With his dark hair and blue eyes, not to mention matinee idol good looks, it’s no surprise that Matt Bomer has constantly ranked as a high contender in fan castings for the role of Superman. And he has actually voiced the Man of Steel, in the animated movie ‘Superman: Unbound’ and actually auditioned for the role in live action in Brett Ratner and J.J. Abrams’ aborted ‘Superman: Flyby’ film.
At long last, Bomer is playing a DC superhero, but it’s a far cry from the iconic Last Son of Krypton. He provides the voice of Negative Man on DC Universe’s quirky new series ‘Doom Patrol’, and appears in the flesh in flashbacks. (Matthew Zuk is actually the man under the bandages in the modern scenes.) And Bomer wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love Larry, I love who he is, I love who he’s going to become and is in the process of becoming. And I think in so many ways, people would always say ‘oh, what about Superman?’ They bring it up constantly to me, still. And I think this character, to me, is just as if not more interesting than Kal-El.”
Bomer is, in particular, drawn to the dichotomy of the character, who executive producers sold to Bomer as “this golden boy on the outside, but inside, he’s always felt like a monster.” He added, “It’s the great allegory of the role that Jeremy [Carver] so brilliantly came up with. Through this accident, he ultimately becomes what he always felt he was inside.”
Part of Larry Trainor’s struggle is the fact that he is a closeted homosexual. As an openly gay actor, Bomer discussed this aspect of his role.
“I’ve never really seen a gay, male superhero, and what I love most about the character is that, even though it’s a huge struggle, internally, for him, it’s not the sole thing that defines who he is. He’s such a multi-faceted character. If it had just been one stereotypical thing, I think I would have had more reservations about it, but the fact that he is this nuanced character who has so many places to grow, and he has so much shadow and so much light that he doesn’t even know he has, is what appealed to me, just as much as his sexuality. “
Bomer notes that being gay now is a far cry from the 1960s, which is the time period in which Larry originated.
“It’s one thing to just be a product of that time, but to also be in the military, actively serving and to be someone who has tried to achieve so much, in order to create a smokescreen for himself and to give himself permission just to be. In his mind, if he can just become this guy who breaks the sound barrier and America has to love him, then he’ll never have to really deal with the parts of himself that are unlovable.”
There are sure to be many more shakeups as the first season barrels on. As Bomer summarized, “I wish I could just distill it down to one or two things, but literally with every script, the first thing I thought was, ‘How the f*ck are they gonna do that?'”
The first season of ‘Doom Patrol’ consists of 13 episodes, with new installments released each Friday.