talent show

Show People with Paul Wontorek: Matt Bomer of THE BOYS IN THE BAND

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Screen star Matt Bomer discusses making his Broadway debut in THE BOYS IN THE BAND, his directorial debut and what the first workshop for SPRING AWAKENING was like.

Here are some of the must-read highlights:

ON DIRECTING DARREN CRISS IN VERSACE
“Ryan Murphy turned to me one day with my dog-eared, well-worn script and was like, ‘You should be a director.’ Then he called and offered me the opportunity on VERSACE. It was just a really profound gift. I’ve never met an actor I didn’t like—even the prickly ones I love. It was a great opportunity to work with people like Darren Criss and Edgar Ramirez and all this great theater talent. Thank God you have someone like Ryan who is willing to look at someone like Jon Jon Briones and see the talent in him and give him a huge opportunity. It was a great, great first directing gig. I have a few directing offers for the fall. I’m not sure how it’s all going to go, but I know I will be directing for Ryan in the fall.”

ON THE FIRST SPRING AWAKENING WORKSHOP
“Before I graduated from Carnegie Mellon, I was fortunate enough to get into the Sundance Theatre Lab in the summer of 2000. I did the very first workshop of SPRING AWAKENING, which Michael Mayer and Steven Sater hired me for. It was a real first workshop. That forum is the best entry point for anyone into this industry because you’re with the greatest creative minds in the theater world in this safe haven up in the mountains in Utah. You’re breaking bread together. You’re working together all day in this really constructive way, but there’s not too much pressure on it. I love that. I played Hanschen. There were amazing songs that didn’t even end up in the show. One of my favorite songs with the most beautiful, poignant lyrics didn’t even end up in the show.”

ON HIS SINGING HABIT
“I sing CONSTANTLY—anything that floats into my head. Ask Jim Parsons. He’ll kvetch about it to no end. I’m always associating words with songs. If you say a phrase or a turn of phrase that reminds me of a song, then that song will get stuck in my head. Yeah, I sing constantly.”

ON MAKING HIS BROADWAY DEBUT IN THE BOYS IN THE BAND
“I honestly only ever thought I was going to do theater. My career just took me other places. Joe Mantello is the best director working today. The cutting he was able to put together of the piece really moves it along. There is no intermission. You’re in there as the room’s getting hotter, as the stakes are increasing. We were able to do a reading and a workshop before so we had a sense of what it felt like in the room. I can’t imagine a wider safety net than Joe Mantello and these actors I’m sharing the stage with.”

ON SIX DEGREES OF MATT BOMER
“I went to school with Zachary Quinto. I’ve known Michael Benjamin Washington since I got out of school. I’ve known Andrew Rannells for years. We went to different high schools, but Jim Parsons lived just up the street from me. Lee Pace went to my high school. We did THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK together, WILD HONEY, CRAZY FOR YOU and we did SOUTH PACIFIC.”

ON THAT SHOWER SCENE
“The shower is in the script. It’s a very brief shower. The first time I actually had to be naked in rehearsal, I completely went up on my lines. I had to get comfortable.”

ON RYAN MURPHY
“He’s so magnanimous and so generous of spirit and so loyal to his troupe of actors. It really does feel like you’re part of a rep company, which I love.”

ON THAT MAGIC MIKE MUSICAL
“Channing Tatum is such a brilliant businessman. I had said to him early on, ‘You know you have to make a Broadway musical.’ I’m not taking credit for the idea. I’m sure they were already well into it at that point. I think it’s a great idea, and it’s such an interesting and rich world to explore. We do seem to be in this place in society now where we’re not casting so many aspersions on that lifestyle.”

ON FLIRTING WITH BROADWAY
“Sutton Foster and I were originally cast as the understudies at La Jolla for THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE. I was the cover for Gavin Creel and Marc Kudisch. September 11 happened, and so no one was coming to New York. The show got delayed, and they had to wait on the house they wanted. Thankfully I was able to get a soap opera. I did the workshop of Grey Gardens at Playwrights Horizons. I was in rehearsals for the Playwrights Horizons production, and I got a movie. I prefer doing plays, and the musicals I’ve been attracted to like SPRING AWAKENING are very actor-centric. The music is truly just an elevation of the scene work you’re doing. I see myself doing a Broadway musical. It would just have to be the right one.”

Foodie, Performer, Lip Dubber, Empire Builder, Twitteratti. I am superb at parallel parking.

12 Comments

  1. Olivia Black

    July 19, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Love you

  2. Broadway Nerd

    July 19, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    First view and comment

  3. Monika Singh

    July 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    One of "The Best"!

  4. D Mc

    July 19, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Love him!

  5. Jess V

    July 19, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Wonderful interview!, thank you.

  6. Kaitlyn Carroll

    July 20, 2018 at 1:34 am

    I love him <3

  7. healthywholemealbread

    July 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

    I always say reach for the coffee when it goes to the break and most times Paul does hehe

  8. Samuel Brown

    July 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Matt seems like such a nice guy. A little self conscious too which is really refreshing and endearing. Also Paul is such a brilliant interviewer

  9. Jake R

    July 22, 2018 at 10:41 am

    He look a little lost weight

  10. Amtran727

    July 23, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I saw The Boys In The Band on Memorial Day weekend and loved it. Long time Matt Bomer fan here.

  11. Amy Mikaelson

    July 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    He's so beautiful! I can't even!

  12. blanchefan

    July 29, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Just saw the show last week; it was indeed terrific! And I got to greet Matt after the show, which was a thrill; I told him how wonderful he was in The Normal Heart; and I could tell in a moment how very much that film (on HBO) meant to him. And, needless to say, he is a total charmer. All best wishes to you, Matt, in the unlikely event you ever read this! 🙂

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