HOME IN THE WILDERNESS
WE know him best for getting his gear off in the Magic Mike movies, but Matt Bomer felt far more at home rugging up in the snowy wilds of Montana for his new indie drama, Walking Out.
“My father was an outdoorsman so I’d grown up hunting and fishing,” says the Texas-reared actor. “We didn’t have trailers, we didn’t have cast chairs, we just stood in the snow between takes.
“If it were supposed to be summer and we were that cold,” he adds, “I would not have enjoyed it. But the fact it was so similar to what the characters were experiencing was quite fortuitous, because it’s one less thing you have to fake.” Bomer describes Walking
Out as “like that Greek story — where the father becomes the son and the son becomes the father”.
The film follows teen David (Josh Wiggins) to rural Montana, where he’s to spend time with his off-thegrid father, Cal (Bomer). Cal takes the boy on his first hunting trip, but they fail to bond until a run-in with a grizzly bear forces them to rely on each other to survive.
“Growing up in the American
South, you experience fathers like that, whose idea of bonding is going out in the great outdoors and just sharing space together, as opposed to maybe having a conversation.”
Bomer is father to sons Kit, 13, and twins Walker and Henry, 10, with husband Simon Halls. “I am a very different parent myself, I probably err on the other side,” he laughs. “So I had to stave off those instincts.” At one point, the injured Cal is approached by a curious deer. A farmer had told the crew of a wild doe that often wandered through his yard. So they set Bomer up — “We put some sugar on my face, leant me up against a tree, camouflaged the cameraman” — then waited. “There were zero guarantees she would come up to me — we’re all kind of gambling out there. Thankfully she was very curious, she came up and licked my face. Moments like that, you don’t have to do a ton of acting,” he admits. Bomer calls Walking Out a “love letter” to his father, former Dallas Cowboys footballer John. “He called me after seeing it and goes, ‘Man, that was weird, I saw a lot of myself up there. But I really love the movie’.”
SEE WALKING OUT opens tomorrow