Matt Bomer talks 'The Last Tycoon' and playing a stripper in 'Magic Mike'

Bomer appears on "Popcorn With Peter Travers" to talk about his newest role, as a 1930s production head in Amazon's new series "The Last Tycoon."
19:54 | 08/25/17

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Transcript for Matt Bomer talks 'The Last Tycoon' and playing a stripper in 'Magic Mike'
Possess. Our Bremer executive director of the screen Writers Guild of America. Mr. Bremer. Get the hell out not a union lost. Riders have every right to organize mr. Brady just organize me out of their rehearsal it was a protest. We don't believe you have the right to arbitrarily cut the incomes of your employees like it was an arbitrary it's with the studio can afford to pay right now. Meanwhile you're jeopardizing the jobs of people who can afford to Vienna work like you can. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and welcome to popcorn where we tell you what's popular in the culture and there is H oh now on Amazon called the last tycoon. There's a lot to say about it but my guess Matt Ballmer. Is playing the lead in this Monroe's star who is in the 1930s and the each year. Sort of production head who wants quality motion pictures so of course I wish that Monroe start would come back and live now. But I have you met to welcome to Asia that's good to be here on Saturday here your true well we'll see you know me you might be tossing popcorn and every we're. I am. Tell me about how you got involved in this because I was saying the war this is a book F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote. And any died and didn't finish the did like. Seventeen chapters and there's. Most B 31 that's right yes correct and they sort of finished it based on his notes that traffic you can worried now I saw the pilot for less tycoon. I believe in the twentieth century it was made. It was on him yeah oh yeah exactly and timely now so much time was unless. So what was happening with women would be well. Amazon has this great diplomatic process you know it is very 21 century where you make a pilot and and then there viewership of the side is allowed to vote on and decide if they want that in turn into a series or not the public is allowed to public is allowed to vote now would came out your favorite that it did thankfully yes and so there's a waiting period for that minutes it's a big production you know we have a lot of from credible. Patrice even Brandon Steen who do Amadeus. Did that production design and Janie Bryant from madman at the customs and so it was a lie you know it's a it's a big production put together as a met at me them. Men and is the fifties and it's this but this has this same kind of traffic we're watching people. Dressings attack didn't wow yeah in Hollywood background. Yet going. Yeah it and unique things are faster yes it is the golden age of Hollywood. You know you're getting to see the machinations behind the scenes of the studio system. And at the same time it's 1936. Were the height of the Great Depression you know Germany. Italy he Japan are all on the move. The Spanish civil wars going on so. Around the world I mean it's just. Very tumultuous time Hitler is moving in Hitler's moving in in and and here everybody in America at the height of oppression everybody goes right to the movies that's what they wanted to do so. It's you get to see a lot of that the whole holistic view of the world this time and and also you know the demons these people struggle with a lap at one of the themes as you known mascots writing it is at what cost the American dream what does it cost people to pursue this agreement. He definitely has a series progresses to see a lot of the skeletons in their claws and allowed the relationships and and things they've sacrificed in and had to put aside in order to. Go from Milton Sternberg from the Bronx to Monroe's star Hollywood under canned Milton Sternberg. On the ground and Kelsey Grammer plays Patrick it is studio. Yes also has that background yeah so we have immigration. We have. The threat of a major war room we have on the money people beginning to take over the studio's having to cater to foreign markets to. That could so this is so that we don't have any of this anymore. Is I think that's one of the fun things about the show is that I realized are going on how much social commentary. We are able to just. The now we were able to bring into the show on how sadly so much hasn't changed him. And thankfully some things have. Well I mean FitzGerald based. Monroe star on Irving Dahlberg currently is here time the called the boy won this is the guy who would he seemed to have the magic formula then put everything touch him. You know. But I think. What Kelsey Grammer character says TU one time he's like. Velvet and Jack Kenya at eastern he left doing and he. Yes this is adding you. Well I think he is bill are and I object. Inside of you I have I have troll that's I have ma'am I don't know if I try to control and he sent them on but I definitely have my moments that. I think as artists we all struggle with the debate of art vs commerce and that's really what my character. Monroe and pat Brady that's really that the nature of their relationship he wanting to maintain. A very commercial aspect of the studio system and play in my character wanted to try to bring some art and culture into the world. And trying to you know achieve some type of immortality in the very limited time he knows he has with his heart condition so. On gas as an actor in those were things I was wearing out my head when I got the call from Billy race which is seen I think you guessed. But once a year have an existential meltdown about art vs commerce who really yet because athletes still blew me at the world runs it's just the way you can have Bolton. Yeah some artist gets and you react. You live happily in the Los Angeles. Your husband Simon halls no really well opera. Three kids act so it has to be something for you that says I'm indeed this now for a nine hour. Means yes yes nine hours and maybe more. Yeah you know it's different things depending on the project. Can be summoned mathematically I relate to the can be the filmmaker involved it can be as scripts can be. Whether or not I feel like it's an important story to put out in the world with a three people see your 400000. People's theater million people see it so it's always. Different thing man I think you know what as an artist. There's so much mechanized Mormon ever so much distraction now affairs. What he should do and shouldn't do and social media and all these other things going on that he it's a struggle to really stay in touch with your intuition as an art and eaten. And that's you know something that you live some units live this kind of Monroe star life. In the sense you're not running misty mountain but it's Hollywood you married to somebody who is in the business. Zoo when you're at home. And you with three kids hold our oldest is twelve in the twins are nine all the Edwards more he try to keep that. All that work away from them yes yes we very much separate church and state. And and I think hopefully a healthy way. But you know I've also been privy just in terms of thing about Monroe I've been I've been in these. Social situations Rossi. This an eminence mob coming whisper something in a very powerful person's ear and then sort of not gravely and knows some. High stakes Hollywood decision is just been hey day. So I ad I've borne witness to a few of those things. But yeah at home we we really try to keep it about our family in. I try to keep all that stuff kind of cordoned off to my office out back and and then just just the apparent and and my husband was a fair and late magic Mike with that they're nothing but magic. Oh yes a view naked. How could they avoided it would be on the bus Tom Hess gas school. For look for better for worse they were billboards on the way to their school. Now how insidious marketing for any project if you're lucky you need is and in Los Angeles oh. These would definitely noticed and we have a lot of conversations that were hopefully age appropriate and they like to mock my positions on billboards and things like that and that's healthy then. Yeah add an end they just realize right take a picture next to lawn and and they just took her guest is one the last thing coming up on sunset house ways and that you sent it pictured them for that. Thankfully has closed and anyone exit its oppose that out mind them emulating him. Either be the last tycoon. Or can't imagine. But listen what a blessing to get to Bebo. I don't know it's very because eight he was at and we were talking a little bit before what do fan. I was. Like it's years because. I miss it all the time I miss you and minds together especially. Awake sometimes take when you in mind. Up he going to he has to so surreal right now. Why aren't they do and how Carlo and let me. Yeah thing was that your ego and he just said no no is no it wasn't it wasn't my choice at all. You know we've gone obstacles who has no truly truly him to heart it wasn't my Tories. We've gone six seasons we'd we'd gotten syndication and and I think that. And network had decided errors were moving out of is blue skies. Type of network to more mister robot involved are career darker edgier network in. And we were studio that was not affiliated with the network and I think we won on the first casualties of that but we got a great run out of it and it was you know creative we. Ensemble wise they're the greatest experience and are. I think what your performance in the normal heart. Is one of the best things I've seen it's television. Brian Murphy put it together for that he it's as good and strong. A piece of material as I've ever seen and you have. He pivotal role in these people concentrate a lot about the fact that you lost forty pounds to play. This man dying of aids. But this weighing more do with it then it's a life being sucked away yeah. What was the Genesis of you doing that. How well IA. Have been huge fan of Larry Kramer's known since there was a preteen matter there are no early teenager I started reading his work when I was high school and I was living in semi rural Texas at the time and no one was talking about it I would or anything eagle probably not even talking about Larry Kramer not any matter ought to somehow got mine we had a Greek theater teacher and I got my hands on a copy of the destiny of me which is another play. What is going on and world around and then. Mr. working in the professional theater when I was a senior high school plan and this is he now in mid ninety's mid to late ninety's right as AZT was coming out so I was. My friends were experiencing this going to listen. So when the I saw the play when it came to Broadway with some movement I heard that Ryan was doing it I reached out to mass of this and how do you waiter and the background of a restaurant scene in this movie. This piece for so long couple villages walk across someone I'm Ian. And he's from we to had a meaning he saw something in me and initially was a film actually. And when I heard that it was moving HBO I just that's the best possible. Outlet for this because the marketing will be spared have the best outreach it'll have more on life. And Wayne and it assists you know. Such a huge responsibility to be any part of that story in and something that you take on then and I and I wanted to. Do you what Everett took even if it. I was risking my health that are or anything I wanted to be able to tell that story as truthfully as I possibly credit ultimate responsibility to. Was this about the time that you came out. Publicly as gang with that was just before that knows action much after a few years after I think day I think I. Came mountain 2000 whatever you call. Now it's my camera and off I don't find it if it's not yet it was in the if that's an exit exam. So acute that that was 2012. And I guess this came out to hasn't fourteen wanna say. So couple years after yet. And did he change your life for careers in any way when you get. Yes and now. I think you know he can't come. Listen the important thing for me ways to acknowledge who I am and and to make sure my family and and Simon worked on like they were swept under some kind of rug and had to hide in the shadows while I went. Do whatever I do as an actor and he when it's known they would and now instant and that I was proud to be line. That Texas is in town just in parents and Texas. Well you know he's he's I have amazing parents and who who. I've had such a dream scenario it it wasn't always that way they were really really difficult times and and you know eventually I think they realize that. Love is the most important thing we can give one another whatever we believe whatever religion's tell us. And so we're so fortunate now that there credible grandparents the kids very active in our lives and but it was there were certainly great kind of partnerships for people because a lot very young kids worry about. Yeah whether they're just going to miss out or be cut off from some. In I think everybody has to do it when they're ready to do. There's you can't just do it and then just in he everyone knows it's subjective thing now hold any judgment have a lot of friends or actors who don't acknowledge them totally I get it I come from completely fine with that. Com but I think it has to the integrity known and I am very thankful and one of the reasons that you talk about and I do talk about my family is that. I want kids are I wish someone had said that to mean when I was fifteen years old them and spring Texas that he can be okay in. Your family can love you regardless and nine I don't mean to prescribe that say that's going to be irony situation but there is so. Well I mean even besides the sexuality doing it you're living in Texas and saying. You know why I'm going to be an act. And you insisted in the theater yet what was the first thing you did on stage. The first thing will the first play I effort it was picnic women in an age when I was fourteen or something way too young to Annapolis. Hey but we did a high school to her yeah guys who production. My first professional production was A Streetcar Named Desire Alley theater in a lot that's so much easier yes so much history as hard as you can't yes you guys there in hand. With Michael Wilson directing it and then once they crack at a college the first player here I did the very first workshop of spring awakening. And Michael oh Michael Mayer and Duncan sheik and all those folks at Sundance theater lab. And so that was you do you were bitten by. And you know would kind of but made you get swept out of that into. And moved 9/11 basically. How if I had gotten a Broadway Show called thoroughly modern Millie and we're waiting a long time you know when you get a show yet to get the right house for the show we don't wanna be in a huge theater. If people are if ticket sales are expected to be. Meddling and whenever. So we're waiting a long time I was Allman at a hotel here 9/11 it could shop yet it was great it was a great game I was doing that in waiting tables of the same time on the way to on this part ratio. And after 9/11 you know. People stop coming to Manhattan and so people and the service industry got laid off in droves and they went on seniority I'd only been in New York years time. And a casting director from a soap opera had said. You know hey you know if you went into a so let me know. Wasn't anything that I thought I'd do in but he had a role any city in nightly right for being common and and try. And for whatever reason they mercifully cast man and oh was this which he was called Guiding Light. It was a it was a great it was a really great experience it was like getting paid to go to graduate school while I was there for just over a year and with that being thrown hello Mike and I Danvers shot out of the can. I mean part of the story in Lima so whacked did you create easy. I pleaded trust fund baby who bet that he is friends that he could be the first to. Then back as a Rybak of course falls in love with her she finds out about it dumps them. He meets another girl loses its trust fund it. And turns to the only you know source of income any logical person can turn to which is now prostitution of course and that's he's doing that on the side she finds out about it dumps him crazy kills five people. And then confesses to her abouts. His. High school female teacher sexually abusing him as a kid and that's why except praise he. And then I committed suicide by injecting myself with a syringe full of insulin. And then hung on one extra day and hospitals here ask for forgiveness from necessity had a forgiveness speech at a big forgiveness speech. And I remember of mourn them the most epic moments was when the writers came up to me at the end of my time her truthfulness after just die ago. If you want to come back look we got it all figured out a sigh half all. How could have possible. But it was a great time when I started decade are I was I was shaking to be on camera and by and they'd be you know listen Moroccan and order person camera. If you can. Do that monologue down stage cry editor downstate eye on this line on camera to that the amazing in 543. It has a hate. And so that you're just crying out of fear and you never nervous again I look at what coma. Well I mean ally still definitely have memo listeners I don't think I'll ever have the kind and nerves I had when I first started that job because. You rehearse once in the morning and you get one take that's it. Now met this is the first time you've done well yeah I don't know we always ended song. Oh yes this is tiny bit of song to icing into a pick a song. I don't pay. I would be terrible if I did that although you know you do do De'Angelo wing leeward idea yet they were nice enough to let me meet a couple of songs that sound track. Well my karaoke standby at the little early in the morning. If I wanna go down opponents tools on Argo desperado. And come it's crazy to want to tell it's midnight right arts midnight he. This tour no home. Why don't choose companies and. And soon. Even defense. The so long bomb. Oh yeah Harden. But I'm. Oh you've got some means. These things that up he isn't you. Can hurt you sound. It's a little Monroe thought I was gonna defile him it would be dead Somalis are best thank you. Matt it will circle pleasure to meet you at an all hires her failure us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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