Mathew Bomer may be best-known for USA Network’s “White Collar” — indeed, for a while, Bomer was literally the face of the show in advertising — but with “Magic Mike,” the 34-year-old actor takes substantial chances on the big screen playing Ken, whose “Living Doll” and “Dr. Love” male stripping acts revolve around subverting Bomer’s all-American good looks to find the smirk beneath the smile. We spoke with Bomer in L.A. about strip club music, creating his character and utter commitment.
MSN Movies: They’re playing music from the film in the hospitality and staging area, and if I hear “It’s Raining Men” one more time, I’m going to kill myself. This is not music. This is strip club music. You’re hearing four or five, six, seven takes in a row. What keeps you from just raving murder?
Matt Bomer: I feel like this whole movie was just an exercise in a hundred and fifty percent commitment for all of us. It was a world we were committed to living in twenty-four seven for about the three-and-a-half or four weeks that we shot it. A part of that was hearing club music over and over again.
Incredibly bad club music.
Well, yeah. I guess that’s subjective, but do I have it on my Ipod? No. Will I listen to it again outside this job? Probably not.
I’m also curious about how much stuff outside of the script you as actors individually got to figure out. Were you figuring out your act? Were you figuring out your character’s idiosyncrasies?
More character idiosyncrasies. That was apart of the gig, really. When they called and talked about the role, they said, “You know listen, these are roles we want you guys to flesh out as well by the time we’re putting something on camera.” For my character in particular he was obviously a very generous fellow, who was into free love, sort of a modern-day hippie. It was based on a dialogue I had with Channing on who he wanted him to be. He sent me a bunch of YouTube videos of this guy, who was sort of this modern-day hippie who was also full of contradictions. He’d have all this life advice like using organic oils on your body, because your skin in the biggest organ on your body, but then a few scenes later he’d be high on MDMA. And that was sort of based on these YouTube videos we found. We did in terms of that, but as far as the routines went we had these great choreographers, Alison Faulk and Teresa Espinosa, who had these ideas mapped out in their heads and took what they saw in us in terms of our abilities and tried to mold those into numbers.
Matt Bomer, White Collar
FW: You were great on Glee recently — when did you start singing?
MB: I went to Carnegie Mellon, and got a major in drama, and a minor in music, so I started singing in college.
FW: And can you tell us anything about next season of White Collar?
MB: Oh yeah. We got the amazing experience of getting to start the season on a destination shoot, and now we’re back in New York. In some ways it’s business as usual, but we’re throwing a lot of fun new mythology things in there as well.
FW: And what’s is your favorite Scorsese film?
MB: Oh man, that’s like asking what my favorite Italian dish is!
FW: Which is?
MB: Penne alla vodka.
FW: That’s a good one.
MB: I love everything from Goodfellas, Mean Streets — to some of his more recent fare. I loved Aviator. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore… Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is a badass film! That is definitely one of my favorite Scorsese films.
FW: Did you watch the TV series?
MB: You know, I think it was a little before my time. I caught some re-runs every now and then. But the movie that spawned it — that performance and the way it was directed, was just incredible. [x]
AfterElton: I was watching your Glee episode, and I thought ‘Is there anything Matt Bomer can’t do?’ So I need you tell me one thing you cannot do.
Matt Bomer: [laughs] You know, Jim, without the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood there are many, many things that I cannot do. I will tell you that on set I do tend to trip a lot. In real life, you don’t get to call ‘cut!’
AE: How are you feeling the day after the Glee episode aired and the buzz has been out there?
MB: I thought the whole episode was a lot of fun, and I was really proud to be a part of it.
AE: Did you have a hand at all in who Cooper Anderson was or was that pretty much on the page already?
MB: It was pretty much on the page when I got to set, and it was just such fun material that Ian [Brennan], Michael [Hitchcock] and Ryan [Murphy] came up with. It was fun to get to play in their sandbox for a little while.
Bomer and Darren Criss (right) play brothers on Glee
AE: Neal Caffrey [Bomer’s White Collar character] and Cooper are very, very different. How did it feel to step into Cooper’s shoes?
MB: I think that’s why you become an actor is to get to hopefully play a variety of different roles, and it was fun to live in someone else’s skin besides Neal for a little while. And, you know, it was fun to be a part of a different environment. I think everybody who works on a different show should have to guest on another show. You get an appreciation for home base. I had a blast at Glee but it also made me appreciate White Collar more, because when you get to go off to do some other parts it makes it more fun to come back home.
AE: How have you been able to juggle everything? I’m guessing between White Collar and Glee and 8 last month…are you able to keep it all straight in your head or do you just ride the rollercoaster that you’re on?
MB: Well, I don’t like to get ahead of myself in any way but I’m just trying to roll with the punches and enjoy every aspect of everything I’m lucky enough to be a part of and I try to be present and in the moment for each of those opportunities and have fun in all of them. But, sure, it’s definitely been a cycle of going from one to the next to the next but I think that as an actor that’s sort of what you dream about and that’s what you work really hard for years and years to build up to so I’m really grateful to be working on fun stuff as an actor and to have a great family and as an artist, hopefully, that’s what you work towards so I’m really grateful. When you lose that sense of gratitude that’s when you’re in trouble.
Read the full interview at AfterElton [x]
Matt Bomer about Glee and the DuranDuran mash-up
Matt Bomer fans already know the White Collar star can sing — like, really sing! — so of course he makes his Glee debut performing the hits of Duran Duran and It singer-songwriter Gotye.
He also gets to channel d-bag actors everywhere.
As the older, self-absorbed brother of Blaine, Bomer’s Cooper Anderson is recruited by Coach Sue to help New Directions — don’t worry, she’s got her reasons — in Tuesday’s new episode of Glee (8/7c, Fox). How? By putting on a master class in acting to help the kids, you know, emote for Nationals!
The actor talked to TVGuide.com about playing the clueless Cooper and whether or not he’ll be back before the end of the season:
Cooper’s so cool he says things like “cray cray.” How naturally did that come to you?
Matt Bomer: [Laughs.] The line in the script was actually “crazy” but I had just heard someone say “cray cray” a few days before filming and I said to myself, “Cray cray — what does that mean?” Someone told me it meant crazy, and I was like, “Oh, I’m totally using that in this scene. Maybe I can contribute to the zeitgeist a little bit with “cray cray”!
Matt Bomer, hot new star of White Collar, credits CMU for preparing him for the real world.
By Leslie Hoffman
I first met Matt Bomer on a Sunday afternoon, at home, reading in my living room. Without even knowing who he was, I stared into his bright blue eyes on a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. He mesmerized me.
The thing is, I could have met him long before he stepped into the starring role of White Collar, the hit new series on the USA Network that was being advertised. I could have bumped into him and his friends at brunch at the Shadyside Pamela’s. I could have run into him late night, ordering French fries at the Original in Oakland. Or, I could have caught him onstage in a production of And the World Goes Round at Carnegie Mellon University, as he belted out a crowd-rousing version of “Wilkommen” from Cabaret.
Bomer is one of many CMU alumni that populate prime time, such as fellow actors and friends Zach Quinto on Heroes and Cote De Pablo on NCIS, as well as many more, including Aaron Staton on Mad Men, Abby Brammell on The Unit, Rhys Coiro on 24 and Entourage, and Alex Cole and Van Hansis on As The World Turns. The soft-spoken gentleman from Texas credits CMU, saying that the school’s drama program “prepared me for the real world.”
“It was a real departure for me. I thought I was going to go straight to New York, and I’m glad that I didn’t,” Bomer tells me, actually calling from New York City, where White Collar is filmed. “Pittsburgh was a good middle ground for me. It is a city that grew on me over the four years I was there. It’s a beautiful city with an incredible history, and the more time that I spent there, the more that I loved it.”
On White Collar, Bomer plays Neal Caffrey, a con man who the FBI releases from prison in order to help them catch other art thieves, counterfeiters, and bank robbers. His “boss,” FBI agent Peter Burke, is played by Tim DeKay, Burke’s wife is played by Tiffani Thiessen, and Neal’s “partner in crime,” Mozzie, is played by Willie Garson, of Sex and the City fame. White Collar, which launched last fall as one of the top rated shows on cable television, is engaging and falls along the lines of other popular shows with a salient male crime-solving lead, such as The Mentalist and Castle. Bomer’s character is the standout: funny, charming, intelligent, seemingly capable of achieving the impossible, and, oh yeah, devastatingly handsome.
In that way, the character and the actor are the same.
“The show is fascinating; there is so much of the real Matt Bomer in White Collar. It’s a perfect fit,” says Gary Kline, Bomer’s voice and singing professor at CMU.
The actor’s CMU voice coach, Don Wadsworth agrees. “You know, he’s very right for a character like Neal in White Collar who has to be super charming. Although, Matt is sincerely super charming and his character might be a little more devious. But he’s figured out how to make that bridge between who he really is and a subtle adjustment for that character’s past and that character’s devious nature,” Wadsworth says.
Hey, Fox? We have a memo for you: Matt Bomer needs his own Glee spinoff. Like, now.
As the outrageously confident—and laugh-out-loud hilarious—older brother of Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) in the April 10 return of Glee, Bomer shines as this season’s best guest star. (Dare we say rivaling Emmy-winning Gwyneth Paltrow’? ‘Cause it’s certainly a close matchup.)
So…can we keep him? I just chatted with Bomer about that possibility and more. And here are five things you need to know about Glee's Bomeriffic episode:
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.
4. Bomer Kisses and Tells: Though he doesn’t have any real love interests in the Gleeverse—quipping, “That would be a little bit statutory”—he does kiss Jane Lynch. “It was a real privilege. I’m a huge fan of hers, so it was an honor to get to kiss those lips!” Bomer adds that it was Jane’s idea to pucker up. Smart cookie!
5. Bomer Is Totally Up for More Glee: Yes, he’s a wee bit busy shooting USA’s fantastic series White Collar, but Matt says he’d do whatever it took to try to return to the Gleeverse. “I’d be there in a heartbeat!” When told he’s arguably one of the most highly anticipated guest stars yet on the series (at least, by the looks of our email and Twitter inbox), Bomer seems legitimately surprised and says: “Well, until Lindsay Lohan maybe. I may only hold that title for about two weeks but I’ll take it when I can get it!”
Glee returns to Fox on April 10 with Matt Bomer, the fate of Quinn, Rachel and Finn developments and more!
What product do you use to get your hair like that?
Not a lot to be honest with you. I have a pomade type product I’ll use if I have to look nice.
One of my Twitter followers wanted me to ask if you’re ticklish. I’m not afraid to ask the hard hitting questions, so are you?
That is hard hitting. Yes, I am. I am.
Have you gotten any season four scripts yet?
No. Because we have 3.5 coming up now, that’s the more topical one. We have a general idea what the mythology is going to be.
What can we expect for Neal and Sarah?
You know, they found a really, really great way to kind of work her into the storyline I thought coming up in the next six episodes. I think they have a really grown up, really mature relationship in a lot of ways. They have fun together, there are some sparks, they enjoy each other mentally and physically. They’re sort of like, “Let’s just see what happens.”
In the film “Magic Mike,” how does Steven Soderbergh direct you to play a stripper?
I guess the way any genius auteur would direct an actor to play a stripper. They make sure we prepare properly. I studied with a group called The Hollywood Men here in L.A. I learned a lot actually from those guys because a lot of my performance takes place either on stage or backstage when you’re preparing to go on or after we’ve come off. So getting to hang out with them was very informative that way. Really the central relationship is Channing [Tatum] and Alex Pettyfer’s relationship in the film. They play Mike and this character called The Kid.
It’s actually a really intricate plot of the “Saturday Night Fever”/”Boogie Nights” ilk. It’s a mentorship thing and one person is unhappy with where he is and knows there’s a real ceiling to that lifestyle and that life and one person who’s just getting into the whole glorious aspect of what it means. I play one of the fellow dancers who’s sort of a big part of bringing The Kid a little deeper into what it means to be in that rockin’ Dionysian world of stripping.
What actors’ careers would you like to emulate?
I always say Paul Newman. Matt Damon. I’m more of a fan of directors. I like to just work with great directors. I think if you’re able to do that, hopefully you can continue on that course and you’ll be in okay shape.
What classic movie would you like to remake?
I would like to maybe remake “Le Samourai” with Alan Delon. That’d be a fun one to remake.
And would you like to star in that?
That’s be fun, yeah. No, I’d like to remake a movie and play the person who walks behind him. [Laughs] that’d be a fun one.
Sara is back on White Collar, but it’s all business when she reunites with Neal.
On Tuesday’s episode (10/9c on USA), Sara recruits the FBI to help her track down a missing Stradivarius violin. So does this professional collaboration mean the two exes might be making beautiful music together again? “In the last three episodes, they find a really organic, functional way to involve Sara in the closing of the season,” Bomer tells TVGuide.com. “He’s obviously incredibly attracted to her physically … but I think at the end of the day its like, if something happens, great. If not, OK.”
Con man Neal Caffrey was a (charming) bad boy last year, keeping secrets from his partner and pal, FBI Agent Peter Burke. But his naughty behavior is our reward as USA Network’s White Collar resumes Season 3 this Tuesday at 10/9c with a tense winter opener. TVLine chatted with Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer about the new run of episodes, the latest obstacle that threatens their onscreen relationship , diva antics on the set (we kid!) and the stories they’d pitch for each other’s characters.
TVLINE | Can you describe the winter season in one sentence?
MATT BOMER | Fast, furious, fraught with tension and suspenseful.
TIM DEKAY | Period.
BOMER | Ellipses.
DEKAY | [Laughs] It’s true. It is fast. Buckle your seat belts! We start off right from where we left off at the end of the midseason [finale] and then at the end of the episode, there’s another cliffhanger. It’s not as if we’re, “OK, see you at the desk tomorrow.” No, it’s, “What?!” So it’s fast. [Snaps fingers] It never stops. It’s relentless.
TVLINE | Neal stole this treasure, lied about it and inadvertently got Elizabeth kidnapped. How will that affect Peter and Neal’s relationship?
BOMER | That would be the “fraught with tension” portion in my description. Their relationship is definitely as strained as it’s ever been and actually comes to a physical confrontation at one point. But Peter also knows he needs Neal to help him out, and Neal cares a great deal about Elizabeth, so he’s going to do everything he can to help her, as well. So as dark and deep as they go, I think they always… They’re going to come back to good at some point.
TVLINE | Just how angry is Peter at Neal?
DEKAY | He’s so angry. … Peter is just simply scared and livid that his wife has been kidnapped and that she’ll die. He’s mad at Neal because Neal is there and he’s part of it. And if you look at it in an even deeper way, he’s upset with Neal and wants to say, “Yeah, it’s cool to steal the painting. It’s a fun life. But eventually, somebody’s life — that now you care for deeply — is in grave danger. This is what happens.”
TVLINE | You touched a bit on the cliffhanger at the of the first new episode. Can you speak to where it’s going and how it affects them the rest of the season?
DEKAY | It comes to the place, as Matt has said before, [of] flight-or-fight for Neal. And Peter is aware of that.
BOMER | [Series creator] Jeff Eastin and the writers did an amazing job, and they do it every year. They completely stay on theme throughout the series, regardless of what the week-to-week case may be. And for Neal this year that was, “Do I stay or do I go?” So every element that comes into it either amplifies or takes away from that.
TVLINE | Can you see Neal’s life without Peter?
BOMER | No. No, I can’t. Not [at least] on some level. I don’t know if it’s prison bars between them and they talk on the phone. Or if they’re, like, having a martini at a country club. Or if it’s on a burner phone from Paris, and he’s at the FBI office. I hope we never know, you know what I mean? I hope the show ends with us never knowing.
TVLINE | Are there any episodes that you’re really fond of from the new season?
DEKAY | I’m fond of them all. I can’t really name one.
BOMER | Well…
DEKAY | Oh, yeah.
TVLINE | The one you directed?
DEKAY | That was fun, to get to shoot at Yankee Stadium. But I enjoy certain moments. The end of the first episode back, I thought, was just such a cool moment. And it was so fun to do. There were little synapses of memories of seeing you [Turns to Matt] on the patio during the pilot and all these things. Milestones make you look back.
TVLINE | Was Matt well-behaved during the episode you directed?
DEKAY | Not at all. [Smiles] In fact there were times –
BOMER | I was seven-and-a-half hours late one day, but I’m telling you –
DEKAY | “Where is my star?!”
BOMER | I was sick as a dog.
DEKAY | “Mr. DeKay, Mr. Caffrey won’t come out of his trailer until you go to him.”
TVLINE | Let’s talk about love lives. What’s going on with Neal and Sara these days?
BOMER | They did a really good job when they do bring her back, sort of integrating her into the last few episodes in a really meaningful way and not just sort of a sidebar type of way. I think they also have a really grown-up relationship. He obviously finds her very attractive, and they have an innate understanding of each other’s lives given the fact that they’re both fast-paced. But she’s this self-sufficient, intelligent, sexy woman. They sort of are like, “Let’s see what happens. I just came out of a very compulsive relationship where the love of my life exploded on a plane in front of me, so maybe we don’t need to move into together right this second.”
TVLINE | Tim, do you ever wish that they would shake up Peter and Elizabeth’s marriage?
DEKAY | I like that they’re rock steady. I also think — and I said this to the writers — a great way to show that a relationship is rock steady is to show that relationship not in jeopardy, but at odds. And so if they can find some disagreement, I think it’ll be great to see how those two work it out.
TVLINE | If there was one storyline that you could suggest for the other character, what would it be?
BOMER | I would love if there were some really hot, powerful FBI woman who came into the office and was, like, trying to pull some power plays and maybe get a little flirty-flirty with Peter — and he’s having to really deal with that.
DEKAY | [To Matt] Does he like her?
BOMER | Oh, he totally is attracted to her, but he’s going to stick to his values. But [there’s] definitely going to be some serious conflict going on. And it might even get to the point – What was the Demi Moore movie where she sexually harasses Michael Douglas…/ Anyway, that could be fun for him, to really put some tension in that relationship and have Elizabeth come in and be like, “Hold up, get away from my man!”
TVLINE | And for Neal?
DEKAY | My fantasy is that there is an episode – we touched on it [when] he had played “Peter Burke” – where Neal really has to be Peter and sell it in a domestic way. We see him in the house with Elizabeth and that really has to be sold.
BOMER | Oh my God. Awesome. And Neal would totally be having a ball with it, of course! He’d be like, “Listen, this is just what we have to do. We’ve got to commit to these characters, and we’re going to sell it.”
DEKAY | Maybe something happens? I’m not saying that Elizabeth cheats, but there’s a moment where they both…. It just takes them by surprise.
BOMER | Hands will wander!
DEKAY | And, of course, my [other] fantasy is where Peter gets stuck in an elevator.
BOMER | Yes! We have to have the episode where it’s just literally the two-hander the entire episode, where they’re kidnapped or stuck or something, and it’s like they’re working some s–t out because there’s tension going on.
DEKAY | And all they have with them is an old game board, like a game of Clue.
AE: What about more singing? I saw you on the Kennedy Center Honors sing with Kelli O’Hara and you’ve sung on the show.
MB: I so want to be able to do a Broadway show, and I’ve had opportunities to do them, but it’s hard enough commuting away from my family six months out of the year and then to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be gone actually a full year so that I can be on Broadway every night.’ It just wouldn’t be fair to my family, so…
AE: You could take them with you…
MB: Well, I think you have to make that choice as an artist. You know, it’s like, are you going to be someone who takes your family with you wherever you go? Or are you going to give them a real sense of roots and you’re going to be the one who has to be a little bit of a satellite from time to time? I think if an opportunity comes up where it’s a shorter run…and I had talked to Kristin Chenoweth about doing a job possibly with her and if it were a three month situation and I didn’t have a film lined up and we could make that happen I would definitely be into it.
Read the rest of the interview at AfterElton [x]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’ve got to talk about playing a stripper in Magic Mike.
MATT BOMER: Exotic dancer. We have pride. [Smiles]
You had to get waxed, right? Did it hurt?
Yes and yes.
Have you waxed before?
I had never been waxed before. I did have to get partially waxed. I’m not a very hairy individual to begin with, but it was painful. But more than that, the pain didn’t bother me so much, it was more the feeling of feeling kind of prepubescent again, walking around with no hair on your legs, in jeans, feeling kind of naked all the time, that was odd.
Did it grow back okay?
Actually, the regrowth process was really s—-y — itchy, uncomfortable. I have a newfound appreciation for women, between the waxing, self-tanning, the constant gym time; I have a whole new profound respect for women and what they go through.