Gorgeous hunk of a man Matt Bomer, whom we haven’t seen much of since American Horror Story: Hotel, is returning to the small screen on the Amazon series The Last Tycoon. In the series, based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Matt plays a hotshot film executive locked in a power struggle over a film studio with his mentor, played by Kelsey Grammer. The show’s pilot episode aired in June of 2016 as part of Amazon’s pilots for preview series. Viewer feedback plays heavily on which shows get a series order and it was picked up for a full series order in July.
The Golden Globe winner has faced some recent controversy after being cast as a transgender woman in the Mark Ruffalo-produced movie Anything. The 39-year-old father of three sons is taking on a patriarchal role in the upcoming film Walking Out. Matt talked to with fellow actor and Girls star Andrew Rannells for the latest issue of Out Magazine. He discussed his acting career and growing up in the closet (he came out in 2012) College definitely prepared Matt to be an actor but he confessed that:
One of the ways I learned how to act, really, is by having secrets, and having to function as a kid in a public school in suburban Bible Belt Texas. Subsequently I worked on a gas pipeline with my brother for a while — there were ex-cons with us. It was not an environment where it was safe to be gay.
I did learn how to protect myself — it was literally acting of the highest stakes. I had my brother to protect me, but as terrible as it may sound, it was a way I learned to select behavior and make choices, even if it was a ruse just to survive, you know?
Matt got his start in the theater and made the transition to daytime television after losing his day job as a bellman at NYC’s Hudson Hotel after 9/11. He ended up with a recurring role on the soap opera Guiding Light, which he said was “really one of the best things that ever happened to me.” He looked back fondly on his soapy days, recalling, “It was the most insane circumstances on a daily basis. I told the writers, ‘Give me the craziest shit you’ve ever given anybody.’ And they obliged.”
His upcoming film, Walking Out, which is slated to be released this winter, deals with the relationship between a boy and his estranged father. Matt, whose oldest son turns 12 this month, calls the role a “love letter” to his father, whom he grew up hunting with as a kid in Texas, calling the father/son bonding “a rite of passage.” Matt discussed the difficulty of coming out to his conservative Christian family, after discovering he was gay while performing on stage with the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He recalled, “I remember someone there who was a hair and makeup artist who I found really inspiring. I thought, ‘If this person can live their truth, what am I doing?’” Once Matt came out to himself, he then had to come out to his family, which wasn’t easy. As Matt told Out:
Telling your family is a huge, huge deal. I really view my life as divided between the time before I told my parents, and the time after. And the decisions I made, and the life I lived, before and after, are vastly different. It’s night and day.
Matt ended up informing his parents via a letter, admitting, “I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person.” His parents’ response, was, as Matt put it, “radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months.” There was a blowup and then what Matt described as getting down to “the business of figuring out how to love each other,” which was no easy task for either side:
It’s a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and set of beliefs and understandings and completely flip the script. So I’m empathetic toward everyone. And my family is so loving. My mom just asked me, [my husband] Simon, and the boys to go down and speak to her women’s group in Houston so, you know, I’m here to tell people it can get better. Because I had so many people in my life saying, “You need to get rid of all expectations — you need to cut them out.” But I was like, “They’re my family.”
Fortunately, Matt’s parents eventually came around and are now “amazing, incredible grandparents” to Matt’s three sons.
I am so encouraged to hear coming out stories that end positively, but I’m not naive enough to think they all have happy endings. It’s great that Matt was able to share his story – and if you get a chance, read the whole interview. Andrew and Matt have a lot of fun stories to tell, including the ”fun fact” that they both co-hosted the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb, and one of them let out a curse word within his first 30 seconds on air. I love Matt, even though I have never made it all the way through Magic Mike. The theater nerd in me adores him and I’m looking forward to seeing him on The Last Tycoon.
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) May 2, 2017
Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com