Fellow Travelers, in which Bomer and Jonathan Bailey star as secret lovers who meet in McCarthy-era Washington.While a rapt audience inside the screening room enjoyed the series’ racy, ’70s-era Fire Island episode, Bomer, prompted by our discussion of whether actors are destined for certain roles, mused on his uncertain path to his SAG Award-nominated role as closeted WWII vet turned State Department official Hawkins Fuller.“It’s so interesting, because this came to me early on and I was so pessimistic about it,” he says. “I started out in this industry — I’ve been doing this almost 30 years — at a time when something like this just wouldn’t get made, period.”Still, throughout his career, the erstwhile White Collar lead has represented the LGBTQ community admirably offscreen, and in stage and screen revivals of The Boys in the Band, and his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of a writer with AIDS in HBO’s The Normal Heart.“We have seen this slow ebb of progress happening in Hollywood in our storytelling,” he says, citing Fellow Travelers creator Ron Nyswaner’s “beautiful scripts,” and the support of Showtime and Paramount for the show as prime examples of that progress.
Yet, he couldn’t shake his apprehension.“Up until like a month before we started, I was still, ‘This isn’t gonna happen, there’s no way,'” he says. “I was doing all the work, but I think I was protecting my heart.“But this is one of those stories that felt like, not to sound too esoteric, but it felt like voices wanted to come through.
And every time there was an obstacle — and there were a few…” Also a producer on the series, Bomer doesn’t go on record saying what those obstacles were. “But there were multiple times when it looked like it was going to come.Read more on metroweekly.com