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Interview with Marsha Thomason of
Collar" on USA 8/16/10
New Media Strategies / Electric Artists:
USA Network Q&A with Marsha Thomason
August 16, 2010/1:00 p.m. EDT
Marsha Thomason Ė Diana Barrigan, White Collar
Moderator Welcome to the USA Network Q&A Session with Marsha Thomason.
D. Christiansen Good afternoon, everyone. This is Danny Christiansen
from New Media Strategies. Iíd like to thank everyone for joining us for
todayís White Collar Q&A session. To start things off by thanking Marsh
Thomason for being with us today to answer questions, so thank you,
M. Thomason Youíre welcome.
D. Christiansen As you know Marsha plays Diana Barrigan on White Collar,
which airs on Tuesdays at 9/8 Central on USA Networks. In a minute weíll
begin the Q&A session. Iíd like to now turn the call back over to our
Moderator, Mary, to begin the formal Q&A session.
Moderator Our first question comes from the line of Crystal Clark from
Pop Culture Madness.
C. Clark What would you say motivates your character to get out of bed
M. Thomason She just really loves solving crimes. She likes putting bad
guys away. Of course, we all have a sense of right and wrong, but she
really has a strong sense of that. She doesnít really deviate from it.
So I think for her, her passion for being a FBI agent and getting out of
bed and going to do that job everyday really is just getting the bad
guys and helping innocent people.
C. Clark What would you say is one of the biggest challenges youíve
faced while working on the show so far?
M. Thomason Well, there are a couple. One of them is some of the
language that we have to use on the show. In the pilot I had on my very
first day, it was this little speech and there was this big scene where
we bust into this warehouse. Thereís an explosion and all of this. So
basically every time we did it, even if you made a mistake, you just had
to keep going until the end because we needed to get what bits and
pieces we could. I had to say something about, ďExigent circumstance
means we can do the blah, blah, blah and the thing in the face.Ē I had
no idea what exigent circumstance was or how to say it in an American
accent. I was nervous because it was my first day and it was just the
most mortifying moment where I booked into this thing.
I managed to get one take out and then something happened and the second
take, I go, ďExigent circumstance, blah, blah.Ē And Tim looks at me and
I look at him like I donít know. I donít know what Iím saying. Just say
your line. All of this through a lock, so thatís one of the tricky ones,
sometimes some of the language.
And then some of the action still I find a little bit tricky. I enjoy it
very much, but it can get very technical. Something as simple as the
handcuffs that we use, obviously theyíre not real handcuffs because
weíre dealing with actors and not perps. And so when you hook them on,
the mechanism, it can just go around and around and around if that makes
sense. And they can just take them off. In other words, it makes them
really difficult to get on. They bounce back, and I just look completely
inept. So thatís one of the ones.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Allison Toner from
A. Toner I understand that you read a lot on set. I was wondering what
youíre reading right now.
M. Thomason I just actually started, I literally just like put it in my
bag and Iíve read a page. And then I realized I needed to get in the
shower and get myself prepared for this call. But I have The Glass
Castle, Jeannette Walls, which apparently is fantastic. It was
recommended actually by a hair stylist on the show.
I just finished reading American Music, which actually the DP on our
show, Russell Fine, gave to me because his friend, Jane Mendelsohn, is
the author. She wrote a book called Looking for Amelia Earhart I think
it was called. I never read that one. But thatís what I just finished
reading. It was really wonderful, a beautiful love story.
A. Toner Ae you similar to your character, Diana, at all?
M. Thomason We look alike, which is kind of weird. Am I similar? Yes,
sheís a ball buster. Which I guess is something that could be said about
me. She really has a sense of doing the right thing and I have that.
Weíre similar in many ways, actually. I couldnít imagine having a job
where I had to wear a suit every day. But other than that, I think there
are many similarities between us.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Lena Lamoray from
L. Lamoray Itís great having you back this season and ďNeed to KnowĒ has
been my favorite episode so far. So you can you talk about filming it
and what your favorite episode is?
M. Thomason That was my favorite episode. Though, actually Tuesday
night, tomorrow nightís episode is another fun one for me, another one
where I go undercover. Those are my favorite ones where we go undercover
because I get to play another character on top of the character Iím
For me with ďNeed to Know,Ē my favorite part of it reallyówell, there
were a few things. I loved our director, Sandy. He was fantastic. And I
really enjoyed, itís simple, but I really enjoyed working with the Ö and
I felt Ö, which you donít get to do every day. I felt like Angelina
Jolie. I even told him I was going to shoot him in the shoulder. He
didnít believe me and then I shot him in the shoulder.
L. Lamoray Can you talk about the pros and conís of filming in New York
M. Thomason Well, the proís is that itís New York City, hello. The con
is that itís so bloody humid right now and Iím in a suit all the time.
And I just literally, they come and powder me, so I look like Iím smooth
and cool. Underneath Iím literally dripping with sweat. Itís so hot all
the time. Itís kind of chaotic, but I like that. For me right now, it
really is just the heat. Itís been a little difficult in that sense.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with the
S. Lanoue What was it like working opposite James Franco on General
M. Thomason Confusing and this is fun. Heís a really lovely guy. I
already knew him a little bit just from out and about in L.A., so it was
kind of fun. It was bizarre world because here I am on the set of
General Hospital, a soap opera institution, with James Franco, a big
movie star playing a role that honestly I didnít even know what I was
doing. They told me that I was going to be involved in espionage and
that my character was going to be romantically involved with James and
none of those things happened. I was just confused the whole time. I was
just really confused and still confused.
S. Lanoue It didnít take too long to do the filming.
M. Thomason No, no. In soaps you literally get a take, so you need to
nail it and then they move on. But I worked on it for about five weeks,
just the odd day here and there, but you would never know by the amount
that I was on the screen. The whole thing is just like a completeó I
donít even know. I have no words. I donít even know what it was about.
S. Lanoue Soaps move so fast, it throws people off when theyíre not used
M. Thomason No, no, no, thatís not why I didnít know what it was about.
I didnít know what it was about because my character didnít have a name,
because not one thing that they said I was going to be doing I did. I
donít even know who I played and Iím just still so confused.
S. Lanoue So would you go back and do soaps again?
M. Thomason Weíll pop Ö on that one. Never say never.
S. Lanoue A lot of your costars got their start on soaps, Matt Bomer,
Josh Ö, Vanessa Marcel.
M. Thomason Right, certainly, yes. But I already got my start, so I
think for now; Iím going to stick with White Collar.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Tiffany Vogt from
Airlock Alpha & Nice Girls TV.
T. Vogt I have a question with White Collar. What would you like
personally for the writers to bring out more of in your character?
M. Thomason Ooh, la, ha! Oh my goodness Ö but I wonít. What I will say
is I really love for us to find a Ö who is Ö talk about girls with me.
That I would love very much. Iíd really like to see the relationship
with Neal explored a little more. I work with Tim a heck of a lot on the
show. We have a lot of scenes together. But Neal and Diana, itís kind of
a slow build, so Iím really looking forward to seeing that storyline
T. Vogt Do you think weíll be seeing more of a possibly a dark side to
M. Thomason I have no idea.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Kurt Wagner from RedEye
K. Wagner I was wondering if weíre going to see more of her personal
life, of Dianaís personal life and her girlfriend and all that kind of
M. Thomason Well, I was just saying actually so far, not so much. But
the writers keep threatening me with that every time I ask them, ďHey,
when are we going to meet Christy?Ē And theyíre like, itís coming, itís
coming. Ö, but Iím hoping we meet Christy soon because Iíve shot quite a
bit of footage in Dianaís house, but Christy is never there. Maybe Diana
is just full of crap. Supposed she doesnít even have a girlfriend. Maybe
Diana has never had a girlfriend and she just has a secret lonely life.
She just goes home and cries into her pillow and makes the whole thing
K. Wagner Maybe sheís just saying it so Neal will leave her alone.
M. Thomason Thereís that, too. You never know. Though, that would be
pretty elaborate because Peter even thinks that she has a Christy, so I
donít know. I donít think she would like a Peter. I think Christy
exists, but only on paper at this point.
Moderator We have a follow-up from the line of Suzanne Lanoue from the
S. Lanoue Do the writers ever give you any background information about
the character that maybe you havenít seen on the screen yet, but you use
it to get information for yourself?
M. Thomason Well, no. Everything that weíve seen about Dianaís
background, I know about Dianaís background. It basically came out in
the second episode when she was in the hotel and talking to Neal. All I
know is that theyíre not happy about her being in the FBI. They
definitely wanted a different path for her. This was not part of their
plan. And Ö who was like a father to him, and he was killed in the line
of duty, so I know that thereís some darkness to their past, but not
S. Lanoue I hope we get to see more about her past and her family and
M. Thomason So do I, so do I. I guess if people request it and you guysí
blog about it, maybe theyíll pay note.
Moderator Our next question is from the line of Michelle St. James form
M. St. James I have a question about the ďThe Music Box.Ē Diana and
Peter now know that thereís a piece missing and Neal has the missing
piece. Whoís going to crack first and go to the other one?
M. Thomason Now I think youíve done enough of these to know thereís no
way I can tell you the answer to that at this time.
M. St. James It was worth a try.
M. Thomason Yes, itís a good effort. But needless to say you know youíll
get the answer to that very soon.
M. St. James In regards to the relationship with Neal, is he ever going
to give up in terms of trying to make you attracted to him?
M. Thomason No. Absolutely not. His ego is too big. Youíve seen the way
women swoon when he walks into a room, because no, no, and itís sport
for him. Heís the guy that fakes art and steals and does all of that
stuff for sport. Thereís no way heís ever going to give up.
Moderator There are no further questions.
D. Christiansen Ladies and gentlemen, if there are no further questions,
that will conclude todayís session. Iíd like to once again thank Marsha
for joining us and remind everyone to tune in to a new episode of White
Collar tomorrow, August 17th at 9/8 Central on USA Network. Thanks
again, and enjoy your week, everyone.
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