Glee news flash: Blaine’s older brother is the ultimate tool.
On April 10, White Collar hunkmuffin Matt Bomer guest stars on the Fox hit as Darren Criss’ onscreen sibling Cooper Anderson, a local commercial thesp who takes his craft — and himself — way too seriously. The gig gave Bomer a chance to flex his comedic muscles (Cooper’s “Master Class in Acting,” which you can catch a glimpse of here, is so wrong it’s right) and return to his musical roots (Spring Awakening and Grey Gardens are among his early credits.)
In the following Q&A, Bomer talks about his real-life inspiration for clueless Cooper, bonding with his new Glee bro (onscreen and off), smooching Jane Lynch and channeling his inner Simon Le Bon.
TVLINE | How did the role come about?
I had heard the Gotye song [“Somebody That I Used to know”] and I asked [series co-creator] Ryan [Murphy] if he ever thought of using that as a duet on the show. And he said he had. And then a week later I got a text from him asking me if I wanted to come on the show to sing it. And I said, ‘Absolutely!’
TVLINE | Was it fun playing such a D-bag?
[Laughs] To me, the fun of the role was getting to play somebody who had such strong convictions and opinions about all of the wrong things and in all of the wrong ways. At the heart of it, he really does want to help his brother avoid the slings and arrows of being a young artist. He clearly hasn’t had an easy road of it as an actor. And over the course of that path, he sort of developed his own short cuts and tricks of the trade, which are all horribly misleading and misguided.
TVLINE | Have you ever encountered someone like Cooper?
Yeah, of course. Any actor who participated in drama in high school or college had experience with guest speakers. And sometimes there’s a lot of gold in their advice. And then sometimes you’re just scratching your head. [Laughs] I’ve definitely had crazy acting teachers… Just completely bat s–t crazy. I’m not going to name any names.
TVLINE | The script also has some fun with your looks. I think Kurt refers to you as the most good-looking guy in all of North America. What is it like to hear that? Does it make you uncomfortable?
It makes me think, ‘I really hope hair and makeup [shows up] to work that day.” [Laughs] At the end of the day, Cooper is just desperate for validation. For him, hearing something like that is just the best news ever. That was the fun of the journey. I think he comes back to town under the ruse that he’s doing all of this gritty work for the next commercial campaign. But I think he also needs to get back in touch with his roots and reality because he’s having a tough go of it. But then once he realizes that he’s kind of a hometown hero, the hubris kicks in and his ego expands exponentially.
TVLINE | What was your dynamic like with Darren?
I had an incredible time working with Darren. He was completely professional and fun and came to play. We had a lot of laughs between takes, and we had a lot of fun playing off of each other. Anytime you’re playing someone’s sibling you want to get to know that person and it’s important that they be accessible to that, and Darren was completely open and available so that we were able to develop a friendship and get an idea of what it would be like to actually be brothers.
TVLINE | You guys perform a Duran Duran mash-up at the beginning of the episode — — was that a childhood dream come true for you?
When I was a kid, my brother and I shared a room and he used to put on the Duran Duran tape — yes, I said tape — every night we would listen to “The Reflex” and “Rio” and all of the old hits they had. So it was a real dream come true to get to record them.
TVLINE | Did this give you the itch to maybe do a Broadway musical?
Given the right project it would be something really fun to do in the future. It’s just that I’m already in New York away from my family six months out of the year shooting [White Collar], so for me to take another six months away from them to do something on Broadway would be tricky at this point in time.
TVLINE | You got to kiss Jane Lynch in a scene. What was that like?
Fantastic. [Laughs] I think Jane sussed out right away that my character was just all over the map, just a complete hot mess. And so she knew that whatever greeting they had together would be completely inappropriate. So she said, “Matt, on this take, just kiss me on the lips.” I said, “Great. You don’t have to ask me twice.” It was nice. She had a lovely lip gloss on that tasted quite nice.” [Laughs]