From my first viewing of HBO’s film, “The Normal Heart” I’ve been saying that Matt Bomer, who plays Felix Turner in the adaptation of the Larry Kramer play, will win an Emmy for his performance. We’ll find out this Monday if the Emmy voters did the right thing and voted his way in the Best Supporting Actor in a Television Movie category.
Not to say his fellow nominees aren’t deserving but when an established actor shows us something we hadn’t seen before, as Bomer did in his career defining performance, he made it clear that he’s the man to beat this year. His competition in the category is “The Normal Heart” co-stars Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Joe Mantello as well as Colin Hanks (“Fargo“) and Martin Freeman (“Sherlock“).
Bomer, best known before this film as con-man Neal Caffrey on the hit USA series “White Collar,” showed a level of commitment, courage and raw talent in the role of Felix, a newspaper man much less comfortable being gay than Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo, nominated for Lead Actor in a TV Movie) but they meet and the sparks fly.
Here are five reasons why the Emmy should land in Bomer’s talented hands when the 66th Annual Emmy Awards are handed out Monday on NBC.
1. Revelations. No, I’m not talking the Bible here but the multiple revelations that come when watching Bomer in “The Normal Heart.” The Carnegie Mellon grad plays a myriad of emotions from a reserved Felix in the newsroom, an earnest Felix when he longs to connection emotionally with Ned, the sexy Felix when the two are making love, the angry Felix when he and Ned have a fight late in the film and then, of course, the valiant Felix who dies bravely. Bravo! [Video]
2. A Fine Romance. You can’t shine in a role without a great co-star. Whether on stage or film, if the audience doesn’t buy the love between Ned and Felix, everything else falls apart and Bomer hit the jackpot with Mark Ruffalo as his on-screen love interest. Like any successful coupling, Bomer and Ruffalo naturally click in their roles and make the audience not only like them together and but want them to end up together, which makes Felix’s death all the more tragic.
3. That death scene. Nothing helps you win awards than a kick ass scene where your beloved character dies and Bomer plays Felix’s final moments beautifully. Prior to this scene, when we see Felix on the subway essentially glimpsing his not so distant future, our hearts break a little. Then, when he actually dies in the hospital with Ned by his side, our heart breaks in a thousand pieces. [Video]
4. The Company. For a stellar production like ‘The Normal Heart,” Bomer not only holds his own against fellow Emmy nominees Ruffalo, Parsons, Mantello, Molina and Julia Roberts but he stands above them without taking away any of their individual work. [Video]
5. He’s already won! Well, he’s not won the Emmy (yet) but he did win the Critics’ Choice Award in June for his role in the film. I have a feeling he’ll need a little more room on his mantle after next week.[xfinitytv.comcast]
NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Project A.L.S., a leading non-profit organization for ALS research (Lou Gehrig’s disease), announced that longtime friends, Ben Stiller & Christine Taylor, Matt Bomer, and the New York Mets, have posted their “ice bucket challenge” videos.
"Project A.L.S. is working with a dream team of scientists to stop ALS, and every day we’re getting closer to medicine," said Ben Stiller.
Unlike many celebrities, whose connection to ALS has just begun with the “ice bucket challenge,” Mr. Stiller & Ms. Taylor, Mr. Bomer, and the New York Mets, with personal connections to the disease, are long-time advocates of Project A.L.S. They have been instrumental in helping Project A.L.S. to raise nearly $67 million for research that has moved the field forward exponentially. For more information, please contact www.projectals.org.
In the past week, the “ice bucket challenge” has gone viral in popularity — raising additional millions for research. While the New York Mets, who have partnered with Project A.L.S. for 12 years, take a serious approach to the challenge, Mr. Bomer, star of White Collar and The Normal Heart and passionate supporter of cutting edge Project A.L.S. research, meets the ice bucket challenge on the beach, where his sons douse him.
Project A.L.S. was founded in 1998 by Jenifer Estess, her sisters, and friends, and has become the new paradigm for brain disease research. Project A.L.S. identifies and funds the most promising, rational, and aggressive research strategies among collaborators at Harvard, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York University, and The Salk Institute, among others.
Experts say that an understanding of ALS will strengthen our fight against the related Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases. In fact, by the year 2025, as our population ages, 1 in 25 American adults will be diagnosed with one of these neurodegenerative diseases. [x]
I know that I was surprised the day the nominations came out. The first thing I did after talking to Simon (Halls, Bomer’s husband) was I reached out to the entire cast, mostly via email, because everyone’s kind of working all over the world. I think everyone was really grateful and excited, but I think all of us, for the most part, were really happy that it might mean more people will watch the movie, and create some type of buzz that would maybe get someone who might not typically watch a film like this sit down and watch it.
I think we were all very excited that (everyone from the film) will get to see each other again and get to share that (Emmy) night together, you know? I love these people dearly. I want us to all be together forever. I don’t want the experience to end."
AwardsLine: You’ve previously talked about filming your last scene with Mark Ruffalo, when your characters get married in the hospital room shortly before your character dies. Could you take us back to before you filmed that scene and what your expectations were going into it?
Matt Bomer: Well, at that point, we were nearing the end of filming, so Mark and I had been on quite a journey together in terms of Ned and Felix’s relationship. And I came to set, and it was one of those times where I got in the hospital bed and, you just trust that the physical and emotional preparation that you put into the material will be there. And you try to really get out of your own way and let this beautiful scene that Larry Kramer had written take over. I think I’d worked with all of the actors in the room already, and so we had a great deal of trust for each other, and we started on my close up, I believe.
It was one of those moments where they call “Action” and the scene just takes over. After we were done, Mark and I sat together and cried for a good deal of time, not in any self-congratulatory way. It was about experiencing through that scene what the reality was for so many people of that generation. Some of them obviously weren’t even lucky enough to say goodbye that way. I think the situation really hit home for us and took over. Mark and I were also realizing that we were coming to the end of an experience that we both committed to for a long time, and worked with every fiber of our being, to tell as truthfully as possible.
AwardsLine: The argument scene between your characters on Fire Island also was gut-wrenching, but honest. You had lost so much weight by the time you filmed it. How hard is it to approximate that level of realness?
Bomer: That scene has been iconic for me for over 20 years. I had signed on to this film before it was an HBO project, back in 2011, so I had the material for a good deal of time. At that point in the (filming) process, I was more or less living as Felix. I was separated from my family. I did not have a lot of energy. I wasn’t feeling great. I had complete trust in Mark as my scene partner, because he’s one of those actors who makes everyone around them better, and I knew that he was going to be present for that moment.
So much of this was in my prayer every day before I came to work. This project is so much bigger than me or any of the actors involved, and it deals with a very specific part of our history, and I felt a tremendous responsibility to those individuals. And so my part every day was to get out of my own way, and just channel whatever came through me—after putting all the work into it, obviously by being available for whatever happened that was beyond me when they called “Action.”
One of the things that I love about Ned and Felix, and that was so profound, and that I learned so much from as a person, is that (the disease) did follow them down a darker path of what this illness did to people’s relationships, and the strain that it put on them… And so I wanted to embrace them more—the sort of uglier moments in the relationship—because I knew that it would hopefully at some point have payoff. After that scene, Felix realizes that he has to do the most he can with the amount of time he has left.
AwardsLine: Is approaching a movie like this, and some of these scenes, scary or just something that you have to be fearless about?
Bomer: I remember Mark and I looking at each other on the first day of filming; it was that first scene in the New York Times office. And he said, “Are you scared?” I said, “Yeah. You?” And he said, “Yeah.” I think we both knew the challenge that lay before us. And for me, a lot of people like to talk about the weight loss or the scenes that took place at the end. Some of the more difficult scenes were in the beginning, when we were establishing that relationship and creating that foundation because we had to set that up properly for the end to have any type of resonance. We were both terrified on day one.
For more go to Deadline.com
You’re an Emmy voter, but you can’t vote for yourself or your show. Who’s at the top of your ballot?
Ryan Murphy for directing “The Normal Heart.” Robin Wright for “House of Cards.” Matt Bomer for “The Normal Heart” and Margo Martindale for “The Americans.” And anyone in the cast of “Orange Is the New Black.” Anyone. And the show itself. Every single category for “Orange Is the New Black.” [thewrap]