Matt Bomer sings, and wants to be a man whore

by Jim Halterman

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday January 16, 2011

Matt Bomer wants to be a man-whore. And he wants a little sexual release.

While we all take a moment to swoon, know that when EDGE caught up with the gorgeous and charismatic Bomer during the recent Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, he was not actually talking about himself but actually discussing his alter ego, Neal Caffrey, the character that has helped make the former soap actor one of the hottest TV stars on the scene today in the USA hit series White Collar.  

The series, about a con man (played by Bomer) who earns his freedom from jail by working with the FBI (led by actor Tim DeKay), has proven to be one of the most popular cable television series on the map right now and as the remainder of season 2 is set to unspool this week, fans can rest easy knowing that the USA Network has already ordered a third season of White Collar.  

About that man-whoring

Now, what’s all this about man-whoring and sexual release? A little backstory - since the series began, Neal has been saddled with the pain of trying to find the love of his life (Kate) only to find her and have her blow up in an airplane. While a mourning period is expected, Bomer doesn’t see anything wrong with Neal hooking up and having some fun along the way, as he will with returning guest star (and One Tree Hill alum) Hilarie Burton.

Bomer is trusting the writers will give Neal more than one chance to get his groove back. "You know, I hope they continue to explore that and I also think it would kinda be cool for Neal to get to be a man-whore for a little while." Of his upcoming on-screen tryst, Bomer further teased with a mischievous grin, "There will be a lot of tension there, maybe a little sexual frustration and then maybe some sexual frustration release; I don’t know. I’m just saying maybe." 

One thing is for sure, audiences won’t complain if there are some whorish scenes played out with Bomer where perhaps he can show off the physique that was showcased in last fall’s Entertainment Weekly issue where a wet-T-shirted Bomer poured a bucket of water over his head.

Singing with Diahann Carroll

The actor, whose personal life - and sexual orientation - is something he likes to keep private, is also one to surprise, as he did when he showed up at the recent Kennedy Center Honors and sang ’It Only Takes a Moment’ from the musical Hello, Dolly with Broadway star Kelli O’Hara during the Jerry Herman portion of the tribute. Wisely, the White Collar writers have already incorporated Bomer’s singing into the show. In an upcoming episode, Bomer’s Neal sings "One For My Baby (and One More For The Road)" with co-star Diahann Carroll in an upcoming episode of the series. 

"Diahann is amazing," Bomer said of the experience of singing with Carroll, who has played June since the series began. "Diahann is obviously a legend and incredible and it was a real honor to get to sing with her." In the episode, another iconic actor, Billy Dee Williams, guest stars. "He plays somebody from June’s past," Bomer explained, "who comes back and is sort of a glimpse into the world Neal would have if he continued on a more crooked path." Seeing the two performers work together with him took Bomer back in movie history. "To have Billy Dee playing the piano and looking up to you," he said, "I went back in time to the set of Lady Sings The Blues. It was very surreal but great." 

The filming of these scenes was special for not only Bomer but for the White Collar cast and crew. Tim DeKay, who was also present for the Television Critics Association, shared, "Matt has sung before - fun singing around the set, just being goofy - but when he and Diahann sang that song everybody on set just got quiet because we had to rehearse it. The whole crew just went into a spontaneous applause. It was just one of those moments like, ’Oh, wow, that’s neat.’ Then Billy Dee Williams at the piano doing an amazing job faking it.’ 

Almost as popular as his good looks and the solid writing on the show is Bomer’s fashion sense in the role of Neal. While admitting that he has had his share of input into Neal’s snappy wardrobe, he did reveal some of the designers that the show favors most. "We actually wear a lot of Paul Smith...he has some fun designs thrown in there which are good for the pocket square or [the costume designers] take a look and a lot of times it’s more off-the-rack, which is easy to move on the show and that’s very helpful. We [also] wear a lot of John Varvatos." And what does Bomer like for his clothing in his personal life? "I like the designer Simon Spurr, who is amazing guy and an amazing designer...[also] Band of Outsiders and Calvin Klein." 

Bomer added that the tailoring of the clothes for his character definitely influences more than what he sees when he looks in the mirror. "To me, it effects how Neal walks, how he moves, how he holds himself so it was great for me in the [upcoming] flashback episode to be able to wear clothes that are much more pedestrian and were a lot more hard-earned ...they informed his movement in a different way."   

Has success spoiled Matt Bomer?

White Collar was a success from the first episode, which aired in October 2009 on USA. Has the media and fan attention as well as the hit-status of the show changed Bomer? "I don’t really feel like much has changed for me personally other than it’s great to have the support of fans who are interested in the stories we’re all trying to tell, which is amazing and a great feeling."

Bomer enthusiastically added that now that the initial story arcs that launched the series have been solved he has his own wishes for future storylines. "I would love to dip into Neal’s past a little bit more and maybe see some of his family members come into play and see what kind of conflicts that brings up between he and Peter." 

While USA is currently on a hot streak in terms of hit one-hour series like Royal Pains (starring Mark Feuerstein) and the latest hit Covert Affairs (starring Piper Perabo and Chris Gorham) which show on the network would Bomer like to cross-over with? "I think Burn Notice would be a really natural fit," he said of the crime drama starring sexy Jeffrey Donovan. "But to be honest with you," he added, "I love all the shows that they have. It would be really fun and an honor to get to work with on any of them-to cross over on any of them." 

Bomer clearly has his share of both female and male fans that not only watch him on the show but watch for him to pop up (shirtless or not) in magazines and online sites. But does the actor watch himself on the show that’s made him a household name? "I watched the first season [of the show] really intently because the learning curve was so steep and so much of that first season was a lot of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what worked and what didn’t and what could I learn as an actor." Overall, he admitted, watching himself is not his favorite thing to do. "I don’t like to watch myself at all. I try to just do it intermittently...it’s not an aesthetic thing or anything it’s just I’m really hard on myself. Sometimes it’s more difficult to watch myself." 

Even if Matt Bomer doesn’t like to watch himself, fans of his and White Collar are more than happy to keep watching him act on White Collar or sing at the Kennedy Center...and if his shirt happens to come off now and again, well, we’ll watch that too. Maybe more than once. 

White Collar’s new episode air every Tuesday on the USA Network at 10/9c.

Watch Matt Bomer on the Tonight Show:




Watch this interview with Matt Bomer about White Collar:


Jim Halterman lives in Los Angeles and also covers the TV/Film/Theater scene for www.FutonCritic.com, AfterElton, Vulture, CBS Watch magazine and, of course, www.jimhalterman.com. He is also a regular Tweeter and has a group site on Facebook.