'Glee': Matt Bomer talks playing Blaine's brother
Gleeks already knew that Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) was dreamy. But, on the April 10 episode of Glee, viewers will get to meet Blaine’s even dreamier older brother, Cooper — yes Cooper Anderson — played by White Collar‘s Matt Bomer.
Cooper is the star of a credit-rating commercial, which makes him an A-list celebrity in Lima, Ohio, and major crush material for Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). He also gives the New Directions kids a “master class” in acting with such gems as “The key to a dramatic scene is pointing,” and “The secret to great acting is ignoring whatever the other actor is doing.”
Says Bomer, “It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. It’s so fun to play a character who has such strong convictions and opinions that are completely misguided and come from all the wrong places.”
The actor also gets to duet with Criss on a medley of Duran Duran tunes and a cover of the current hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye. EW talked to Bomer about the hit Fox series, Cooper’s inspiration, and how his stripper moves from this summer’s male stripper flick Magic Mike influenced his Glee dancing.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you a Gleek?
MATT BOMER: Yeah, I definitely had tuned in for quite a few episodes. Ryan just gave me the call and said, “Do you wanna come on and be part of an episode?” And I said, “Absolutely. That would be fantastic.” He called me the next day and pitched me the character and the story arc and I literally had tears rolling down my face. [Co-creator] Ian Brennan is a friend of mine as well. They both just gave me such rich material to go off of. They let me go as cray cray as I wanted to.
I love that you just used “cray cray.” I always say that.
I use cray cray in the episode too. I’m not sure if it made it.
When you go back to White Collar, will you be pointing more?
[Laughs] Definitely. There’s definitely going to be a lot more pointing just to make sure the audience knows who I’m talking to. And if you see me in a two shot with Tim DeKay, I might have earplugs in my ears. I don’t have to keep track of what his character is saying to mine.
At the very end of your master class, you say you’re going to show everyone the “emotional tornado.” What does that exactly look like?
I think there were a couple of takes where we actually got into it a little bit. What I basically started with is “Your fingers are up in the clouds. Uh oh — is there a little electricity brewing? Is a storm gonna come? Uh oh — I’m feeling some emotions in the tips of my fingers and now it’s dripping down. Now it’s in my elbows…” [Laughs]
You and Jane were so great together. Was that fun?
I adore Jane Lynch, so just to get the opportunity to work with her was phenomenal. She obviously is incredibly astute and sussed out very early on that my character was a hot mess. The idea of me to kiss her was actually Jane’s idea. She said, “I think our greeting should just be completely inappropriate.” And I said, “Hey you don’t have to ask me twice to kiss you.” She just went for it. I loved it. It was a lot of fun to work with her.
Did you base Cooper on anyone? Any actors you’ve met over the years?
I based Cooper on a combination of Tom Cruise in Magnolia, Valerie Cherish [from The Comeback], and a really crazy acting teacher I had who shall remain nameless. I remember taking notes copiously and trying to infuse it all into my acting. I look back and, oh no, they were just batsh*t crazy.
Between the Duran Duran medley and the Gotye “Somebody That I Used to Know,” did you prefer one performance over the other?
To me they were both completely different experiences. The Duran Duran was just fun pop and it was great to get to dance and interact and use the whole one-upmanship of all that. But to me, I love the Gotye song because it’s so actable and so immediate and so inherently dramatic.
Did your Magic Mike choreography help you out at all with the Glee dancing?
[Laughs] It’s so funny, about five minutes into the choreography session for the Duran Duran session I realized “Oh, the Magic Mike choreography is very different from the Glee choreography. It’s not all about me shaking my crotch!” A lot less body rolling going on. It was a lot of fun to do the boy-band choreography I never got to do.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack