cover story on Matt Bomer this week, so, for fun, I thought I'd put up Matt's first interview ever, that I did for the official Guiding Light website when he joined the cast as Ben Reade in 2001. Enjoy!
Introducing … Matthew Bomer!
A round-up of answers to the usual questions from one of Guiding Light’s newest cast members.
I’m from Texas. My dad was a Dallas Cowboy from 1972 to 1974. It was a very short time because he injured his knee and that was before they had good orthoscopic surgery. He’s in the shipping industry now.
As a kid, around sixth grade, I got into theater. It was sort of a niche I found. It was a way for me to have a blast and express myself. It also explained the way I behaved as a child and all the games of pretend I would play out in the backyard. It was something I was good at, whatever ‘good’ means. I started doing work at the Alley Theater, which is a regional theater in Houston. After high school, I started researching conservatory programs. I auditioned for a bunch of them, and I ended up getting into Carnegie-Mellon University. It was a very intense program. You ate, slept and breathed drama. You were there from eight in the morning until 11 at night sometimes, and it was drama all day long. You had to love it to be there.
It’s a Heck of a Town:
I had the opportunity to go to L.A. but — you know — I grew up outside of Houston, and L.A. kind of reminded me of Houston in a lot of ways, just this big, spread-out city. Besides, I knew New York was going to keep me on my toes. I was going to be working with and going up against people who really had a theater background. That was the hard dose of reality that I wanted and I felt like I needed. Of course, I did the whole dating-around thing when I first got to New York City. And then I was like, “Do I have the money to do this?” I’m actually really excited now because I finally have the money to take girls nice places.
I did a little stint on All My Children. I was Susan Lucci’s daughter’s ex-lesbian lover’s new fiancé. Ian, I think his name was. Daytime really took me by surprise. I was used to this theater background where you get six weeks to delve into things. But at the same time, there was a great spontaneity to it, and you really had to be on your toes.
I was about to be in the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway in March. I did a lot of musical theater in college, like A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim. He’s the best. Sondheim writes for the character, which is so rare for composers these days. When you first read it, you’re like, “This is so difficult, how am I ever going to learn it?” But once you start getting a sense of the character it all makes sense.
Come into the Light:
I had come in for Rob Decina, who is an amazing (GL) casting director, for the role of Romeo Jones, and he kept me in mind from that time. So he gave me a call and he told me, “There’s a role coming up, I think you’re right for it. Can you come in?” And I was like, “Yes! Yes, I can!”
No, Thank You:
When I was doing my screen-test for Ben, A&E (network) came in to do interviews with all the guys up for the part. They were doing a behind-the-scenes about how you get a job. They shot all the guys, but I sort of backed down — humbly — because I knew I would be so nervous. I didn’t want to be followed around with a camera into hair and make-up and everywhere, I just wanted to stay in my room and focus. It was a good call, because a lot of things came together right for this part, and I just had a blast. I knew that no matter what happened, I just had a great time. This was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I was finally getting to do it, in some aspect.
Rob told me that Ben was in a fraternity in Springfield U, and that the story would be really fun. The story is about him and Marah, and this competition he has going with his frat-mates. The writing of this character is so good and so strong. When I saw it, I was just pumped. I knew Ben had a bit of a dark side, but they just really gave me a nice place to start from.
I did so much research for this part! I bought the Guiding Light Scrapbook. I am caught up from 1957 to the present! Once I found out Holly was my step-mother, I did a lot of research, and then I was like, “Wait, does this mean I’m related to Roger Thorpe?” But then I found out I was Fletcher Reade’s son. So I found out about him, and how my mom died in a helicopter crash. I had a meeting with (Executive Producer) Paul Rauch today, and I was like, “So, let’s talk about my mother, Maeve, and my father, Fletch…” And he was all, “Whoa, how do you know all this stuff?”
I am interested in every charity I can help. Not to assume that I have any status or anything, but any way that this show provides me to let me use whatever spotlight I have to let me help other people, I’m just really psyched about doing it, because that’s the responsibility of putting yourself in the public eye.