Matt Bomer says he was denied Superman role over his sexuality

Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer (Image: Netflix)

Matt Bomer has spoken about losing out on the chance to play Superman due to his sexuality.

The Fellow Travelers actor, 46, also known for his roles in White Collar, Glee, and The Boys in the Band, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast about his experiences in the entertainment industry.

Asked about leaving the soap opera Guiding Light over another opportunity Bomer confirmed he had gone up to play the iconic caped hero.

“I went in on a cattle call for Superman,” Bomer began. “And then it turned into a one-month audition experience where I was auditioning again and again and again and flying out to New York and doing chemistry reads and flying out to LA doing chemistry reads, flying back to New York, flying back to LA to do a screen test. And it looked like I was the director’s choice for the role.”

Bomer then clarified this was for a potential film called Superman Flyby which was written by JJ Abrams, who went on to become known for his work in Star Trek. “It never came to light,” Bomer said of Flyby. The film was set to be directed by Brett Ratner, who dropped out in 2003 citing casting difficulties.

In the podcast, Bomer went on to say that Guiding Light writers wrote him off the show to free him up to be Superman. “I basically got fired, but in a generous way,” he said. The White Collar actor then said he had signed a three-picture deal at Warner Brothers.

“I was that guy who was constantly being brought in to test for pilots” – Matt Bomer

This was at a point where Bomer hadn’t publicly come out as gay, which he did in 2012. Asked if he thought his sexuality was used against him he replied: “Yeah, that’s my understanding. That was a time in the industry when something like that could still really be weaponized against you. How and why and who, I don’t know. But yeah, that’s my understanding.”

Bomer shared how he went through a “dark night of the soul” despite working on films like Flightplan and TV series with Viola Davis. “I just thought, man, I wanted to do work. Like, I mentioned, I’d come up reading the works of Larry Kramer and all these incredible writers, Tony Kushner and folks whose work really resonated with people.

“And I wanted to be a part of something like that, or just be a part of some project that really hit home with folks. I thought, what am I doing? And I was that guy who was constantly being brought in to test for pilots, but wouldn’t get it.”

He considered switching careers while volunteering at a children’s hospital but was inspired to keep going by one girl who aspired to be an actress. “I thought, if this girl can do this, why can’t I? And why should I give up hope?”

Fortunately, Bomer did get his chance to play Superman, voicing the character in the cartoon Superman: Unbound.

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