Tag Archives: Matt Bomer

Lady Gaga begins shooting ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’ on Aug. 10

Lady Gaga is going from pop star to the hospitality industry — she’ll be playing a hotel owner in American Horror Story: Hotel.

Ryan Murphy, the show’s co-creator, showrunner and director, told journalists that her character’s name is Elizabeth and “she owns the hotel and she is sort of a very wealthy social doyenne who is consumed with art and fashion and people.”

“She has a nefarious plan that is revealed in the first episode that plays out of the course of the season,” he said. Gaga starts shooting Aug. 10.

They’ve built the set “from the ground up” on the Fox lot with a working elevator and cast member Kathy Bates calls the creation “jaw-dropping.”

“Not just the hotel itself but the rooms … how they’re decorated. You won’t believe it,” she said.

The season boasts a cast including Matt Bomer, Chloe Sevigny, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley and Sarah Paulson.

Viewers will also see some big former American Horror Story actors make appearances. “You will see people from various seasons check into the hotel,” Murphy said.

He also teased that AHS: Hotel will be a lot like Season One in tone with psychological, primal fear being at the forefront.

For Murphy, who has two other shows in production (American Crime Story for FX and Scream Queens on Fox) said making American Horror Story is “one of the great joys of my life.”

“It’s exhausting at the end of a season but I’m so energized by it every year because it does reboot and the actors and the stars are so cool and I have a real passion for that,” he said.

He also stays passionate by casting a troupe of actors like Bomer and Paulson, who he regards as friends.

“I’ve directed all of these actors in different incarnations and from it comes this great shorthand and I think they know that they are safe because we’ve worked together. They’ve seen other things that we’ve done, they feel protected,” he said.

American Horror Story: Hotel premieres Oct. 7 on FX.

Jada Pinkett Smith is the ‘lioness’ who tames the men of ‘Magic Mike XXL’

When Jada Pinkett Smith got the call from her agent about the Magic Mike sequel script, there was something she needed to know: Her part as Rome, the owner of a male strip club, was written for a man.

“I was like, OK?” she said.

She was skeptical, if intrigued.

Pinkett Smith had actually been thinking about the world of strippers, athough she’d never set foot in a strip club. But she had just wrapped a documentary for CNN in Atlanta that dealt with strip clubs and sex trafficking.

She agreed to Skype with Magic Mike star and producer Channing Tatum and director Gregory Jacobs. “That was a very interesting call,” she said.

Originally, Tatum had wanted Jamie Foxx for the role. He wanted to show people the side of Foxx he’d seen during a fun party, but it didn’t work out “for a lot of reasons.”

It ended up being the best thing for the film, which opens in Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha and Appleton on June 30 and in Green Bay on July 1 (check local listings).

“The spirit of the thing was always supposed to be a woman,” said Tatum. “We were just a bunch of guys sitting here trying to come up with what is inside of a woman’s mind and it’s like, ‘Idiots, you should just ask them.'”

But Pinkett Smith still needed convincing.

“I think the selling point for me was when Channing said, ‘Listen, I really think that there’s a level of responsibility and celebration that we can bring to this whole form.’ I thought that was a radical freaking idea,” she said, her experiences in Atlanta top of mind. “If we could really elevate what is happening in these environments, how awesome would that be?”

So they got to work making Rome a woman, resting heavily on Pinkett Smith’s input on whom exactly this enigmatic club owner from Mike’s (Tatum) past should be.

The road-tripping strippers (including Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and Kevin Nash) don’t meet up with her until about half way through the film. Though the guys are bigger than life, it’s the diminutive Pinkett Smith who dominates the screen as soon as she’s introduced — the queen of her own empire of luxury and desire where men (including the likes of Michael Strahan, Donald Glover and Stephen “Twitch” Boss) exist purely for the pleasure of the female patrons.

“I created a philosophy that this is a woman who looked at eroticism and sexuality as a gateway to enlightenment,” said Pinkett Smith.

“We didn’t have to do very much. We just got out of the way,” added Tatum, who meant it pretty literally, comparing her energy to that of a lioness.

“It’s like, ‘No one move. If you don’t look at it in the eyes, it won’t attack you. Try to feel powerful! Don’t show weakness!'” he laughed.

The dynamic shifts only when the guys perform. Pinkett Smith, who takes over the MC role for Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas in a key scene, was more than happy to sit back and watch with feverish female extras. And they weren’t just acting — their reactions were real, she said.

The top coming-out stories of 2012

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper has been presumed gay for many years now, but this year he made it official. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud” he wrote to friend and blogger Andrew Sullivan, who posted to the statement. Cooper is the sixth and best-known openly anchor in the cable news business – joining Don Lemon, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Thomas Roberts, Rachel Maddow and Steve Kornacki.

Paul Babeu

Although he still stands strong on immigration restrictions, Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu softened his views on LGBT rights after he was outed by a former lover ­– a Mexican national. The former lover told the press that the right-wing sheriff threatened him with deportation if he went public about their relationship. Babeu denied that allegation but acknowledged his sexual orientation. A backlash over the controversy forced Babeu to drop out of the congressional race in his conservative district. But he was reelected sheriff, likely the first out sheriff in his county.

Matt Bomer

Growing up, Matt Bomer always assumed he was gay but stayed safely in the closet. He auditioned for the school play and tried out for the football team – just for good measure. But no longer afraid of the extra attention, Bomer proudly thanked his wonderful family (husband Simon Halls and their 3 sons) at a Palm Springs Convention Center in 2012. Although he says coming out has made him a happier person, published reports say that it’s cost him film roles, including the lead in the upcoming film version “Fifty Shades of Gray.”

Anne Burrell

Food Network’s “Secrets of a Restaurant Chef” host Anne Burrell had a bit more than  her culinary secrets reveled this year. During an interview, Ted Allen of the show “Chopped” blurted out that Burrell was not only in a relationship with a woman, but a fellow top-notch chef. The news made Burrell the first openly gay Food Network star chef.

Sam Champion

After 14 years as the most recognizable weather man on “Good Morning America,” Sam Champion happily announced his recent engagement to Brazilian fine-arts photographer Rubem Robierb this year. With that announcement, the 51-year-old Champion became the first openly gay co-host of a network morning TV show. Champion and his intended plan to wed in a small ceremony on New Year’s Eve.

Orlando Cruz

Holding the No. 4 ranking in the World Boxing Organization’s featherweight category isn’t the only reason Orlando Cruz’s name is famous. In October, the 31-year-old Puerto Rican boxer became the first active, openly gay boxer.  Since the news went public, Cruz has received overwhelming support from his fellow boxers. Asked about his love life, the hard hitter responded that his mind is all about the fight: “The title belt is my new boyfriend,” he quipped.

Rep. Mike Fleck

Residents of Pennsylvania’s 81st Legislative District can rest easier knowing they have honest representation now that state Rep. Mike Fleck has come out. The announcement came as a shock to many of his constituents. The 39-year-old lawmaker had been married before and was known as a devout Christian. But Fleck assured his constituents that nothing has changed: “I am still a Republican,” he told press, “and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public.” Only now without any secrets.

Kevin McClatchy

Former Pittsburgh Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy wanted to check another thing off his list before turning 50 next year: to finally come out. Back in 1996, when McClatchy was only 33 years old, he made history by becoming the youngest owner of a major league baseball team, despite the threat of being outed by someone upset over the deal. McClatchy called the blackmailer’s bluff and kept his secret while going on to own the Pirates for nine years. He now resides with his partner of four years, Jack Basilone.

Kristy McNichol

Better known to most as Letitia ‘Buddy’ Lawrence, from the TV show “Family,” Kristy McNichol returned to the spotlight this year for other reasons. The 49-year-old former actress announced that she had been living with her partner, Martie Allen, happily for the past 20 years. McNichol said she hoped the publicity surrounding her announcement would provide some support to young people struggling with coming-out issues.

Frank Ocean

Hip-hop artist Frank Ocean is no stranger to headlines. His name is often seen alongside those of artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Beyonce. He’s also won titles such as “Best New Artist,” “Record of the Year,” and “Best Male Video of the Year.” But on Independence Day 2012, Ocean made headlines after posting a story on his website paying homage to his first love – a young man he met when he was 19. The hip-hop community rushed to his support and business continued as usual when he released the acclaimed “Channel Orange” album. The 24-year-old said his next challenge may be writing a novel.

Nate Silver

For years, he worked behind the scenes gathering statistics for a multitude of things, including a gig at OkCupid calculating the best night to have a successful ‘casual encounter.’ But Nate Silver gained attention for successfully applying a math-based forecasting system to baseball, and he became a household name for developing a formula that uses polls to predict election outcomes with astounding accuracy. The 34–year–old statistician writes a blog titled “FiveThirtyEight” for The New York Times, and he hit the bestseller list this year with his book “The Signal and the Noise.” Also this year, he was named OUT magazine’s “person of the year” after publicly coming out.  He described himself as “sexually gay but ethnically straight.”

Tammy Smith

Achieving a high-ranking position for a woman in the Armed Forces is difficult enough. But in August, Tammy Smith broke a glass ceiling when she was promoted to brigadier general, making her the first out gay general in the Army. Thanks to the repeal of  “don’t ask, don’t tell, Smith’s wife Tracey Hepner was able to maintain an Army tradition by proudly pinning the star of general on her wife’s uniform. Smith said she hopes the publicity surrounding her promotion encourages others in the military.

Lana Wachowski

The ending of their most recent work “Cloud Atlas” wasn’t the only surprise this year for fans of the Wachowski sibling’s films (which include “The Matrix Trilogy” and “V for Vendetta”). Lana Wachowski, formerly Larry, surprised fans by recently announcing her decision to live openly as a transgendered woman. Now 47 and sporting neon pink dreadlocks and a smile from ear to ear, Wachowski was radiant as she told her story to an audience at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in San Francisco.


Sherman Hemsley

Although he’s been gone from our living rooms for decades (unless you count re-runs), actor Sherman Hemsley, best known for his portrayal of George Jefferson on “The Jefferson’s”, lost his battle to lung cancer this year at age 74. Although his character was often loud and harsh, Hemsley was quite the opposite. “I don’t slam doors in people’s faces, and I’m not a bigot. I’m just an old hippie. You know – peace and love,” he said in an interview. As a result of pending lawsuits about his estate, it was made public that he had been residing with Kenny Johnston, a gentleman referred to as a “friend” for the past two decades. Little is known about their relationship, but this seems to confirm VH1’s 2007 description of Hemsley as their “top favorite allergy gay black actor from the past.”

Sally Ride

Known mostly as the first American woman in space, Sally Ride lived her post-astronaut days dedicated to space discovery, science, and helping young girls develop careers in math and science. It was only when she died of pancreatic cancer at age 61 that the world learned that she’d had a beloved partner – Tam O’Shaughnessy –for the past 27 years. The Ride name is familiar to the LGBT community: Bear Ride, Sally’s sister, is a high-profile lesbian ordained minister who is active in LGBT civil rights efforts. NASA recently named a moon landing site after Sally Ride, thanking her for always encouraging us to “reach for the stars.”

Local outings

Aaron Rogers

Madison radio personality Aaron Rogers (not to be confused with the football player) chose National Coming Out day to make a huge announcement on the air. With Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out” playing in the background, the Z104 radio personality announced that from that moment on he would be living his life as an openly gay man. Although he had come out to his family almost five years earlier, Rogers had been keeping his orientation a secret from his fans.

JoCasta Zamarripa

State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa decided this was the year to do it. So in the middle of a primary election, the 36-year-old came out as a bi-sexual woman. Although rumors of her orientation circled her 2010 campaign, Zamarripa said she lacked the courage to face them head one. She says coming to terms with her sexuality was quite a journey – in her 20s she unable to even mention it in her diary, she confessed. She hopes by being confident and content with who she is, Zamarripa can inspire young people struggling with their identities.