Doom Patrol's Matt Bomer and Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey star together in new Paramount+ series Fellow Travelers, which is based on the novel of the same name and chronicles a volatile romance between two very different men in McCarthy-era Washington DC.


Bomer plays opportunistic and cynical DC power player Hawkins Fuller, while Bailey plays the more idealistic Tim Laughlin, and, according to executive producer Robbie Rogers, who spoke exclusively with, the duo had "electric" chemistry with one another from the off.

Explaining how they both became involved with the project, Rogers said: "I've known Matt for some years now just personally, and obviously I have watched his career. I loved him so much in The Normal Heart. So we all knew he could play Hawk, and when we sat with him you feel his presence.

"I mean, he's incredibly handsome, smart, but also has this vulnerable side to him that plays really well in the '80s. He has this mystery, and you’re not quite sure what's happened over the course of his life but you can you can feel that in him when you when you meet him in the '80s. So he came in really early, he's been an executive producer, helped us sell the show."

Rogers continued: "And then Jonny came on in the casting process. I had met with Johnny for My Policeman and I'm obsessed with him as an actor. He's such a great guy, and most people here in the States know of him from Bridgerton.

More like this

"But when I met with him with Michael Grandage for My Policeman, I could feel a youthfulness and an excitement and an energy that felt very much like Tim. So eventually, you know, Ron [Nyswaner] and Dan [Minahan] met with him and fell in love with him. And then they had a chemistry read, which was quite electric, I would say."

Rogers also explained how sex and power intertwine in the series, with Hawkins taking a dominant role over Tim in both the political and personal realms, as well as in sex scenes between the pair.

"There’s quite a thing, with historical LGBT film and television, where the cast or a character is a victim," he explained. "And with Hawk, he's not a victim. He has power in DC, he has power in his relationships, he's very much in control of his life. And that obviously addresses with how he behaves with Tim, and falling in love with him.

"Even with, you could say, the sex – our intention wasn't to be like salacious, or push the boundaries. It was very much a dance with power. And at times Hawk is exerting that over Tim, and there's times where Tim realises that he has power over Hawk, so he uses it to go to a party, or uses it to find intimacy with Hawk.

"What's that quote, where it's like, ‘everything's about sex, except for sex, it's about power’? I heard it a few times in the writers room and was like, ‘oh, yeah, that's definitely the show’."

Jonathan Bailey attends the "Bridgerton" Series 2 World Premiere at Tate Modern on March 22, 2022 in London, England.
Jonathan Bailey stars as Tim Laughlin in Fellow Travelers. John Phillips/WireImage

Read more:

Rogers explained why it was so important to include sex scenes between the pair throughout the show, saying: "I think that, especially during the '50s, when everything is a secret, and you're so closeted and you can't share anything about yourself, that when you can get into these intimate moments and finally express yourself with a person you're falling in love with, that can be quite emotional, aggressive, passionate, intimate.

"So we wanted to make sure that the audience really felt that like."

Fellow Travelers will debut on Saturday 28th October on Paramount+. Looking for something else to watch? Visit our Drama hub or check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who with a special issue of Radio Times. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.