The third episode of Doom Patrol drops this Friday, March 1 on DC Universe, and there’s a lot of focus on Matt Bomer‘s Larry Trainor/Negative Man character in this installment — including quite a bit underneath the bandages.
Earlier this week, we attended a screening for the show that was followed by a Q&A with Bomer where he talked a bit about what makes Doom Patrol distinctive and special.
“I have certainly read my share of comic book scripts over the years, and I think if this had just been another formulaic down the middle or especially noir-ish dark all straight faced traditional Gotham-y type of series I would not have been a part of it,” Bomer said about how the series stands out in a landscape full of TV series and movies based on comic books.
“Especially in the landscape, in this day and age, to stand out, [I think] you need to be distinctive, and my God, reading the script, you can call it whatever you want to, but it is absolutely distinctive, and its own beast and unabashedly so. That’s a big reason why I wanted to be a part of it, because is so strange,” Bomer continued.
Reading the Doom Patrol pilot was a “small snippet” of what was to come for Bomer, but it was the Grant Morrison Doom Patrol comics and the subsequent runs by other creators that showed Matt Bomer how weird the concept could be.
“I think that sort of trippy, abstract, absurdist tone is what I love about the piece. It may be one of those things that you love or you hate. But, to me, it’s what I loved about it,” he said.
Fans may recall that the first episode of Doom Patrol was not Bomer’s first experience with Larry Trainor — he also voiced a very different version of the character for the Titans episode “The Doom Patrol” last year. How was that different for him?
“I took the given circumstances and direction from one director, and I took the given circumstances and direction from another director/creator,” the actor said matter-of-factly. “What I think is interesting is that what I think a lot of these showrunners who are huge comic book fans are doing [is that] they’re basically becoming the latest iteration of a writer/illustrator team to make their interpretation of a comic. It’s the same way someone else reinterpreted after Grant Morrison. They’re doing the same thing, it’s just in cinematic form. So, the Titans version was ‘Oh, Larry’s upbeat, he’s moonwalking in the kitchen, woo! He’s got a quip for everything, he’s funny.’ And in Jeremy’s version he’s self-loathing. He’s like a knot inside. He’s holding an incredible amount of pain and pathos at all times. He doesn’t know how to really connect with anybody. He doesn’t know how to connect with himself. So, you know, they were just two radically different interpretations of the same character. My job, alway,s is ‘how can I serve you?’ That’s what really any actor’s job should be on a project, not ‘how can I serve myself,’ but ‘how can I serve the story’ in terms of what Jeremy wanted for this character.”
And what’s coming up for the rest of Doom Patrol’s first season?
“There’s so much, I wish I could just distill it down to one or two things,” he said. “But literally, every script, the first thing I think is ‘how the f#@$ are they going to do that? How? I don’t know how.’ And then they do. And then there are just so many abstract elements that they’ve pulled, either from Grant Morrison’s files or Jeremy’s original creations.”
“You get into the history of where Larry went after we see him [in Episode 3] and before he got to the Doom Patrol. That ends up playing another role in the story as well. So it’s just so wildly imaginative. I just want people to see the show, because I truly think — and I don’t say this about every show I’ve done — it’s really special, and it’s got an incredible creative team, an incredible production team, and I think ultimately as bizarre and wacko as it gets at times, it’s got an incredible heart underneath it all, and they’ve really gone to painstaking lengths to make these characters really human and to have real darkness and light and struggle to get to where they are when we find them and where they’re going to be by the end of the season,” he continued.
Doom Patrol Episode 3 “Puppet Patrol” arrives March 1 on DC Universe. See some photos below.