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Matt talks “The Last Tycoon” with Men’s Fitness

In another interview published today, Matt sat with Men’s Fitness to talk on what attracted him to the role, his appreciation of 1930s, and his secret to staying calm, cool, and collected under pressure in any of life’s tricky situations.

What were your thoughts when you first accepted this role? How excited were you?

I was really flattered that they reached out to me. I’m a huge Fitzgerald fan as almost everyone, I think. It’s intimidating to interpret his prose and to bring it onto the screen and interpret an iconic character of his. But thankfully I had Billy Ray who is just a brilliant writer and director. I’ve been a fan of his since a movie called Shattered Glass that he did I think in early 2000s, I’m not sure, for whatever reason he thought I was the right guy for the role, and it was a real honor to get to be his avatar and collaborate with him on this and help try to bring his vision to life. It’s a story that he’d been living with for a really long time, and I think he very wisely took this great structure we have now where you can take a novel and make it a 10-part series as opposed to one 2-hour open and closed film and where they open up the world and the relationships and the characters that I thought had a lot of room to grow, so I was really excited to work on it.

What do you think life would look like for you if you actually lived in the 1930s?

Well it depends. I mean it’s an incredible, it’s one of my favorite things about getting to be a part of this piece. I love any period piece but the 1930s, especially 1936 when this takes place, was an incredibly rich place around the world. You had the Spanish Civil War going on, Hitler was rising to power in Europe, you’re at the height of the Great Depression and here you are in Hollywood where business is booming, So, you know, it depends, I could be, you know, suffering through a Hooverville in the height of the Great Depression or I could be a young studio executive and business is booming. I think there is in American landscape at the time, if you’re talking about our country in particular, it was you know, really, really bipolar in terms of what your experience could be as a human being, and I think that’s something they really tried to pick up and express and show in the piece.

Check the full interview at Men’s Fitness website.

Matt Bomer talks “The Last Tycoon” with OUT

In another interview released today, Matt talked to OUT about straight roles, pride, & the greatness of Montgomery Clift.

The show displays a dark side of Hollywood. Is this a realistic view or is it more cynical?

I think Fitzgerald was never appreciated in his time the way we appreciate him now and I think his experience in Hollywood as a writer was probably a frustrating one in some regards. I don’t feel that. I feel it’s more realism, to be honest with you, and what’s shocking to me is how little has changed in some regards. What goes into the decision to cast a certain person or to make a certain movie or not make a certain movie because of what’s going on in society or politics and which markets you need to appeal to, those things are really relevant even today. I’ve seen them. I’ve been blessed by them and I’ve been a victim of them. To me, I don’t think it’s cynical. At the end of the day it’s called show business and people are going to look after that bottom line to cover their ass.

I feel like you’re casting a new mold as a leading man: you’re out and this is a straight role. How do you feel about that?

Look, first of all, I’m so grateful and inspired by people like Billy Ray and Amazon and Sony who are willing to choose the person they feel best suits the role regardless of what their personal life might be. They choose the artist they want to work with and those are the kinds of people in the business that I want to work with.

I try not to think about it, but you can’t help to not consider it and you can’t help but have it in the back of your head. For me, I tend to be so hard on myself as it is I put so much pressure on myself because I’m always thinking about the next generation and doing a job that will be suitable enough to make sure I’m not the last person who gets this great benefit of the times that we’re living in. Part of my job is just letting go of that and just focusing on the work and doing the best I can and not thinking of myself as anything different or other, just thinking of myself as an actor doing my job.

Last week on James Corden, you told a story about your son. Maybe it was because of Orlando, but I couldn’t help thinking how it’s as important as ever that LGBTQ+ people stay visible, even with a simple anecdote like that.

I just try to treat it as my life and my experience. I know James on a friendly basis. It’s never really been a special or delicate thing to talk about. He has kids so we talk about our lives when I see him and I think in terms of being who you are, it’s obviously a highly subjective matter. A lot of times people want other people to be out and marching in the parade, but sometimes there are things going on in people’s personal lives or interpersonal relationships with their immediate family that make those things very difficult. I think it is important to live your truth but it’s not my place to judge anybody for where they are in terms of finding that truth.

To read the full interview, go to OUT website.

Matt Bomer Talks “The Last Tycoon” With Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair has published a great interview with Matt, in which they talk Fitzgerald, Amazon, Texas, and the pros and cons of being ridiculously good-looking. Check some excerpts below:

How do you latch on to a part like this?

Well, a big part of it was researching Irving Thalberg, and of course revisiting the novel. The character was largely based on Mr. Thalberg, because Mr. Fitzgerald used to work for him. He wrote underneath him at the studio system for a brief period, and was really inspired by this man who had a complete understanding of the [studio] system, and how that operated, and the fact that he was this young wunderkind, this genius at what he did.

Then, a lot of it was taking this incredible world that Billy Ray, who’s phenomenally talented, had opened up in a way that you’re allowed to do when you have 10 episodes or so; to really open up a world, and bring in new storylines and amp up other storylines, and lose some of the ones that don’t serve the medium.

I lost about 25 pounds to play the role, because Monroe, in the novel, is described as a very ascetic, very hyper-disciplined individual who doesn’t eat, really, during the week, and looks as though he just might be on the verge of being incredibly ill. That was something that I took really seriously. I think, at a certain point, they were like, “O.K. Stop. We want you to look nice in your double-breasted suits.”

Can I ask you about the Montgomery Clift biopic? Is that something that’s happening?

It’s in development. We’re working on a new draft at this particular moment in time. It should be ready, I’m being told, by September. It’s really just a matter of getting the story right and not just rushing it out there. I think if Monty’s story were an easy one to tell in a very universal, palatable, and easy way, then it would have been done a long time ago. It is a tricky story to parse out in terms of introducing a new generation to who he was and paying homage to a generation, who already has a good deal of understanding of who he was, and what he meant in the industry.

Do you find that your looks have limited you in a way? Have you had to overcome that because you are just gorgeous, and no one’s going to argue with that?

Well, it’s very hard for me to weigh in on it completely objectively because I don’t think of myself in that light. I don’t say that just to be faux humble. I really don’t. Maybe because I was raised in a very conservative Christian household, where you were never really allowed to be sort of egotistical in that way. I don’t really perceive myself that way, so it has definitely been frustrating when I’ve gotten that feedback, or it’s limited an opportunity, or whatever I’m hearing through the grapevine.

It isn’t something I’ve experienced in theater. I think people in theater are pretty open minded and objective about the talent and what they can bring to the story they want to tell.

There’s much more being discussed so please, check the full interview at Vanity Fair website.

Matt Bomer Is Absolutely on Fire Right Now

Mens Fitness – By Mark Clayton

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!”

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Jack Kilmer by Matt Bomer to V Man

The current issue of V Magazine published an interview with Jack Kilmer (son of actor Val Kilmer) made by Matt Bomer. Jack and Matt will be appearing next on 70s crime caper The Nice Guys, and Matt has nothing but great thinks to say about the kid:

I love the film, and his performance in it is so incredibly natural and unforced. He’s open and charming. I’m massively jealous because there are actors who train their entire life to get the kind of naturalistic performance he gave in that film. The fact that it was his first acting job is really incredible.

On this interview, he talks with Bomer about finding passion in the last place he ever thought: the family business.

Read the interview
MATT BOMER How did you go from being a carefree music- and art-loving teenager to a film star?

JACK KILMER How I got into acting was through my friend Gia [Coppola], who cast me in Palo Alto. I’d never studied acting before, but both my parents [Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley] are actors, so I was used to the schedule. This curiosity and this enthusiasm was born from Palo Alto. I’m so lucky; a lot of people don’t get to do what they want to do.

MB You fell in love with it from the experience of it. Almost an inside-out kind of way.

JK And it’s really helped me understand what my parents have been doing their whole lives. When you grow up you always wonder why people devote themselves to things. I’m starting to understand what my parents have been obsessing over.

MB It’s going to be a rite of passage for you, initially, that people ask you about your parents because they’re both really fantastic artists. Do you feel like your upbringing was pretty removed from the business, and kind of standard, all things considered?

JK Both of my parents live in their own bubble of…they live in their own world. For example, when my mom or my dad takes on a role, they’ll spend a lot of time doing research—character research, if you will—hours reading, sometimes late into the night. There’s no real time limit; you never know when inspiration’s going to hit you, you know what I mean? It was difficult as a kid to understand that my parents were working when they were at home studying for a role. But they really are. You’re working all the time when you’re preparing for a role, I think. Even when you go out with friends, it’s in the back of your mind.

MB And do they offer you counsel in terms of your career?

JK Their guidance is more concerning etiquette, or the manners that you should have on-set. They know I learn best on my own—I was always kind of quiet in class, at school. I wasn’t, like, participating in the group discussion. But, yeah, they’ve given me great advice. They want me to not be so concerned with fame and success, and to just focus on making captivating art.

MB You know, there’s so many films and shows that I’ve been a part of that are not age-appropriate for my kids. I used to feel guilty about it, and then I had a great actor tell me that my kids will ultimately respect me more when they grow up if they knew that I was choosing projects that I was passionate about. Was there a great deal of transparency about that in your home?

JK I remember seeing a bit of this movie on TV that my mom was in when I was a kid, this London Cockney-thug kind of film. My mom was slapped, and I remember being so horrified at seeing that. That was an early thing I had to get my head around—that it’s fake. How old are your kids, may I ask?

MB My oldest is 10, and then I have twin seven-year-olds as well. And they’re all boys. So they’re very curious. They like to watch me go over my lines and ask questions.

JK And I guess there’s a whole other conversation that, if you’re in the public [eye], you have to have with your kids. When someone at school says to one of your sons, “I saw your dad on TV, doing something or other…”

MB Yep, I’ve definitely had that one; that one has begun. You remember seeing the marketing as well. You remember seeing your parents on a billboard.

JK Well, my mom is from Manchester, England. She’s a very working-class woman. She always approached the press very coolly, and very businesslike. She says, “That’s what I do. That’s work. And when I’m at home, this is my place where I relax.” My dad actually had a bit more fun with it. He and his friends would come up with fun ideas to promote films. He did this one movie called
Wonderland, and he created this entire installation and then he put that on tour with the press. For the film, he took this massive art installation to Japan with him.

MB Alright, now I want to talk about you. One of your films that I really enjoyed is The Stanford Prison Experiment. I know that was a project that was gestating for a really long time, so it was nice to see it come together at the right time, with this amazing cast.

JK I’ll tell you about the first day of the shoot. I’d never met any of the cast before, and you know how you think, Who are these people I’m about to spend the next 10 weeks with—in a prison cell? But I ended up making these awesome friends. I mean, for Palo Alto I worked with a lot of young people as well, but a lot of them were nonactors. I mean, I learned so much from Emma Roberts, and Nat [Wolff], but Stanford was like…I kind of found this group of kids that were as weird as I am. The weirdness that went on behind the camera really added some great on-screen camaraderie.

MB It’s palpable. Was it an intense set? Were people staying in character between set-ups?

JK Everyone definitely had their role in the prison. As I would imagine you would in like, San Quentin. We were actually in a blank room with each other for a month straight. We were literally chained—our ankles were chained. It kind of drove everyone a bit mad.

MB Did working with these actors affect the way you dive into a role?

JK Yeah. I was actually talking about this with a friend the other day, about Ezra [Miller], and how he can walk—roll—up to a film set. When he’s not in character, he’s his own person, such an individual, and then he can completely stop. He’d have these crystals and wear these big headphones and just be in his own crazy world and then as soon as he had to get into character, he’d just snap his fingers and become this completely different person. It inspired me to make my own process because his is so radical.

MB It is such a gypsy lifestyle, being a working actor. You know, you travel from set to set, and you have to really drop your guard, and make yourself available to these people that, at the time, you don’t really know that well. And then you work really intimately with them, and then you have to move on to the next thing. So, sometimes it’s hard to make friends in that process—substantial friendships—that last outside of that.

JK What was it like for you as a young—I mean, you’re still young…

MB No, I’m not.

JK You’re not? You look…

MB No [laughs]. I remember at one point I was working with an actress who was quite young, but had already been around the world multiple times as an actor. And I remember complaining to her that I was never home. She said to me, “Listen, the career you signed up for is a gypsy lifestyle. It is not going to change. So you can complain about it, or you can embrace it. It’s one of the two.” And from that point on, my mindset really changed, and I was able to make peace with having to be away from home for long stretches of time, and also just to give myself the creative space I needed—like you said—to have the character in the back of my head at all times, even when I’m sitting with my family, or out with friends. Because like you said, you never know when inspiration is going to strike. I want to talk to you about The Nice Guys, where you play this great character, Chet, who’s really integral to the plot of the movie. And I think we filmed our scene together at about three o’clock in the morning, but I remember how you were so composed and relaxed and prepared. So much of the film work you’d done up until then was independent films, and now you’re on the set of a movie where I saw more people at craft services and video village than I saw on the entire set of some indies that I’ve done.

JK Well, I’ll tell you, I’d been in a hotel room for like a week and a half in Atlanta before we met. On the night that we met, it was a scene where something really crazy happens to my character and I’ve never done this crazy thing before in any facet. And the film set is massive. There’s a new DP everywhere I look. Anyway, I was just thinking about my lines, thinking about staying focused, but there was a darkness—I had to do something pretty dark that night and so I was just thinking about the dark side. Weirdly enough, even though it’s a big film set, it shrinks pretty fast. Once you just talk to anybody, anyone, and you realize you’re on planet Earth, everything is okay. It was overwhelming at first, and then you were really nice to me and that helped me relax.

MB When you’re working with a talented filmmaker, you’re able to shrink that big world down. I think Shane Black did a good job of that on [The Nice Guys]. One of the reasons I wanted to work with him was the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is one of my all-time favorites. As a gay man, Gay Perry [played by Val Kilmer] was one of the all-time great film characters for me. Did you get to meet Shane at that time?

JK When I met Shane I might’ve been 10 years old. What I do remember from that movie is my dad having these meetings…the preparation for that role was so much fun for him. There’s gonna be some really funny moments in Nice Guys, and Shane has a lot to do with that.

MB Oh my god. I had never laughed aloud as much as when I read that script.

JK I love detective stories a lot. Working with Russell Crowe after watching L.A. Confidential was like a dream. That’s one of my favorite movies.

MB So, now you’re an indie darling, you’re working on big studio movies, and you’re a fashion icon. You were just named one of Toronto Film Festival’s Most Stylish Men, and I personally think Hedi Slimane is a genius.

JK He’s a really sweet dude, really nice and kind. When you first meet him he doesn’t really talk that much. But we just had this conversation about music, and at the time he was working on this line for Saint Laurent called Psych Rock. We bonded over our interest in psych rock. Then he invited me to walk in the show and be a part of the campaign. It was wild—it was great. I met a lot of like-minded people through that. He hired a lot of musicians to walk in the show.

MB I understand music is a really big influence in your life. Do you want to perform as a musician some day?

JK Yeah, I do. I have some musical projects that are always going. I’ll kind of drop them and pick them back up, but I’m always playing. I just want to write the best possible songs I can write, and then later I’ll think about sharing it with people. It’s actually helped me with acting a lot. I like a lot of musicians that tell stories, like Tom Waits or Bob Dylan.

MB Do you ever create playlists for your characters? I do.

JK Yeah, hell yeah. That’s cool that you do that, too.

MB Who are the bands that really inspire you?

JK I listened to a lot of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Rolling Stones growing up. All of that revolution stuff. I sort of branched out from there and discovered bands like My Bloody Valentine. Nine Inch Nails was a big one for me.

MB I was at the Golden Globes last year, and it’s a, you know, pretty star-studded affair. I was doing fine and then I saw Trent Reznor. I mean, he must’ve been like, How did one of my stalkers get on the carpet? Because I think I just stopped and stared and he was like, Hey man, what’s up? I couldn’t even speak. We didn’t even converse, obviously, because he realized very quickly that I was a freak and he should go the other way. I wanted to ask: you skate, too, right?

JK Yeah, but in skateboarding if you don’t skate for a month, you lose the muscle.

MB I grew up skating in the suburbs and it was just such a great way to escape. It was mostly just ollying up curbs, and finding a place where we could smoke a cigarette away from everybody. I loved it. Do you have any curiosity about going to college?

JK Absolutely. It’s a strange time to do that, though. I think a lot of young adults who are undeclared are finding out these days that college is harder to navigate than it was for our parents’ generation, especially if you’re involved with the arts. For example: Say you get a B.A. in Visual Arts. You’re kind of limited to what you can do with that degree. But it really just depends on how you work, how you learn…I’d like to do another history class, biology, physics, math. All the things that I didn’t think were as important growing up are seeming really cool to me. Now I’m thinking, Wow, physics…that’s really trippy.

MB Listen, I’m a huge fan and I can’t wait to see all the many things you’re going to bring to us as an artist over the years. Count me in.

JK Ah, Matt, it’s really been a pleasure.