Matt Bomer says he’s always identified with classic star Montgomery Clift and is thrilled to be playing the “From Here to Eternity” actor in an upcoming HBO biopic.
At the PaleyFest tribute to his series “American Horror Story,” Bomer, 38, told People, “I kind of saw myself in him. Even as a young kid – before obviously I knew anything about him, or even myself – I saw him on screen and I thought, ‘Oh wow he actually looks a lot like my brother.'”
The former “White Collar” star revealed he was gay in 2012 and says it’s another reason he related to the closeted Clift. “”He was one of those really early screen icons for me to start with. When once I learned the circumstances of his life, I realized how he was someone who did not want to be relegated to the times he lived in and was so progressive in so many ways.
“He had to deal with so many things that we don’t have to deal with as much these days,” explained Bomer of the fact that Clift wasn’t able to reveal his sexuality in the ’50s or ’60s. “So I thought it was an important story for people to remember.”
Clift, along with Marlon Brando and James Dean, was one of the heralded “Method” actors who took Hollywood by storm in the ’50s. He was nominated for four Academy Awards for his lead roles in “The Search” (1948), “A Place in the Sun” (1951) and “From Here to Eternity” (1953) and for his supporting role in “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961).
The actor suffered a devastating car crash after leaving friend Elizabeth Taylor’s house in 1956: His face was severely damaged and the accident left him with lingering pain and drug and alcohol dependencies.
His last screen role was in “The Misfits,” which was also the last completed film of legends Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Clift died of a heart attack in 1966: He was only 45.
Bomer says he’s eager to introduce a new generation to Clift. “It’s crazy how many people I talk to, especially under 30, who don’t know who Montgomery Clift is. What? I feel like someone is responsible for letting people know how important he was – culturally, socially, but most importantly as an artist.”
He tells People the project is still in development but that it’s “going great… We’re just not going to make that movie unless it’s the right movie and it’s told right and done right.”
Bomer will return for Season 6 of “American Horror Story” and will next be seen in the remake of “The Magnificent Seven” with Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.