Matt Bomer Speaks Up About Portraying One of the Screen’s Few Gay Superheroes
By now Matt Bomer is pretty used to playing a dashingly handsome, charming guy. After all, he did so on TV’s Will & Grace and in the Magic Mike films. But these days the character being talked about doesn’t look much like him at all … because he’s wrapped head-to-toe in bandages. Bomer is currently starring as Negative Man in Doom Patrol, the third TV series available to stream on the DC Universe platform.
Not only does the Negative Man character have to bandage his entire body, but he’s also gay. That puts Bomer in a roster of very few actors who have portrayed gay superheroes on either the big or small screen.
At a recent advance press screening of Doom Patrol‘s third episode last night, Matt Bomer told the crowd he was delighted to play a character he believes is more interesting than some of the most popular comic book characters put on-screen by DC and Marvel Comics.
Namely, Bomer considers Negative Man more interesting than Superman.
“People always say, ‘What about Superman?’ They bring that up constantly, and I think this character is just as, if not more, interesting,” Bomer told the crowd. Specifically he thinks Negative Man has more complexity and depth than the man from Krypton, who has appeared — and still does appear — in countless film and TV projects.
The character of Negative Man has existed in the comics since the early ’60s, when he first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 in 1963. Before Doom Patrol, Matt Bomer voiced Negative Man (whose body is portrayed by a different actor altogether) in the DC Universe series Titans, of which Doom Patrol is a spin-off.
— Doom Patrol (@DoomPatrolDCU) February 1, 2019
Negative Man (real name Larry Trainor) is an Air Force pilot who after being exposed to radioactivity while on the job receives an odd superpower: a being made of radioactive energy that enters his body and is able to leave his body at will, can fly, can go intangible and can blow shit up. When the “negative being” is outside his body, his human form is super fragile. And because he’s so radioactive, he has to line his body in lead-lined bandages to protect those around him.
In the comics and the new series, Negative Man led a dual life while in the military, with a wife and kids at home and a gay lover on the airbase. According to Matt Bomer, the character being gay is a big part of why he took the role.
“I’d never really seen a gay male superhero, and 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,” Bomer told the crowd last night. “He’s such a multifaceted character, if it was just one stereotypical aspect of him I would have had reservations about it.”
The series Doom Patrol, which also stars Brendan Fraser and Timothy Dalton, has already been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3.