Considering Matt Bomer regularly appears at the top of “Sexiest Man Alive” lists and has voiced Superman, the most famously hunky superhero of them all, it might be considered ironic that in his new role in the DC Universe show “Doom Patrol,” he plays a character whose entire body is covered in bandages.
However, at an advance press screening for “Doom Patrol” episode three at Soho House on Tuesday night, Bomer insisted he was delighted to be playing a character with more complexity and depth than other more prominent superheroes in the DC Universe.
“People always say, ‘What about Superman,’ they bring that up constantly, and I think this character is just as, if not more, interesting,” he said.
Bomer plays Larry Trainor (a.k.a. Negative Man) on “Doom Patrol,” the third show to stream on the DC Universe platform after “Titans,” which premiered in October 2018 and was recently renewed for two more seasons, and the animated teenage superheroes show “Young Justice: Outsiders,” which is currently streaming.
Larry is a former ace pilot who led a dual life as a closeted gay man with a lover on the airbase and a wife and two young boys back at home, before a horrible accident left him terribly scarred and caused him to lose both lives. Bomer mainly provides voiceover for the character, only occasionally appearing in person. When Larry is all bandaged up, he is played by another actor, Matthew Zuk.
For Bomer, the intrigue of playing a gay character who is embodied by two different actors was “a big part” of why he said yes to the project.
“It’s not like voicing animation, 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,” Bomer said. “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, he’s such a multifaceted character, if it was just one stereotypical aspect of him I would have had reservations about it.”
“Doom Patrol,” developed for TV by “Supernatural” producer Jeremy Carver, is a reimagining of one of DC’s weirdest comic book series of the same name. The show also stars Brendan Fraser as former hotshot race car driver Cliff Steele (a.k.a. Robotman), Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, whose 64 personalities each have a different superpower (James McAvoy eat your heart out), and April Bowlby as former Hollywood Golden Age star Rita Farr (a.k.a. Elasti-Woman).
Each of them has been rescued and given a home by Dr. Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton); however, after their mentor is kidnapped by the evil Mr. Nobody (voiced with cackling venom by Alan Tudyk), they must band together with Cyborg (Joivan Wade) to rescue Dr. Caulder.
Bomer describes the show’s tone as “trippy, abstract and absurdist,” which is precisely what he loves most about it.
“If this had just been another formulaic, down the middle, noir-ish, ‘Gotham’-y type of series I would not have been a part of it,” Bomer said.
Episodes 1 and 2 of “Doom Patrol” are currently available to stream on DC Universe, with episode three dropping March 1.