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Why Matt Bomer Had No Reservations About Gay 'Doom Patrol' Superhero Role

The "Magic Mike" star says he enjoys playing a queer character who isn't defined by his sexuality.

Fans who have been vocal in their desire to see Matt Bomer play a superhero will be thrilled to know it’s finally happening. 

Bomer co-stars with April Bowlby and Brendan Fraser in “Doom Patrol,” a new live-action superhero series that airs on the streaming platform DC Universe. He plays Larry Trainor, a former pilot who was exposed to radiation while flying a plane. At that point, he morphed into a bandaged superhero alias, Negative Man. (Check out the trailer for the new series above.) 

Though Larry was married with children, he was also a closeted gay man leading a double life. Bomer, who is gay, has never shied away from exploring his sexuality both onstage and on-screen. His “Doom Patrol” role, however, was unique in one very specific way. 

“I’d never really seen a gay male superhero,” he told Variety in an interview published Tuesday. “What I love most about the character is that even though it’s a huge struggle internally for him, it’s not the sole thing that defines who he is.”

“He’s such a multifaceted character,” he added. “If it was just one stereotypical aspect of him I would have had reservations about it.”

The character offered Bomer another unusual challenge: the change to share a role with another actor. Larry, who appears primarily in flashback scenes, is played by Bomer. In Negative Man mode, he’s portrayed by Matthew Zuk (though Bomer provides his speaking voice).  

Interestingly, Bomer told Variety the idea of splitting a single role on the “trippy, abstract and absurdist” series was actually a “big part” of what attracted him to “Doom Patrol,” which debuted Feb. 15. 

“It’s not like voicing animation,” he said. “It’s a true collaboration in that I just throw spaghetti at the wall, Matthew does his stuff, and we go back and polish it at the end.”

Larry/Negative Man isn’t the only queer character currently being embodied by Bomer, who nabbed a Golden Globe in 2015 for “The Normal Heart.” Most recently, he was seen in a recurring role on NBC’s “Will and Grace” reboot as McCoy Whitman, a news anchor and love interest for Will Truman (Eric McCormack). 

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