Matt Bomer finds friendship in the most unlikely of circumstances in “Papi Chulo,” a new film that puts a topical twist on the classic buddy comedy.
“Papi Chulo,” directed by John Butler, follows Sean (Bomer), a Los Angeles weatherman ordered to take a sabbatical after he struggles to keep himself together following a devastating split with his boyfriend, Carlos (Kevin Sifuentes). The newly single Sean decides to use his downtime on domestic duties, and he hires Ernesto (Alejandro Patiño) to do some home repairs.
The two men find an unlikely kinship in spite of their language barrier and socioeconomic differences while “Papi Chulo,” as a whole, delivers an emotional message about the importance of challenging stereotypes and xenophobia.
Bomer, whose recent credits include “Doom Patrol” and a guest stint on NBC’s “Will & Grace” reboot, said he instantly “fell in love” with the script for “Papi Chulo,” which received strong reviews after its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival last fall. Though he’s usually associated with dramas, he said the movie offered him a chance to showcase his comedic chops.
“I think the movie also gets a universal loneliness, in that we all seek these connections in our phones, in our devices,” he told the LGBTQ news outlet Queerty. “And it’s only in a really authentic, emotionally vulnerable interaction with another human being that we can actually really seek gratification.”
The Golden Globe winner, who has been married to Hollywood publicist Simon Halls since 2011, said playing Sean fit into his larger goal of bringing more LGBTQ stories to life on the big screen.
“I would have jumped at the chance to play Sean even if he were heterosexual,” he said. “You know, it’s a small part of who he is and what’s going on in the film. But, yeah, I love telling all kinds of different stories ... I’m really proud and thankful that I get to be part of these stories, and hopefully get to continue.”
“Papi Chulo” hits theaters June 7.