Long before he broke hearts as a lovably devilish ladies’ man on USA’s White Collar or shed 40 pounds for a Golden Globe–winning role as an AIDS victim in HBO’s The Normal Heart—and certainly before he gyrated alongside Channing Tatum in the Magic Mike films or played a vampire on FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel—Matt Bomer was a Texas high schooler valiantly defying any and all stereotypes of what it meant to be a man.
Was he a handsome jock or a shape-shifting thespian? A gun-toting good ol’ boy who’d been hunting since he was 8 or a gay man coming of age in one of America’s reddest states?
Well, turns out he was all of them—at least, as long as his schedule allowed it.
“Unfortunately, my senior year I left the football team because I got a play at the Alley Theater in Houston,” says the 38-year-old Bomer, who still looks back fondly on his days as a wide receiver and defensive back. “I was crazy fast,” he says. “I ran good routes, and I had good hands. I didn’t drop passes!”