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March 19, 2024 42 mins

As a promising theater student at Carnegie Mellon, Matt Bomer’s trajectory pointed towards the shimmering stages of Broadway. But upon arrival in Manhattan, he instead landed a role on a soap opera—slightly out of step with the theatrical future he envisioned. And yet today, Bomer views those early years as vital to his later success. The Golden Globe Award-winner has starred in feature films, plays, and television shows including the recent Fellow Travelers. On this week’s episode of Table for Two, Bomer joins host and AIR MAIL contributor Bruce Bozzi to reflect further on his beginnings, the lessons taught to him on set by Jodie Foster and Bradley Cooper, and the experience of coming up in the entertainment industry as a gay man.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, everybody, it's Bruce, and thank you so much for
pulling up a chair today on Table for two.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Yeah, we can start. You can record from my entrance.

Speaker 3 (00:13):
We do, OK.

Speaker 1 (00:16):
We were like, it's just gotta say I've been really
good today. I went to the gym, I had my
green juice, I did my cold plunge, I did a
long intermittent fast all because we're having lunch today with
mister Matt Bomer, who is one of the most beautiful
men in Hollywood, both inside and out.

Speaker 2 (00:38):
This is the dreamiest man one I could out for.

Speaker 1 (00:41):
He's having an incredible moment in his career. He's been
nominated for a Golden Globe, He's been nominated for.

Speaker 3 (00:47):
A Screen Actors Guild Award.

Speaker 1 (00:48):
He's currently you can find him on Fellow Travelers, on
Paramount Plus and in the movie Maestro with Bradley Cooper.

Speaker 2 (00:58):
I think I'm going to do the kale salad and
I'm to add some add some chicken to it. Thank
you so much.

Speaker 3 (01:03):
I like that.

Speaker 1 (01:06):
So sit back, grab a salad, be healthy, and enjoy.

Speaker 3 (01:14):
I'm Bruce Bosi and this is my podcast Table for two.

Speaker 1 (01:25):
So everybody, if you've pulled up a chair, today, I'm
sitting with, as I said earlier when you weren't in
the room, one of the not one, the most handsome
man in Hollywood, one of the most talented men in Hollywood,
a very dear friend of mine, mister Matt Bomer.

Speaker 2 (01:41):
Hey, welcome to the table for two. I mean, thank
you for that introduction. I'm going to slip you, slip
you a couple of twenties under the table. Hold that
thank you and you.

Speaker 1 (01:49):
Just said too, and congratulations today the Screen Actor.

Speaker 2 (01:52):
Guild Award nomination. Oh my gosh. This, yeah, this one
means a lot to me. It really does. Peers. I
you know this about me, and anyone who knows me
knows this. I love actors, Yes, I really do. I
love them all. I even sit it on social media.
But I love the salty ones too, you know. I
love the complicated ones too, And it's nice to feel

(02:16):
that from your community, right. Yeah, it's a dream. I
didn't feel like an actor until I was part of
a union and I was able to get insurance and
finally fix my tooth that have been aching for a year,
you know, and that's sent to work done and all
those things, you know. I mean, I felt like an actor,
but I didn't. I think there was legitimacy to it.
When I thought, oh, I can really make a living

(02:37):
doing this and sustain to take care of myself and yeah,
do all that stuff.

Speaker 1 (02:42):
And you say, you know, I've read and I know you.
You know, when you hit New York, your family said, okay, kid, like.

Speaker 3 (02:48):
You're on your own. Do it.

Speaker 2 (02:50):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (02:50):
It wasn't like no, they weren't paying that in tribes
brand just to get it.

Speaker 3 (02:54):
Was like, you're on your own.

Speaker 2 (02:56):
I was on my own.

Speaker 3 (02:57):
It's really important.

Speaker 2 (02:58):
I mean, I have to give it. It's a testament
to my parents. I was fortunate enough that I got
a little bit of financial assistance to go to college
and then my parents foot the rest of the bill,
and that I'm eternally indebted to them for that because
I was fortunate to get out of college without student debt. Right,
it's a big deal. It's a big deal. It's a
big deal. But yeah, once I got to New York.

Speaker 1 (03:23):
Here, you're like, all of a sudden, the non student debt,
you're just in debt because it just sucks cash right
out of you.

Speaker 2 (03:29):
I were two jobs to split a one bedroom apartment
to live in the city you did, and and not
and now a very desirable place, a place that's prohibitably expensive,
but at the time was not.

Speaker 3 (03:41):
Is that interesting?

Speaker 1 (03:41):
It's like impossible now but it took two jobs plus yeah,
you obviously having to go out on auditions. Yeah, but
before I just also want to say to everybody who's listening,
and to you specifically, congratulations on the Globe nomination.

Speaker 3 (03:55):
Travelers was amazing.

Speaker 2 (03:57):
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (03:58):
It's like I told you I twice second time, even
with just more powerful than the first. That hit me
hard because you know, not only being able to see
the representation of two men who fell in love and
seeing the sexualization of it, which is not often been
depicted as and to see the relationship.

Speaker 3 (04:17):
If you go back to the New York piece, and
you were walking into.

Speaker 1 (04:20):
A room and you know, and you had, for lack
of a better world, a secret, like you know, you
just knew something about yourself that you just had to
sort of put aside.

Speaker 3 (04:28):
Going into a room to an audition at a.

Speaker 1 (04:31):
Time when that would have that gotten the way, you know,
how did that feel versus how does it? How does
it feel now when you as you've become kind of
I hate to even say the word like the the
embodiment of what it's like to be a leading man,
to be able to just be you.

Speaker 2 (04:52):
That's very nice for you to say. I don't know that.
I felt at the beginning of my career that I
was even keeping a secret because there's no PubL narrative
about you. You're first starting out.

Speaker 3 (05:03):
What would you like coffee launch?

Speaker 2 (05:05):
I love a coffee for now. Yeah, I think I'll
do some oat milk. Thank you so much. Cool haircut
about it.

Speaker 3 (05:12):
I mean, we're talking about a mullet verse. It's just longer.
This is much more refined.

Speaker 2 (05:19):
Thank you. I don't know Kerry Mulligan, who I adore.
She did a haircut for this guy on the Jimmy
Kimmel Show. I don't know if you saw it or not,
but it looked very similar to what you have going on,
and I actually loved it. I thought she's kind of
brilliant work.

Speaker 3 (05:30):
I have to say, you're the king of mullets.

Speaker 2 (05:34):
Tell your name again at nice time.

Speaker 3 (05:37):
Rick Eric's mullet gets a lot of attention during this show.
It's running.

Speaker 2 (05:43):
It's a running bit. Yeah it's good.

Speaker 3 (05:47):
Okay, so oh you say that, but.

Speaker 2 (05:50):
You, so, yeah, you know, I didn't really feel like Yeah,
of course, on some level you feel like you're holding
a secret, but there was There wasn't anyone who cares
to know anything about me. I was just a guy
trying to get a job. And in many ways I
still feel the same, you know, really well, yeah, I
just think, you know, ultimately, you're just an actor or
trying to get a job, and if you're fortunate enough

(06:12):
to have a little bit of autonomy or choice, then
and the right project comes along that you can give
voice too. That's great, you know, you said. And what
does it feel like now? I think one of the
big differences now is that back then, I don't think
I would have even gotten to audition for a role
like Fellow Travelers. I think it probably would have just

(06:34):
gone to a straight actor, right, I think, and you know,
they would have done a great job with it. But
it's in terms of opportunity, I don't know that I
would have even had a chance to be at the table. Now.
A lot of that's a testament to run Nice Wanner
Robbie Rogers and wanting to bring that sort of authenticity

(06:54):
in the storytelling to this piece.

Speaker 1 (06:56):
Do you say that in context, you wouldn't have been
at the table if you were openly gay versus not
or at a point of just you know no.

Speaker 2 (07:11):
So this is kind of a nuanced answer because what
I'm it's not even about famously. I just think that
that role wouldn't have been open to auditions, and if
it were offered to somebody, it probably at that time
would have been offered to a straight actor, right.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
You know, because you know the whole.

Speaker 2 (07:28):
Could have easily been today. You know, you think I.

Speaker 1 (07:32):
Do, well, I mean I guess because I mean I think,
like if you just rewind not so long ago, when
like something and we've referenced milk with Sean Pagne, who
we reference broke Back with Heath and with Jake, and
you have like actors that are not gay that are
playing these parts, and you've experienced this as any gay
actor has, like oh when you get the part, or

(07:55):
like oh he's gay, Okay, you know what, I don't
think we're gonna go there if or or.

Speaker 2 (08:01):
We'll do one of the characters gay but the other
guy has to be straight exactly whatever. Look, these are
all versions that work. All those actors gave their hearts
and souls and minds to these stories at look at
the incredible LGBTQ stories being bit or projects that have
been produced and made and done so with love and
respect by so many people across the spectrum. Whether it's

(08:24):
people drinking people's bathwater or pushing the civil rights movement forward,
it's been wherever you fall on that spectrum, it's been
kind of an amazing year, told by all different kinds
of people. And I think that's great. I think that.
And actors are actors. We should play roles, you know,
And so what I think is nice is that there
are opportunities. Now, I think opportunity is the real word

(08:45):
that you know, it's at least you get a shot
to be in the room and audition or fight for
the role.

Speaker 3 (08:52):
Yeah, I mean, I think getting their role. And well,
I mean as as a.

Speaker 1 (08:55):
Person who grew up at a time when you know
there was no representation or no the only people you
saw on television that kind of felt or looked like
you were.

Speaker 2 (09:03):
Just say, am I supposed to focused on anything other
than Eric Smellett.

Speaker 3 (09:06):
Now Today is about Eric law Today on Table.

Speaker 2 (09:10):
This episode brought to you by Eric's Matt and Eric Kentucky,
Kentucky business in front, but it's a party in back, y'all.

Speaker 3 (09:30):
So tell me about your year. You went to Carnegie Mellon,
which I.

Speaker 1 (09:33):
Did interesting because you also went with bevy of actors
that are all that your friends that had success or
having successful crews.

Speaker 3 (09:40):
What was Carnegie Mellon like for you?

Speaker 1 (09:43):
And in regard to like what did you really lean into,
like the theater, the plays, like what were you?

Speaker 2 (09:50):
I was so excited to be there and just have
It was a total reset for me in so many ways.
And I didn't have I'd already worked professionally as an
actor on stage. You had. Yeah, Well, my very first job,
which I don't even know if I've ever talked about
it in presses, I was a background artist in a
Chuck Norris movie that shot in Houston when I was

(10:11):
thirteen or twelve, twelve or thirteen, I swear to God
now that you did you Yeah, it was in downtown Houston.
There was this period where I was doing forensics in
middle school and doing these tournaments and things and doing
well at those, And so my friend's mom and some
of our friends parents, what forensics is like? I would

(10:32):
do like a ten minute humorous piece or a dramatic
piece or duet acting piece or okay, yeah we're doing
forensic files. Yeah you do, studying cadavers and being judged
on how well we assessed what had transpired. It does
it's it's a weird. It's a weird sharing shared name,

(10:54):
isn't it?

Speaker 3 (10:55):
Yeah?

Speaker 2 (10:55):
Title anyway, So we had My parents could care less.
I remember asking them for headshots and basically like laughed
and I'm like, what are you talking about? Get out
of here, go play outside, which I'm glad they did.
But I had some friends parents who like let me
tag along when their kids. So I went and I
accompanied my friend to the Mickey Mouse Club audition. I

(11:16):
didn't even I just went with her and I was like,
I'll try this too, and I was such a jerk.
I sang the same song. I was not prepared at
all because I didn't even know what was going on.
My friend was like ready to go, and I sang
the same song the person in front of me sang
because I didn't know what else to sing. And the
song it was Eternal Flame by the Bengals. Okay, wow, yeah,

(11:38):
I think I was twelve eleven maybe, and I ended
up getting really close. And I remember the the casting
director from Mickey. This is the same year that like
Gosling and timber Lake Brittany Christina as people cast and
I remember him calling my house and saying, you know,

(11:59):
we're thinking about you out here to test for this,
but you have to come to Florida, like would your
parents come with you? And we were sitting at a
dinner table and I was like, hey, mom, would you
come with me to They're like, I don't know what
are you talking. Come back and eat dinner. And I
think the cast directors like, yeah, all right, peace. Not
to say that I would have gotten it anyway, because
I was nowhere prepared for that opportunity, but.

Speaker 1 (12:20):
Well it sounds like, you know, they saw something and
you clearly sound thing.

Speaker 2 (12:25):
But so another one of the gigs that we did
is we went there was a movie called Sidekicks with
Chuck Norris and the late Jonathan Brandis May he Rest
in peace? Who who They were filming in Houston and
you could go and be a background artist of this
big karate tournament that was kind of the finale of
the movement. So we did every day and I got
to meet Chuck Norris and uh yeah, that was my

(12:46):
first gig. But then I did a play when I
was right when I turned eighteen on stage my senior
year at the Alley Theater in Houston. We did a
street carnae Desire, and so I had some stage experience,
but I had no formal training. This is a really
long answered.

Speaker 3 (13:01):
I'm fascinated.

Speaker 2 (13:02):
So I was excited to just have some sense of
a technique or some way of approaching the work that
wasn't just intuitive or just happy, go lucky, you know.
And so I was really excited to dig in. And
it was a different program at the time it was
it was every class is obviously very different. There were
some hyper competitive classes. Ours was a pretty loving class.

(13:23):
I have to say, we're all still really good friends.
I have a text thread with all my classmates. But
there was a cut program back then, and I think
we started with twenty people in my class and ended
with nine.

Speaker 1 (13:35):
Wow.

Speaker 2 (13:35):
So you'd come back after the holiday and be like
after the holiday, like after Chris, X, Y and Z
is not back, did you hear? And you'd have to
have these meetings with the faculty. This has all been
taken away now, by the way, because it was, you know,
sort of branded, you know as the little too cruel
for school. Yeah, and you'd meet with the faculty and

(13:57):
you'd have to sit in front of that and be
in every single one of them would talk about how
you did in a voice and speech, how you didn't singing,
how you did a movement, how you did enacting, and
sort of assess you in front of like a jury basically.

Speaker 1 (14:10):
So that like makes me think of an eat you
have to eat, Matt needs nourishment.

Speaker 2 (14:15):
Is it okay that I'm just chewing a microphone?

Speaker 3 (14:17):
This is tabable to real lunch. Some people are like,
you know.

Speaker 2 (14:21):
What's it called? What's it called? When you do the tune?
And people like the sound of it, what's it called?
Like ASMR, this is a very special ASMR episode.

Speaker 3 (14:31):
I do that sometimes.

Speaker 2 (14:32):
I think, brought to you by Kentucky Waterfalls.

Speaker 3 (14:36):
How many times we're going to be able to say
Kentucky Waterfalls.

Speaker 1 (14:48):
You bring up something that is I hear, which is
like kind of horrible that this was, but kind of
setting people up for the nature of your business of
just rejection. Yeah, I mean that is really a brutal
like what it be basically September through December, you did
a play, you did this, and then you just weren't

(15:10):
good enough.

Speaker 3 (15:11):
And no, it wasn't it really that.

Speaker 2 (15:13):
It was more about what was your work ethic like
because you weren't allowed to be a part of Greek life.
It was your sole focus was to be a part
of this conservatory, right, And so we were in class
and when you're freshman and sophomore, you're building the sets,
you're building the costumes, you're running the lights, you're doing
all the crew work for the junior and senior shows,

(15:36):
which I think is a great thing too. I mean
that really was a great entree into the creative process
ensemble aspect. But yeah, it's more about, Okay, can you
handle forty fifty hours of class a week and also
all the rehearsals on top of that, and then doing
crew at night and going from one class and doing

(15:59):
a Shakespeare monologue and going to another class and doing
a restoration piece, then going to another class doing it temporary.
Do you have the work ethic, do you have the
can you take direction? Do you work well with other people?
It was more sometimes about those things. And by the way,
a lot of the people who got cut have gone
on to have great careers. So I don't know that
it was you know, oftentimes it was a very subjective

(16:20):
analysis from a very specific faculty.

Speaker 1 (16:23):
But what's so cool about it is it's such a
moment in your life that you never have again, and
to be able to do all of that and you
don't even know really why you're in it, Like this
is so special because once you get out of there
and you're in the real world and you're hustling and
you have two jobs and you live in a one

(16:43):
bedroom apartment, it's like, that's done.

Speaker 2 (16:46):
Yeah, Yeah, and that's and you got permission to fall
on your face, yeah, and learn how to fail and
find a rehearsal process where it was okay to fail,
and to figure out how to connect to something emotionally
for the first time, and you're doing it in front
of a group of twenty people, it's the bond. And

(17:07):
so if you can do that, when all of a
sudden you're on set and someone's like, hey, we don't
have time to rehearse this. I know it's a big
emotional scene. We're probably only get one take before that
we lose the sunset. So I'm so sorry about this.
Let's just go for it. Everybody roll camera like it
just makes it a little bit. It's not it's not
the same thing, but it's warmed you up to that

(17:28):
kind of preparation.

Speaker 3 (17:30):
That's a big deal. Thanks for pulling up a share today.

Speaker 1 (17:53):
On Table for two before the break, Matt was telling
us about his time at Carnegie Mellon. However, unlike those
actors who moved to LA right away, Matt started out
his career in New York. And I'm curious about those
early days pounding the pavement in Manhattan.

Speaker 3 (18:12):
To leave school.

Speaker 1 (18:16):
You come to New York, you know, you've said just
you know your training on the shoaps, and everyone who's
ever been on a shop says the training is just.

Speaker 3 (18:24):
You can't beat it. It's like you just really get used.

Speaker 1 (18:28):
To learning lines, fast, shifting, changing, and you know, kind
of sets you up a foundation your New York years
versus the LA years. Because what brought you to LA?

Speaker 2 (18:38):
Oh gosh, Well, going back a little bit before I
came to New York, I did right after as I
was kind of finishing school. I got Sundance Theater Lab,
which is kind of you know, the film lab where
they work with new directors like Quinton Tarantino, a lot
of big directors that come out of that, and they
give them the chance to workshop their new material with
actors in Sundance at Sundance Sunday, and they do the

(19:00):
saying that with theater right, yeah, so uh in and
that yes exactly. And so here I was, I just
got and I was doing I was working with Craig
Lucas and Miss Kaufman and all this, and I was
doing the very first workshop of Spring Awakening Duncan Chic,
where it was so robbed. He was like still figuring
out what court it was on the guitar. And I

(19:22):
was meeting all these idols who had just done their
work when I was in school. Craig Lucas, I had
done a scene of his to get an agent.

Speaker 3 (19:28):
Wow.

Speaker 2 (19:29):
And so it was a really studio.

Speaker 3 (19:32):
Great audition for that to get that.

Speaker 2 (19:35):
Casting director came to our school and I did a
monologue and I sang for her, and she said, I
used to be a singer. I wouldn't call myself a
singer anymore, not a real singer, but not in eight
shows a week like that would take me about a
year to get back there.

Speaker 3 (19:52):
But you do it.

Speaker 2 (19:54):
But but she brought me in when I was in
New York and I auditioned, and then from that, I
also got an audition for a musical called Thoroughly Modern Millie,
and then I got it had the same director both projects,
and so I got a job offer for that project
as well, and so that brought me to New York.
That ended up nine to eleven happened, So we lost

(20:15):
the Broadway house. I told the story a lot.

Speaker 3 (20:17):
Oh my gods, I had I would have been, I.

Speaker 2 (20:21):
Would have been on Broadway. First. I was a cover.
I wasn't the lead.

Speaker 3 (20:24):
I was a cover.

Speaker 2 (20:25):
But I was also just out of school and it
would have been such a different path. But so I
was while I was waiting on that house, like we're
there waiting for the right house to open up. Nine
to eleven happened. I lost my day job and I
ended up getting an audition for a soap, which is
not like a future I had really envisioned for myself
coming out of theater school. But I was like, whatever,

(20:47):
let's go, and it was the best thing that ever
could have happened to me. It was such a great years.
A year, it was like a year and a half
and I was terrified to be on camera. I would
do anything on stage at that point. I was like,
you know, primed for anything after Conservatory, but I hadn't
done I'd never really been on camera.

Speaker 1 (21:16):
See, I think, you know, one of the biggest mistakes
people make, especially when they're young and they're leading person material,
they you know, shoot out to LA to try to
be like on like the nine oh two one zero.
Let's say I'm referring to my generation at that time,
you know, as opposed to building the foundation of really

(21:39):
the acting skill, because you'll get there if you got it.
So like you doing that in Carnegie Mellon and then
coming to New York and then everything happens for a reason. Yeah,
to then find yourself so leaving the theater world forcing
yourself to get a gig on the TV world. That

(22:00):
teaches you the camera tech. Yeah, the camera acting, which
is very different. How because like what's different if you
can explain the different nuances between theater acting, TV acting
and movie acting, because you kind of you know, you're
you're like hit them all baby, because like the movie camera,
I mean, the screen is so big and I'm not
gonna let not say something here because you know, if

(22:22):
you haven't seen ma Stroke, how you act with your
eyes and your smile.

Speaker 3 (22:26):
You're very good in this movie.

Speaker 1 (22:28):
And there's a moment where Leonard Bernstein comes up to
you with the woman that he's with, Alicia Felicia, and you,
unprepared have to be gracious and welcoming and kind and
everything that is being read from your face.

Speaker 3 (22:50):
Is pain and love and it was.

Speaker 1 (22:53):
It's really was a beautiful thing to do. So that
to me is like incredible, thank you so.

Speaker 2 (23:00):
Much, thank you. That's very kind of you to say.
I think we were all very fortunate to be in
Bradley's hands. I think he brings out the best and
everybody and sees what you want to bring in, tries
to bring that out in you. But you know, I
used to think there was this massive discrepancy between the two.
I really did, And the more and more I'm working

(23:24):
at the less I feel that discrepancy. Obviously, there are
different aspects of your such an actory thing to say,
but your instrument that you have to use when you're
on stage because the people if it's a you know,
fifteen hundred seat house, the people in the back row
have to hear you, and depending on how your might
you have to take all that into consideration. But in

(23:46):
terms of connecting with the other actors and being present
with them and trying to find something that's true to
what you've rehearsed, but also that's alive in that moment,
it's it's not terribly different than what's being unfilmed. Okay
II In sumar ards, I always think too, there are

(24:08):
some amazing things that can happen on stage that I
don't think can happen in any other medium, because it's
almost like it's the closest to that kind of collective
tribal experience that that theater came out of of, like
the guy around the fire and the cave talking about
how the hunt went that day. You have that one
audience for that one period of time, and it will

(24:30):
never be exactly the same examen. So there's something that's
so unique about every different show that is just incredible
to me.

Speaker 1 (24:38):
Yeah, Because also I would imagine because anything can happen
within those two hours that might whether it's a mistake,
a drop a line, just a nuance of something a
delivered line that you're going to respond and.

Speaker 2 (24:54):
Different actors work differently too. Some people really like to
do the same thing every night, so have to learn
how to do that work with that as well. And
obviously you don't also don't want to go start doing cartwheels.
H never heard that because then everything could go disastrously wrong.

Speaker 1 (25:11):
Now you're doing now he's doing, car So you know,
I asked Sarah Jessica Parker on the show last season
the you know when at what point? You know, when
she was getting ready to shoot for Sex in the
City and just like that did Carrie? Was there something
that she did that all of a sudden Carrie Bradshaw

(25:34):
was there because I had read earlier with Marilyn Monroe
when she was walking down the stairs with Susan Strasbourg
and all these press and she turns to Susan and says,
are you ready? Do you want to see her? And
as she walks down the stairs, it's like she shifts
her whole thing and she greets it.

Speaker 2 (25:54):
And they do that in my week with Marylyn.

Speaker 3 (25:55):
I think that they did so, And Sir Jessica said,
you know, you get ready.

Speaker 1 (26:01):
Some days it could be twenty two degrees out, you're outside,
you know, you take you down jacket off, you have
the poofy skirt on.

Speaker 2 (26:06):
She straps on us Manolo.

Speaker 3 (26:09):
Or you know, now that's Jessica Collectibles.

Speaker 1 (26:12):
And you say, she said, when the word action action
Carrie came alive because she was like, because I didn't know,
I couldn't tell you who Carrie was going to be
at that moment, Carrie was going to be happy, said like,
I didn't know, And I thought that was also interesting.

Speaker 2 (26:30):
It's a really exciting way to work.

Speaker 3 (26:32):
Right to your craft. So you know you got you guys.
Did you know you did the revival of Boys in
the band Billy Freaking who we Love? Who directed the
movie making recipes? Joe Mantello.

Speaker 1 (26:45):
I remember going to the rehearsal and watching you guys
do it, and I was so nervous watching you guys
like here in La but.

Speaker 4 (26:51):
Yeah, right, it was when we were really on the stage. Yes,
it was just like freaking Yes, Joe is like, what
is wrong with you? I'm like, it is intense. I
was freaked out too.

Speaker 1 (27:03):
So you do this show and you're amazing in it,
and the cast is amazing in it, and I just
feel like wow, and Joe is such a great director.
And then you also then bring it to the screen.

Speaker 2 (27:13):
Yeah, what same cast with the same director r which
is kind of unheard of.

Speaker 3 (27:18):
Crazy. Was there a difference in the character or the development,
or in.

Speaker 1 (27:25):
The process of because now it's not that hour and
a half show that's live that all of a sudden,
you know, somebody does you're like doing the take.

Speaker 3 (27:37):
Yeah.

Speaker 2 (27:37):
I think the real challenge in that regard was giving
yourself permission in a new medium to not just rely
on what you knew worked on stage, not just to
rely what you knew would get a laugh on stage
right as you've done it one hundred and fifty times
or whatever it was. But I think it was less
than that. But but to keep exploring and keep find

(28:00):
new things, and then Joe could get in and fine
tune certain moments, just one moment in particular, because the
play ends with this sort of me holding Jim Parson's
character in this piazza, and we used had this whole
meltdown and my characters trying to comfort him, and on
stage it could be any number of ways. Wherever we
were that night is just wherever we were that night, right,

(28:21):
Sometimes wherever we were that night depending on what had
just happened. The hour and a half before.

Speaker 5 (28:25):
And how vicious it got or how crazy it got,
or which must mean also like how you enter the
room that day, like what was your day, like what
was the audience's daylight? What's all the energy that's got
into the room collectively that you then go out and
do this thing.

Speaker 3 (28:40):
It's just going to be different when.

Speaker 2 (28:41):
I feel like that's one thing I've learned more and
more about the work. Not that this is so no
one wants to hear this, but to rather than trying
to drown things out and make it what you want
it to be, to bring everything into what's happening right
then and there. You know, it's like this in your
day to the work and if we're doing a scene,

(29:03):
rather than you know, making X person feel or look like,
I want to use what he's actually doing, what's going
on in his eye, what happened to his hair that day,
or whatever, like really use that.

Speaker 3 (29:17):
Which makes it must that makes it interesting.

Speaker 2 (29:21):
Way that something I remember I was watching a rough
cut of my astro with Bradley, and the biggest might
have been the biggest lesson I learned from him on
this film. I can't believe I'm giving it away for
free on your podcast.

Speaker 3 (29:34):
Oh my god, Well it's me, but it's just us.

Speaker 2 (29:38):
And he said to me, in the scene he tripped
as he was going up the stairs, I don't even
know if the scenes in the movie anymore. And I
said and something about him doing that. It was in
an early scene in the movie at the time, and
it just as an audience, Remember, I relaxed because it
took a sense of preciousness out of it, because something
real and human and in the moment and a live

(29:59):
happened in that scene. And I said, were there takes
where you didn't trip? And do you care that you
tripped or whatever? And he was like, oh, no, I'm
hoping that I trip because then something's gonna happen. That's real, right,
And I think you know it doesn't happen every take.
It doesn't happen every scene, but no, you're always hoping

(30:20):
for that. If you've been doing it for a while,
that's kind of the moment you're hoping for. Even on stage,
that can be what is the most electric if you
seem like Mary Leise Parker do a play and you
get that sense that like it's never the same.

Speaker 3 (30:35):
Even in her like right, it's just whatever is going on,
and it's.

Speaker 2 (30:40):
Electric to watch.

Speaker 1 (30:41):
Yeah, welcome back to Table for two. Matt's big screen

(31:05):
debut was in two thousand and fives The Flight Plan
with Jody Foster. Someone who has always loved and been
in awe of Jody Foster, I'm curious what it was
like to work with such an iconic actor. You know,
I am obsessed for years with Jody Foster. I mean,
I'm just saying, and you know, she is of my generation,

(31:29):
and I just and she and Nayan, I just I
was like, Wow, how good are the two of them?
And Nia They're incredible. They're incredible.

Speaker 2 (31:38):
I told them both. I want them. I want to
see them take it on the road. I want to
see those two characters in everything.

Speaker 3 (31:45):
Everything tell me about what I'm working with.

Speaker 2 (31:48):
Beautiful lesbian friendship, not even that beautiful friendship between these
women both stunningly beautiful, but have not given themselves over
to vanity in a way takes you out of the story, you.

Speaker 3 (32:01):
Know, not at all. It's like, there's so yeah, and
they're such Joy.

Speaker 2 (32:04):
Is one of the most beautiful humans to ever exist,
I mean.

Speaker 3 (32:08):
Completely, you know.

Speaker 1 (32:08):
And it's interesting to me because in the early nineties,
sort of being in la there was just a little
bit of a world. She's obviously a very private person
and she so I know a couple of people that
were close in her circle but did not know her
but would see her occasionally.

Speaker 3 (32:23):
And how much the world has changed for being.

Speaker 1 (32:26):
Able to share you know, her life and you worked
with her, And when you work with someone like that,
how did how do you at that point in your
career and age like walk onto a set and be
like like I'm about.

Speaker 2 (32:39):
To Oh, I was dying right, dying. It was because
it was the first film I ever did ail yeah,
holy can and I didn't have a ton to do
in it, but it all took place on an airplane, right,
so we all had to be there all the time.
And you just never knew what this director when you
were going to be in a shot and it was
going to feature you, when you're going to have a

(32:59):
lot line, you know, whenever it was he would just
call audibles. Robert Schwuink got a great director and Jody
was so it was like the nice boon of the
job was that the director of said you can sit
in on all the rehearsals with Jody Foster and Peter
Sarsguard and watch Sean Bean, watch how they work, watch

(33:20):
what their process is like, and watch them on set.
And I was like, wait, I'm getting paid to have
a masterclass, right, let's go. So And one of the
things I learned the most about Jody was just how
to handle yourself on a set. She is a consummate professional.
She knows the whole cruise name, she knows the whole

(33:42):
cast name. And that was a big cast, it was
a big movie. And she just was so gracious and kind.
And Jody is somebody that wherever my career was after that,
if I saw in public, she would treat me the same,
like a human. And I think, I look at someone
like her, I look at someone like Jason Bateman, and

(34:04):
I think one of the hardest things to do is
to come up in this industry, Drew Barrymore, and to
come out the other end of it a healthy, saying
human being, because there's just so many trappings along the way.
And Jody is the height of sanity in this industry,
the height of humanity in this industries. So what she's

(34:24):
achieved and what she has maintained for herself is so commendable.

Speaker 1 (34:29):
Yeah, it's like we went to the Hollywood Bowl and
unbeknownst to me, we were in a box with Jody
and her wife several months ago, and it was I
almost couldn't talk because of the effect that her work
had at the time when I was in my twenties,
and you know, I mean, I think Jody's like two

(34:51):
or three years older than me, so we're really I
just felt.

Speaker 2 (34:54):
Like, Wow, she's great. Though it also kind of she's
like Julia Roberts. She's great at kind of taking away
that veneer as well and completely immediately having a human
connection with you. And I think there's a real art
to that, and I think it's an unfortunate responsibility of
people who are huge stars who then have to do
a scene with you to suddenly break it all down
and go, right, hey, we're just in the scene together

(35:16):
and yeah, we're just two human beings having an interaction.

Speaker 1 (35:19):
Yeah, you know, okay, so missedable. You know, one of
the things is it responsibility. Do you feel it's a responsibility.
I mean that you now carry this torch of being

(35:41):
sort of this like leading man at a time that
it didn't exist publicly, you know, you've done. You've made choices,
many different choices. You've played, you know, from all your
you know, your movies and TV. A lot of what
you're not playing gay characters. You're just you're playing. But
you know you you know, we talk about boys in
the band, We talked about fellow travelers. You know, we

(36:02):
didn't talk about the normal heart. But my god, what
a heartbreaking. I remember running into on the street in
New York City and you were like six pounds.

Speaker 3 (36:10):
Yeah, it was.

Speaker 1 (36:11):
Do you feel there's like a responsibility that you carry me?
You got a beautiful award this year last year by
HRC that the President of the United States gave you,
which is was a big deal.

Speaker 3 (36:22):
Like you've you've really created a life for yourself where
there's a responsibility to How does that feel?

Speaker 2 (36:30):
Do you feel that? It's interesting? I worked with Diane,
the lovely Diane Carroll. Maybe she rest in peace. I
miss her for six years and I was so curious.
I remember talking to her early on, but she was
the first African American woman to have her own hour
long trimetime show. Anyway, I asked her, I was like,
what was that like did you feel? And she and

(36:52):
she said I just thought of myself as an actor, right,
and who had a great role and I was playing
that and that gave me such a sense of perspective
at all, because she had had a whole the lifetime
to look back on that moment, you know. So I
was fortunate to be with her in that moment and
and have that answer. But you know, my biggest thing

(37:12):
if I'm if I'm able to be in a piece
where has LGBTQ themes or characters, and I'm fortunate enough
to be, you know, whether it's just an actor or
I'm producing, I just don't want to drop the ball, right,
That's the only responsibility I feel, because there is this
sense of like.

Speaker 3 (37:30):
Which you never will because you take it.

Speaker 2 (37:32):
So you know, there are so many factors that go
into something like that, but you just know that it's
a rare opportunity just to even get to be at
that table. So I want to make sure other people
get to be there too, And so that's that's I
think that's it's not at the forefront of my mind,
but I think that's somewhere in the back of my right.

(37:54):
Outside of that, it's so funny that people ask me
all these giant social questions and where I fit into
the schemes, and there are all questions that I can't
answer it right right, you know, they think that I
have some grand answer that's going to be the definitive,
and it's just not the way the world works, not
where the zeitgeist works, and not the way our culture
shapes and shifts.

Speaker 1 (38:22):
I've had such a great time today at lunch with
my friend Matt Bomer, and I just need to know
what life.

Speaker 2 (38:28):
Is like for such a busy actor.

Speaker 1 (38:32):
Mattie, you have, first of all, this is like your
this is a true one of many and you've had
them happened before. But it's really been fascinating, amazing to
watch as your friend, this moment in time that your
career has brought you. I think it's also interesting that
there was that strike that God made everything weight, so everything.

Speaker 2 (38:51):
It was like getting pulled back on a sling shot,
I bet because there was so it was such a
you know, the one thing I was bummed about. And
it's all, it's fine, it's all panned out fine, But
I really wanted to go to the Venice Film Festival
because you just don't get to do that every day.
And this show Bradley and Carrie and Steve would have
just been so cool, assuming they would have even invited me.

(39:12):
Who knows, but if they had. But other than that,
I had really kind of made this weird piece that
the work was just out in the world and it
was going to be what it was. Hopefully folks would
find the show, and the social media people from the
studios and networks would do their job and create awareness
however they do. And then all of a sudden, we

(39:34):
were unleashed, you know, we were unleashed. I mean, so
I just it was like, literally this strike ended. There
was a phone call the next hour. I was on
a plane the next day, and I have not stopped
since stop. It's been pretty wild.

Speaker 1 (39:47):
So I just need to like acknowledge as we, I believe,
come to an end to our launch and we have
a big weekend ahead of us. To say, the fact
that you the generosity of Matt Bomer, if you've pulled
up a chair today, the fact that he's sitting with
me in a week where he we are celebrating a

(40:09):
milestone birthday for his husband, in a week where you
just had the Golden Globe weekend, which is prest Press
brass in a week where you're does not go unnoticed, unappreciated,
and really means the world to me that you would
take the time to sit and have just a sort
of quiet little lunch in a nook corner of La Bruce.

Speaker 2 (40:32):
We could be in the middle of that Julia Roberts
movie and I would make the time for you. That's that, miss,
how deep my love for you and Brian and your
family goes.

Speaker 3 (40:40):
Thanks so I love you, Matt, I love you too,
and thank you everyone for listening and you talk.

Speaker 2 (40:47):
Thanks for having me.

Speaker 3 (40:48):
You got it.

Speaker 1 (40:57):
Table for two with Bruce Bossi is produced by iHeartRadio
seven three seven Park and Airmail. Our executive producers are
Bruce Bosi Nathan King. Our supervising producer and editor is
Dylan Fagan. Table for two is researched and written by
Jack Sullivan. Our sound engineers are Meil B. Klein, Jess Krainich,

(41:17):
Evan Taylor, and Jesse Funk. Our music supervisor is Randall Poster.
Our talent booking is done by Jane Sarkin. Table for
two Social media manager is Gracie Wiener. Special thanks to
Amy Sugarman, Uni Scherer, Kevin Yuvane, Bobby Bauer, Alison Kanter Graber,
Barbara Jen, Jeff Klein, and the staff at the Tower

(41:38):
Bar in the world famous Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood.
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