'Magic Mike' star Matt Bomer and 'Bridgerton' actor Jonathan Bailey get involved in a torrid love affair during the 1950s Lavender Scare in McCarthy-era Washington in Showtime upcoming miniseries
In a teaser for Showtime's upcoming limited series Fellow Travelers, the scene takes place the night Dwight D. Eisenhower won the 1952 presidential election. Magic Mike's Bomer, 45, stars as Hawkins Fuller, a charismatic man who has a lucrative political career working behind the scenes. While Bridgerton's Bailey, 35, takes on the role of Tim Laughlin, a newcomer who was raised with religious faith.
The clip features flashes of the secret couple in a torrid love affair during a time during Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy’s moral war against “subversives and sexual deviants” also known as the Lavender Scare, per the series’ official synopsis.
As Bomer and Bailey exchange lingering glances in a hallway seemingly on Capitol Hill, the scene changes to snapshots of the paramours kissing, Hawk taking a photo of Tim on a beach and holding each other in an emotional embrace.
In addition to the couple, the lives of the show’s five main characters – Hawk, Tim, Marcus (Jelani Alladin), Lucy (Allison Williams), and Frankie (Noah J. Ricketts) – are followed over the course of four decades.
They all cross paths on their individual journeys in the 1960s during the Vietnam War protests, the 1970s during an era of drugs and hedonism and the 1980s AIDS crisis.
"They aren't flashbacks, really. We're putting the different time frames against each other," show creator Ron Nyswaner told Entertainment Weekly. "It's about the choices that we make having ramifications that we don't see. It's very bad and we might not see them for 30 years, and they alter our lives in different ways. So you live with the choices that you make. Even though you try to avoid them, they usually show up somewhere."
Fellow Travelers is based on its eponymous novel by author Thomas Mallon, and is executive produced by Nyswaner, Bomer and Robbie Rogers while Daniel Minahan executive produces and directs the first two episodes.
Last week, Bailey revealed he had been waiting to take on a “sweeping gay love story.”
“My answer was always, ‘Well, I’d love to do a sweeping gay love story,’ but my experience actually was that I’d never really seen them,” he told Vanity Fair. “Or if I had, I hadn’t seen actors like me and Matt play those roles.”
He added, “The nuance of a complicated, volatile queer relationship is the power balance — and that is what is amazing about Tim and Hawk. Every single sex scene is a meticulous examination of power. I will be so interested to see how people respond to it. To me, being queer also is about, as two men, how you negotiate your giving of your body to the other person. That is something that I’ve always yearned to see properly done because I know how extraordinary it is to experience it.”
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Fellow Travelers premieres on Showtime this fall and will stream on Paramount+.
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