Matt Bomer Says Hiding His Sexuality Taught Him How to Act: 'It Was a Struggle'
By Liz Calvario
Matt Bomer attributes his acting skills in part to years of hiding his sexuality.
The 39-year-old recently told actor Andrew Rannells in an interview with OUT Magazine about how difficult it was to come out to his family and how his big secret taught him how to be a better performer.
"One of the ways I learned how to act, really, is by having secrets, and having to function as a kid in a public school in suburban Bible Belt Texas," Bomer explained. "Subsequently I worked on a gas pipeline with my brother for a while — there were ex-cons with us. It was not an environment where it was safe to be gay."
The Last Tycoon actor, who came out in February 2012, explained that he grew up in a very conservative Christian household and received many months of silence from his parents after he told them he was gay.
"Telling your family is a huge, huge deal. I really view my life as divided between the time before I told my parents, and the time after," the Magic Mike stud expressed. "And the decisions I made, and the life I lived, before and after, are vastly different. It’s night and day."
Bomer explained that he first accepted himself when he was at the Utah Shakespeare Festival performing in Romeo and Juliet and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and connected with an artist there.
"I remember someone there who was a hair and makeup artist who I found really inspiring. I thought, 'If this person can live their truth, what am I doing?'" he said. It was then that he knew that "it was time to live my life truthfully" and tell his parents.
"I wrote a letter to my parents. I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person," Bomer recalled. "There was radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months."
When he finally went home, his family had a blow up, but tried to work things out.
"I would say within a matter of years we started to figure it out," said Bomer, who's currently married to publicist Simon Halls, with whom he shares three children. "It was a struggle. It's a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and set of beliefs and understandings and completely flip the script. So I'm empathetic toward everyone."
"And my family is so loving. My mom just asked me, [my husband] Simon, and the boys to go down and speak to her women’s group in Houston so, you know, I'm here to tell people it can get better," he added. "Because I had so many people in my life saying, 'You need to get rid of all expectations — you need to cut them out.’ But I was like, 'They’re my family.'"