The Normal Heart's Matt Bomer Talks 'Surreal' Emmy Nomination, Previews White Collar's 'Hitchcockian' Ending

Matt Bomer‘s physical and emotional transformation for The Normal Heart has paid off with an Emmy nomination.

The Outstanding Supporting Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie contender has some fierce competition — from his own costars! — but for Bomer, who read Larry Kramer’s play of the same name as a teenager, nothing will outshine the “magical” experience of playing gay New York Times reporter Felix Turner.

Below, the actor revels in the “unbelievable” nomination, teases White Collar‘s “Hitchcockian” series finale and reveals where the future will take him after he wraps the USA Network drama.

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TVLINE | Congrats on the nomination!
It’s so beyond exciting. I’m just so grateful and overcome with excitement. It’s a surreal moment, but I’m incredibly happy that the film was acknowledged in the way it was and that so many of the people that worked so hard on it were acknowledged as well.

TVLINE | You’re up against three of your co-stars in the supporting actor category. How does that feel?
It’s great. We’re a family. We were all committed to being a part of this story. If you ever told me I’d ever even be in a category with those actors, I would have laughed at you. So the fact that I’m even in their company is unbelievable for me. I love them dearly. It’s going to be a fun night to get to celebrate together.

TVLINE | What was the most memorable text or phone call you received today?
I found out from my husband, Simon. I’m in New York filming White Collar, and he’s in LA. He’d gotten up to watch. It was just great to get to share that moment with him. I had to separate myself from my family for a long time to get to play this role. There was a lot of moments when I was weighing 130 pounds and probably not the most joyful person to be around. So it was nice to get to celebrate a really happy moment with him as well.

TVLINE | Given how long it took to get this movie made, how much relief did you feel when it was so well received, and now that it’s swimming in Emmy nominations?
Actually, when I first signed on to the film, it was a [theatrical] movie. When I found out HBO was interested, I was thrilled because they get behind their stories in such a profound way. They market them, and they really believe in the stories they tell. So that was all very exciting news. I read the play for the first time when I was 14, and it angered me and it frustrated me and it educated me. My hope was that this film would be given the biggest voice that it could so that other people, especially the younger generation, would have that experience and be able to understand this part of our history, to know why they have a lot of the rights that they have today.

TVLINE | Do you view this role and this nomination as a turning point in your career?
I feel like there’s so much synchronicity involved in this. The fact that I loved this piece for so long and that it ended up happening the way that it did, there’s just something about it that has a magical feel to it. But in terms of whether it will be pivotal, I’m not really in control of those things. All I can do is try to tell stories that I really believe in and play characters as truthfully as I can. The rest of those decisions will take care of themselves. I just hope that I’m afforded the opportunity to be able to continue to do it.

TVLINE | Does something like The Normal Heart make you want to do more films now that White Collar is wrapping up? Or do you see yourself returning to TV again?
I believe in story, and I don’t think there’s any stigma attached to any one medium anymore. I feel like a lot of the best writing is actually happening on television. So it depends on where the good stories and the good roles are. If they’re on TV and that’s where the opportunity is for me, then that’s where I’ll go. If they’re on film, then that’s where I’ll go. If they’re on stage, then that’s where I’ll go.

White Collar Series FinaleTVLINE | How is filming going on White Collar? Does it feel different being the last season?
Yeah. There’s this undercurrent of I don’t want to say sadness, but… What’s the French word…? We’re all having a blast working together. It’s just like old times like it’s always been, but underneath it all, we all know that we’re going to have to say goodbye. We’re all dreading that moment because we have been such a close-knit unit for six years. So it’ll be sad to say goodbye. All good things must come to an end!

TVLINE | Yes! I’m a strong believer in that when it comes to television.
It depends on where you are and where the writers are in terms of what stories they want to tell. I feel like we probably could have told some more, but those are decisions that are way above my paygrade. In the meantime, I’m just going to come to work and try to make as many great memories as I can and enjoy what’s left of our time together. I know a lot of the relationships that I’ve formed here are ones that I’ll have in my life forever.

TVLINE | Last we talked, you mentioned that you had some input into the ending. Is it full of closure? Or does it leave the door open for maybe a TV movie at some point?
I can’t say too much on that. The ending that they came up with was collaborative — I don’t want to take sole credit or anything — but it was nice that they were willing to listen to the input. … I’m not a big fan of series endings that wrap everything up into a nice bow. I love that Hitchcockian element of believing that people’s imaginations are more potent than anything you can spell out for them. The writers have done a really good job of creating an ending that leaves a lot open to interpretation.