PASADENA, Calif. – Matt Bomer has seen a lot of his Carnegie Mellon University classmate Joe Manganiello this year. And were not just talking frequency with Manganiellos guest-starring role on Bomers USA Network series White Collar early this year and the pairs co-starring role in the big-screen movie Magic Mike.
In Magic Mike, Manganiello and Bomer play strippers, wearing minimal wardrobes in many scenes, so theyve seen a lot of each other.
Other than skimpy wardrobes, Bomer said it felt mostly familiar to act together. (Both men graduated from CMU in 2000.)
Its different because theres a camera crew there and were on set and were getting paid as opposed to paying a vast amount of money, Bomer said in a January interview, but at the same time its me and Joe playing characters and doing a scene together. So its different and the same.
In Magic Mike, Bomer plays Ken, a character he describes as a modern-day hippie with loose morals.
He wants to break out of the regional, commercial market and start booking national spots, Bomer said. Hes also one of the characters who introduce The Kid, played by Alex Pettyfer, to this Dionysian, hedonistic world of what it is to be an exotic dancer.
Despite the subject matter, Bomer said he didnt hesitate to sign on for a role in Magic Mike because it was directed by Steven Soderbergh (Oceans Eleven, Traffic, Erin Brockovich).
Hes a director Ive always wanted to work with and one of only two or three directors I would play a stripper for, Bomer said. Part of my navigational device as an actor is to ask: Does something terrify me? And I always think its a good sign if something does.
In addition to Magic Mike, Bomers White Collar returns with new episodes at 9 tonight on USA Network. Bomer said he continues to enjoy the role as a con man even though it requires a long commute – his partner and children live in Los Angeles, and the show films in New York.
Its a classic case of an actor who always wanted a TV series in New York, then moves to L.A. and gets a TV series in New York, Bomer said. Commuting is definitely not a dream situation, but its actually conducive to us being able to do really good work, because when were in New York, its really focused and its all about the show. We get to go home on weekends and visit our families, and then its back to work again. Its not ideal, but I really cant complain because we get to shoot in New York City, which is one of my favorite places in the world.