Matt Bomer Would Have Made History in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

As Matt Bomer’s legions of fans — 89,391 had signed a petition asking for him to star in “Fifty Shades of Grey” — are protesting the news that Irish actor Jamie Dornan will play Christian Grey, it brings up some interesting questions about gay politics in Hollywood.

Focus Features never suggested that it was auditioning Bomer, the star of USA’s “White Collar,” who quietly came out in 2012, or confirmed that the studio was pursuing him for the role. When asked about the petition, Bomer said, “I’m so grateful for the fans and touched.”

Bomer might not have been cast for “Fifty Shades of Grey” for a variety of reasons. Maybe he didn’t even like the part. But the idea that many fans wanted to see him play Christian Grey, a steamy hyper-sexual role, represents progress.

It wasn’t so long ago that being out as an actor was considered a showbiz death sentence. Even after Ellen DeGeneres broke barriers as the first openly gay sitcom star in 1997, she spent several years drifting through the industry until her talk show re-launched her as the new Oprah (or Rosie). She hasn’t played a romantic lead since then.

The struggle for non-closeted gay actors has always been not to be defined by their sexual orientation, and there are more than enough of them now — Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, Cynthia Nixon, T.R. Knight, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Zachary Quinto, Sean Hayes and Bomer.

But all those actors primarily work in television. The fact remains that in the year 2013, there is still not a consistent leading gay man or woman on the big screen. Hollywood is still trying to catch up to the BuzzFeed generation, which doesn’t discriminate when it comes to a heartthrob’s sexual orientation. Hopefully, one day soon, a gay actor will crack that glass ceiling.

SEE ALSO: 25 Possible Christian Greys: A Timeline of Actors Connected to ‘Fifty Shades’

SEE ALSO: Jamie Dornan: From Model to ‘Once Upon a Time’ to ‘Fifty Shades’

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 47

Leave a Reply

47 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Nanci says:

    I think it’s unfair and unrealistic map is an extraordinary actor a wonderful singer and he should be in major movies this discrimination on beautiful gay men is ridiculous and I think that we should boycott Hollywood until he is tested in a major action hero film ASAP I love you Matt I never miss blue collar or any movie that you are in you are my dream man and the only thing I can say is I love you for who you are I love you I love you I love you. I am definitely your 1 only biggest fan Nanci Lepper. Lower Lake Northern California💗💗💗🐞🐞🎀😎

  2. Lauren says:

    We can do anything? We need Matt Bomer for Christian Grey. He es Mr. Grey!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Ps. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with being a womanizer on the tv series white collar. In fact he is down right sexy.

  4. Jennifer says:

    So not fair. Matt is beautiful, he is the total package. I was shocked when he came out & greatly disappointed but its not like I would have had a chance of a relationship let alone meeting this fine hunk, but a gal can dream. And boy when I do he is my dreamy dreamboat. Gay or straight he is beautiful and the perfect male for the lead role as Christian Grey in 50 shades of grey.

  5. jen says:

    That is so disappointing. When reading the novel, he is who I visualized as Christian.

  6. katy says:

    I don’t think if was something because of his sexuality, i think he wasn’t interested or available for the part. And its true new generation don’t judge actors talents or capacities because of their sexual orientation.

  7. Fran Miller says:

    Matt Bomer will be playing Montgomery Clift in a movie! I cannot wait for that film!!

  8. dejal says:

    Its sad that da author as well as da director of fifty shades are oblivious to wo is well suited for da role of CG,Matt Bomer will make da film do well,anyone else playing dat role will nt make da movie any interesting… Stop type casting Matt Bomer we do not care abt his sexual preferences all we knw is he is da perfect CG,..he plays his part so well. We should commend him for his ability to ooze all dat appeal on millions of woman around da world altho he is gay,but we still love him,so if url worried abt ratings don’t cos urls film will nt do well if he doesn’t star in it LOL

  9. zoe says:

    Who do they think they are!!!! Matt would have been perfect. So what if he’s gay, he’s an actor dur!!!! Maybe he’s to good for 50 anyway. The film won’t be as good as the books and will end up looking like a sleazy porn film!!!!

  10. Helen says:

    First of all let me say this.. Matt Bomer would not have enhanced his reputation if he had portrayed the character of CG in this joke of a movie.. The man is too talented to even be associated with it. The people who are associated with it are reportedly looking fir virtual unknowns and paying them what they are worth.. It also has been reported that other actors approached to play supporting roles have given negative responses,, good on them!!

    Matt Bomer is a caring,, warm hearted individual,, with no lack of talent,,, his time will come..and let me predict this,, he will be all the better thought of for not being the person remembered for starring in a flop of a movie

  11. Pau says:

    50 shades production has always been discriminative with Matt’s fans & with him as well. The best friend of the same writer James, Brett Easton Ellis made terrifying statements on his Twitter about Bomer’s sexual orientation, & James herself said that Bomer would do a perfect CG if he wouldn’t be openly gay on her Twitter as well though that Tweet mysteriously disappear when the comments about she being homophobic started to run. I was lucky to see it, but unfortunately didn’t make a screen capture of that, I hated myself for that.
    The personalities of this 50 shades crew show us clearly that not only where discriminative with Matt’s sexuality but to their fans too. Producer Dana Brunetti made fun of the fans who asked for Matt to be CG & blocked them of Twitter, then mocked of them publicly.
    & even the same James, once Charlie’s announcement as CG was done, & she received negatives comments about the election, she called “HATERS” to the ones who didn’t agree with her choice.
    This talks about how arrogant, homophobic, & bad people as human beings they are.
    Gay people must be the ones working on this industry & these awful people like 50 shades crew should be the ones that NEVER obtain work at Hollywood again.

  12. Lisa says:

    Bomer has those perfect undress you eyes. He would be perfect! I think the casting people have made bad choices.

  13. Kcee Bomer says:

    Matt Bomer is one incredible actor! He can sing, dance and act. And look at him! He’s PERFECT! A total package. A lot of people would love to see him in that movie, one reason is EL James described her character like Matt Bomer. Epitome of male perfection. Well, after what the FSOG producers tweeted about Matt being gay, I just want him to stay away from the movie. He’s been bashed enough. Poor guy. I know Matt will get his BIGGEST break soon!

  14. Go Matt! says:

    I think Trisha says it all. Matts profile and popularity has been highlighted around the world since the ‘Christian Grey’ search began. I for one wanted Matt to get this role (whether he wanted it or not!). It meant nothing to me that he is gay…..why should it in this day and age? All I see is a beautiful talented man who deserves all the recognition and success he is entitled to. I will look forward to seeing more of Matt on the big screen soon!

  15. Trisha Hoey says:

    The one good thing about Fifty Shades is that people all around the world know who Matt Bomer is now and the offers are coming flooding in.
    The incredibly talented author Anne Rice stated that she wanted Matt for her leading man if her book is made into a film and other authors are coming forward to say they also envision Matt as their lead role.
    One thing’s for sure, Matt won’t be disappearing from our screens any time soon.
    I would much rather watch Matt in credible roles such as The Normal Heart and Monty Clift instead of FSOG. Roles I know he is passionate about and that are close to his heart.
    Matt Bomer is kind, caring, giving, generous, funny, amazingly talented, a beautiful person inside and out, and if the world had more people like him it would be a nicer place to live in. I love you Matt x

  16. nina says:

    So happy to see only one ignornat, homophobic rant among the comments here. Who says we aren’t making progress?There will always be people thinking like AubeO but thankfully they are getting fewer. Matt Bomer is exceedingly talented and handsome and it would be sad if some stupid prejudice kept him from giving us amazing characters on screen. Acting, like any other job should be based on talent and not sexuality. Remember its “acting”.

  17. Rose says:

    I am sick of listening to monirities or in this case, sexual orientations. The parts are for the ones who are interested, there is a negotiation, it’s never random. Great actors whould be in films, PERIOD. Matt Bomer plays a great con artist, very successful with women, so, why complain? He is great in White Collar, so as long as actors are good, perfect, but sometimes studios try to please certain markets and it looks so forced sometimes. Oh, and I am from Mexico, and that does not mean that I want to see a mexican actor in every TV show or film. Please!

  18. Walter Palmer says:

    Does the irony of this opinion piece – from the same writer of Newsweek’s infamous “gay actors can’t play straight characters” article – strike anyone as particularly egregious?

  19. Josh Henderson perfected nasty, twisted and beautiful as J. Ross in Dallas -2012. He would have been my choice.

  20. Genevieve says:

    He’s a talented actor. His sexual preference shouldn’t matter. He’s the perfect Christian Grey as far as I’m concerned. Not watching the movie.

  21. AubeO says:

    He’s gay. No, I don’t care that he’s gay. I don’t even care how proud he is of it – that’s his choice.

    That said, however, I would NOT have enjoyed the movie knowing with every single interaction with Dakota Johnson that he was ACTING. Just wouldn’t have worked for me. Kind of like the Rock Hudson-Doris Day movies were really cute and charming until it became known that Mr. Hudson was gay — just killed the buzz for me. I couldn’t watch even the classics again without that “ACTING” making it un-fun.

    I think the only history that would have been made if they had cast Bomer as Grey might have been as a box-office flop. Maybe gay men would have liked it (although I kinda doubt THAT too), but as beautiful as he is, knowing as unequivocally as he has himself chosen to make it, how absolutely unattracted to women he is, would have made the film utterly unbelievable for me, in every respect, and I would NOT have paid to see it. I probably wouldn’t have even wanted to watch it when it hit TCM.

    I think they made the right choice.

    • Pau says:

      If you apply that statement to every single movie with actors, you are insane.
      It’s like saying that Jake Gyllenhaal couldn’t have done Brokeback mountain because he’s NOT gay.
      Still, he did such a great job that the movie was such a success that won awards from all the kind you like, because ACTING represents to do a part that doesn’t necessary have to do with your real life, that’s the point of acting in case you didn’t know.
      It’s like if you want to make a movie about a serial killer, so you have to hire one to make it look real? Are you kidding me?
      The thoughts you have are clearly homophobic, cause Tobey Mcguire wasn’t bite by a Spider, Batman doesn’t exists, Leonardo Di Caprio wasn’t born when the Titanic sink in the ocean, etc etc etc.
      & this shows us that YOU are homophobic.
      You see Brokeback mountain & you cry & you believe it because when you love cinema & you surrender yourself at the movie, you get inside of it, don’t question anything, when you don’t have prejudices you accept what is coming to you in the way that comes to you.
      So under your point of view, fictional movies shouldnt exist because they aren’t real? YOU’RE A JOKE.

    • sky says:

      I think you ‘re homophobic.
      i think this movie is stupid.

  22. JJ says:

    I hope they do cast him as Christian Grey! He is perfect. So what if he’s gay, he would be an awesome Christian Grey.

  23. PatsyAnne says:

    Matt has it all, the looks, the body, the talent. He can act, he can sing, he can dance. Matt is destined for big things and he is well on his way. He didnt need fifty shades of grey and i’m so glad it’s not him. With roles in ‘The normal Heart’ and ‘Monty Clift’ coming soon I think 2014 will be his best year yet. I predict Emmy awards and Golden Globes for Matt. I am certain we will see him in many more leading roles in the future. Matt Bomer I love you. Dont ever change. We love you just the way you are x

  24. Lisa says:

    If he is a good actor he can play the part of a hetrosexual man. This shouldn’t be an issue and it is acting after all. I think Bomer is perfect as Christian Grey. No one has even come close!

  25. loriann says:

    Cary Grant and Rock Hudson were Gay and that didn’t stop them from being a leading male straight roll in Hollywood,just because they weren’t “out”..its called acting and Matt has it! He can charm the pants off any woman he wants!!!!

    • AubeO says:

      Really? Cary Grant was gay? Might come as a surprise to Dyan Cannon, his once-wife, as well as to Jennifer Grant, his daughter.

      • Pau says:

        oh girl, so many man came out of the closet being married & with children of that marriage, you live in a bubble.

      • Jacqui says:

        I know several gay men that have been “heterosexually” married, and quite a few of them that have children from those marriages… What’s your big HOMOPHOBIC point AubeO??

  26. bcf1206 says:

    why is an actors private (or public) sexual orientation so important?

  27. Delia says:

    In many ways he already made history. He is the first gay male actor to have this huge campaign for a movie. Now FSOG is a horrible book, but it was still nice to see many woman back him up.
    He is far too talented for this movie. Now I hope they give him a good movie soon, so that he can show his talents better. His day will come.

  28. sandra says:

    Matt Bomer has already cracked that barrier in many ways and is just starting imho. Not only do women want him in a romantic sexy role but his name always pops up in superhero casting polls.He has a tv show as the lead in very hetero role. He seems choosy about his roles and not lusting after stardom. I’m very curious and interested to see his career trajectory.

  29. Kathy Atwater says:

    I cannot believe that they are not casting Matt Bomer as Christian Grey. His face is Christan Grey. So what if he is gay. Rock Hudson was too and look at how many leading male roles he played…..

    • AubeO says:

      Once again, I think the big difference is that we didn’t KNOW Rock Hudson was gay when he made all those movies. When I look at them now, knowing he was ACTING, it makes it very hard to get past that – that it’s all an ACT. No judgment here — I don’t give a flying rat’s ass what anyone wants to do with their private life, nor do I care if you want to trumpet your sexuality around – that’s your right.

      As for Bomer specifically, let me just set the record straight here – I think I never saw a human being who more closely embodied my concept of “Christian Grey” like the face and body of Matt Bomer.

      BUT, the role of Christian Grey is not just the role of a “man.” It’s a HIGHLY SEXUALLY CHARGED role of a HETEROSEXUAL MAN.

      I really don’t think, even if I’d had 3 martinis before I watched it, that I could have viewed the film without being reminded CONTINUOUSLY that EVERY SEX SCENE was an ACT.

      And that would have wrecked the film for me.

      Sorry if that offends anyone – it’s not meant to. It’s just a statement of fact, for me.

      • Kcee says:

        ACTors are paid to ACT. Whoever plays the role of CG is just acting, straight or not. Anyway, it’s better this way, Matt not being CG. Don’t want him being discriminated anymore.

      • mara says:

        Sorry but looks like there is only one solution for you: reality shows. Not that they aren’t faking lol, but whatever. Otherwise seems like most movies, tv shows are fantasies and not real enough for you. The “actors” in there are all pretending and acting. No one is really attracted to the other person and/or really having sex. Plus, you don’t know Matt Bomer or any other person’s sexual psychology. Sexuality is a continuum and more complex. It’s not like being gay he hates a woman’s body or is unable to see the beauty in the moment. I know plenty of gay guys who altho’ they prefer men have the ability to enjoy a woman’s body.

        The problem is YOUR inability to separate an actor from his onscreen role. So why should the actor pay for your defeciency?
        Why not just imagine that he is bisexual, for all you know he just may be.

      • Pau says:

        OMG you’re even more homophobic than the earliers comments you wrote.
        Girl, ACTORS do something CALLED ACT.
        What’s the difference between one movie or another? NONE! They are all fake! They are all ACTING!
        What’s your f*cking problem with a gay actor acting???
        Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, they all ACT!
        Have you seen act Darren Criss? He’ve made the most credible gay on screen I’ve ever seen.
        But you don’t have problems with him cause he’s straight on his real life, right?
        You see him & you believe he’s so gay, but UPS! He’s acting, sorry to tell you he’s not gay.
        Your brain is clearly hollow girl, go born again.

      • Jacqui says:

        **even if … my apologies for the typo.

      • Jacqui says:

        So… I’m with PhilG and James here. Are we to assume that EVERY Hollywood sex scene is, in fact, actual sex, or is that not ACTing as well? Your excuses of “support” are thinly veiled and meager, at best. You don’t want to see him ACT like he’s attracted to a woman because he’s gay?? But like James mentioned, it’s okay for heterosexual ACTors/ACTresses to ACT like they’re attracted to one another enemy they can barely stand the sight of one another?? Your obvious attemps to pursuade us that you’re “pro-gay just not in your favorite book turned movie” make me chuckle… Lol

      • PhilG says:

        ALL “ACTors” act….

  30. Megan says:

    I really do wish Matt Bomer was CG <3333 :(

    • Donnelly says:

      You must have a really hard time watching movies. How can you be sure Chris Pine isn’t really a starship captain, or gosh, you must think Anthony Hopkins is a cannibal!!!!!

      You are, however, a homophobe. We all see you.

      Those books and this movie are nothing more than trash and no actor or actress of any ilk wanted to be in it. That’s the story.

    • James says:

      “Once again, I think the big difference is that we didn’t KNOW Rock Hudson was gay when he made all those movies. When I look at them now, knowing he was ACTING, it makes it very hard to get past that – that it’s all an ACT”

      Guess what!! A straight actor in that part will ALSO BE ACTING! That is the actual job description! TO ACT “AS IF”. There have been countless pairings in movies where the actors are supposed to be in love or lust with one another, and in spite of their raging heterosexuality, could not stand the sight of each other. I suppose you believe they’ve been actually doing each other all along?! smh

      But it’s clear from the rest of your post that, while you “trumpet” your support for “their choice” (ugh), you just don’t really like gay people.

      Sorry if that offends you – it’s not meant to. It’s just a statement of fact.

  31. Sal says:

    Jamie is not even an actor. A good looking model who turned actor. How many more of them will we get? Then again this is an adaptation of a novel written by a middle aged woman for the characters of her favorite teen book… why do we even care?

More Film News from Variety

Loading