tim DeKay, I might have earplugs in my ears. I don’t have to keep track of what his character is saying to mine.
At the very end of your master class, you say you’re going to show everyone the “emotional tornado.” What does that exactly look like?
I think there were a couple of takes where we actually got into it a little bit. What I basically started with is “Your fingers are up in the clouds. Uh oh — is there a little electricity brewing? Is a storm gonna come? Uh oh — I’m feeling some emotions in the tips of my fingers and now it’s dripping down. Now it’s in my elbows…” [Laughs]
“Glee” Guest Matt Bomer on Living Out His Duran Duran Fantasy, Kissing Jane Lynch and More!
TVLINE | How did the role come about? I had heard the Gotye song ["Somebody That I Used to know"] and I asked [series co-creator] Ryan [Murphy] if he ever thought of using that as a duet on the show. And he said he had. And then a week later I got a text from him asking me if I wanted to come on the show to sing it. And I said, ‘Absolutely!’
TVLINE | Was it fun playing such a D-bag? [Laughs] To me, the fun of the role was getting to play somebody who had such strong convictions and opinions about all of the wrong things and in all of the wrong ways. At the heart of it, he really does want to help his brother avoid the slings and arrows of being a young artist. He clearly hasn’t had an easy road of it as an actor. And over the course of that path, he sort of developed his own short cuts and tricks of the trade, which are all horribly misleading and misguided.
TVLINE | Have you ever encountered someone like Cooper?Yeah, of course. Any actor who participated in drama in high school or college had experience with guest speakers. And sometimes there’s a lot of gold in their advice. And then sometimes you’re just scratching your head. [Laughs] I’ve definitely had crazy acting teachers… Just completely bat s–t crazy. I’m not going to name any names.
TVLINE | The script also has some fun with your looks. I think Kurt refers to you as the most good-looking guy in all of North America. What is it like to hear that? Does it make you uncomfortable? It makes me think, ‘I really hope hair and makeup [shows up] to work that day.” [Laughs] At the end of the day, Cooper is just desperate for validation. For him, hearing something like that is just the best news ever. That was the fun of the journey. I think he comes back to town under the ruse that he’s doing all of this gritty work for the next commercial campaign. But I think he also needs to get back in touch with his roots and reality because he’s having a tough go of it. But then once he realizes that he’s kind of a hometown hero, the hubris kicks in and his ego expands exponentially.