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Interview with Tim DeKay & Matt Bomer of "White Collar"
on USA 1/14/10
This is a really good show, which I love, so I was very
happy to talk to some of its stars. They seemed very nice, very
fun and laid-back, and friendly. They clearly have a very good
camaraderie and enjoy being on such a good show.
Below is the transcript from the conference call. I know
you will enjoy it as much as I did!
White Collar - Matt Bomer & Tim DeKay Q&A Session
January 14, 2010/2:30 p.m. EST
Our first questionís from Courtney Golden from SmallScreenScoop.com;
please go ahead.
C. Golden This question is for both of you. It seems that both
Neal and Peter seem to toe the line between right and wrong on the show,
especially after seeing the cliffhanger in your fall finale. My question
is what types of real life shenanigans have you gotten yourselves into
that you can draw inspiration from?
M. Bomer Tim, do you want to go?
T. DeKay I know we only have a little under an hour so I wonít be
able to go through all of my real-life shenanigans. Thatís a good
M. Bomer I snuck my brotherís car out of the driveway in the
middle of the night and was trying to run over trash cans with it. I was
16 and I got a flat tire and literally tried to go to the gas station to
put air back into it. It was nothing but shredded rubber and the rim. I
came home and by the time I got home the rubber from the tire was
literally slapping on the concrete so loud the entire neighborhood Ė my
dad was waiting for me at the door and my license was revoked for quite
some time. I wouldnít say that I have the same kind of criminal savvy
that Neal does.
T. DeKay Is that a shenanigan?
M. Bomer If thatís not a shenanigan I donít know what is.
C. Golden That definitely qualifies for me, thank you.
T. DeKay Thatís an excellent shenanigan; I canít top that one.
Moderator Our next question comes from Joshua Maloni; please go
J. Maloni Tim, the show obviously took a large step, something
that you donít always see in a mid-season finale. What did you like
about that last scene and what can you tell us about the ramifications
as we move into the second half of the first season here?
T. DeKay Jeff Eastin approached me with that last scene a couple
weeks before he was going to put it on the script. I said, ďYouíre the
writer; this sounds exciting, letís go for it.Ē I love the scene and I
love the continuation of the scene as well. I think itís some great
writing and some great storytelling and very exciting and itís a perfect
cliffhanger. Thatís all Iím going to say about it.
Moderator Our next question comes from Rosa Cordero with
AccidentalSexiness.com; please go ahead.
R. Cordero Thanks for taking the call, I really love the show.
Everyone wanted me to ask. Natalie Morales and Jeff Eastin are both
currently on Twitter. In order to get more followers, Jeff was putting
out topless pictures of Matt and even offering naked pictures of Matt to
get more followers. Are either of you planning to get on the Twitter
wagon and, Matt, we want to see more topless pictures of you.
M. Bomer If you want to see more topless pictures you can tune
into the season finale, as weird as that response was. But no, I will
not be joining Twitter any time soon. I just donít think that the
day-to-day ramblings of my life would be interesting enough to hold an
T. DeKay Iíve got quite a few pictures of Matt shirtless. No, I
donít have any. But if there is some Web site like, I donít know, Hippie
Shirtless or Shirtless Hippie or something like that I was told about as
well. I donít Twitter; I donít think most people want to know about my
daughterís dance class or Little League baseball. I donít think people
would want to hear about where Iím headed or up to.
Moderator Next question is from Suzanne Lanoue; please go ahead.
S. Lanoue Hello, I love the show and some other friends of mine
were wondering, that last scene in the aired episode, I donít know if
you can tell us this or not. Was it a coincidence or was it just a red
herring or is there a reason, if you can tell us, that the actress that
plays Kate looks an awful lot like with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen?
T. DeKay This is Tim. Iíve been asked that and I never realized
that they look alike. Now that it was brought to my attention I do see
the similarity, two beautiful women. I think it was, I donít know, maybe
the writers have something up their sleeves that I donít know.
S. Lanoue As far as you know itís coincidence?
T. DeKay I believe so, yes.
Moderator Our next question comes from Travis Tidmore with The
Cinemaniac. Please go ahead.
T. Tidmore Thanks for joining us today. The season finale, like
everyoneís been saying, they had one hell of a twist that I really donít
think many people saw coming, if anyone saw it coming. How has this
suspicion between the two characters changed the series, as itís been
the first half of the season to the last half of the season?
M. Bomer I think it actually comes to resolution pretty quickly.
Itís not something that is as dire as it might seem; itís something that
resolves itself relatively quickly in the second half of the season.
Ultimately itís one of those things that ends up, I think, really
bringing the two characters closer.
T. DeKay I couldnít have said that better myself; I concur.
Moderator Our next questionís from Sheldon Wiebe with Eclipse
Magazine; please go ahead.
S. Wiebe I kind of have a thing for both of you, a little bit of
background. Over the first half of the season, Neal seems to have been
developing a kind of trust in Peter and Peter has become kind of
protective of Neal. With that last twist and having seen the second half
premiere, it seems like, as you said, things do resolve. Could you speak
to the development of each character in regards to the growth of trust
and that sense of protectiveness?
M. Bomer In terms of trust I think that Peter is the first person
in Nealís life that heís really been able to have that with, but I also
think itís an interesting dynamic thatís always kind of liquid between
the two of them given their history and given the fact that Nealís not
really ready to jump over to the other side of the moral spectrum
immediately. Itís something that heís struggling with and itís kind of
his journey on the second half of the first season to figure out if Iím
going to buckle down and be with the FBI or am I going to do whatever I
have to do, legal or not, to find Kate. I think the trust thing is sort
of everything in the relationship, but as opposed to normal
relationships where it can be a little bit more black and white, in this
particular relationship, it can be more liquid. He has more trust for
Peter than heís ever had for anybody else.
T. DeKay As far as the protection that Peter has for Neal, I like
that observation a lot. At first, Peterís protection of Neal was a bit
self-centered. Heís protecting himself because he made that decision to
take this guy out. But as time has gone on heís gotten to know Neal in a
different way and is now protecting him because he sees a great
potential in this guy. Heís protecting him on more than just a
Moderator Our next question is from Troy Rogers,
Deadbolt; please go ahead.
T. Rogers Matt, whatís the most interesting thing youíve learned
so far in the world of con men?
M. Bomer I think the most interesting thing Iíve learned is how
much of it is about just like a good actor does his research on a role
and does all the homework he needs to do to know a character inside and
out, the amount of work that goes into a skilled con artistís game, the
amount of research, the knowledge of the mark and the amount of
confidence it takes to pull it off are all really fascinating to me. The
similarities to the craft of acting are actually fascinating as well.
Moderator Our next question is from Stevie Wilson, L. A. Story;
please go ahead.
S. Wilson Huge White Collar fan here. Iíve been writing about it
for a while. You tend to have very distinct fashion styles. I know this
sounds like a really wild question to ask especially because itís guys
and youíre not usually in charge of your wardrobe. Tim, as an FBI agent,
you seem to be pretty black suit kind of person, FBI kind of guy. How
does the fashion style suit what you actually dress in real life?
T. DeKay I think that Stephanie Maslansky, whoís the costume
designer, and the rest of the wardrobe team do a great job. They put me
in mostly Brooks Brothers suits, a couple Burberry suits. For the most
part they certainly canít be too flashy. We keep pushing the envelope
with ties. Thatís what Stephanie keeps saying. Every time we get too
flashy of a tie we get a note from USA Network.
My immediate reaction to this question is the fact that I love wearing a
suit because I hardly ever wear a suit in real life. And every time I
put on a suit I think I should wear this more often. I like wearing a
suit. It heightens wherever Iím headed to. Thatís why I love putting on
a suit for Peter because it puts me in a different world than my own. I
used to dress up; my dad teases me. He says this showís haunting me
because when I was five years old and I wanted to buy a suit and a
fedora and thereís a picture of me somewhere like that, Iím leaning up
against the coffee table, but kind of in a cool way with my legs crossed
and Iíve got the fedora on. Iím about ready to walk up the street and
ask Julie Buchanan if she wanted to take a walk around the block. This
all just came back to me right now. Thatís where it all began, enjoying
wearing a suit. Even then I was kind of playing this guy who was
certainly not me at five. I donít know if that answers your question.
S. Wilson Matt, can you talk about it?
M. Bomer Iím definitely more of a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy.
For me, Iíve learned a lot from Nealís wardrobe. The fun part for me is
just that it helps me get into the character. When you dress a certain
way especially something as specific as Nealís fascination with the Rat
Pack, sort of the Marcello Mastroianni nicely cut suits with the thin
ties and stuff like that. It just helps me feel like Iím kind of
slipping into the skin of the character and forms the way he moves and
things like that.
I always like to try to make an effort if I have to dress up nice, but
Iíve definitely learned that you get treated a little bit differently
when youíre wearing a suit. Iím definitely trying to make the effort to
dress up a little bit more.
T. DeKay You are trying to do that?
M. Bomer Iím trying. On any given day Iím probably in a T-shirt
and jeans, but --.
T. DeKay Iím trying to do that, too. I think part of it is
because when youíre in New York and the weather is a factor, you can
kind of layer. Maybe Iíll wear this certain kind of overcoat or sweater.
In L.A. itís just what T-shirt, long sleeve or short sleeve.
S. Wilson Coming from L.A. I got that part.
T. DeKay The other thing that Iíve noticed with the wardrobe that
they give Matt is just, Iíll be the first to say it, theyíre going to
trap themselves because he can only wear a certain kind of suit because
it comes from Juneís closet. I was so wrong with that. Itís unbelievable
the variations of suits and ties and outfits that theyíve given Matt to
M. Bomer I think itís so cool.
Moderator Our next question is from Amy and Nancy Harrington of
PopCulture Passionistas. Please go ahead.
A. Harrington You have such great chemistry onscreen we were
wondering what your off screen relationship is like and if you spend a
lot of time hanging out together.
M. Bomer We always have fun and I canít remember a day we have
not been laughing and having a good time. Iím going to go out on a limb
and speak for both of us and say that we both have been in the business
long enough to appreciate what weíve got going on this show and the fact
that we like to work with each other so much and the fact that we have a
network behind us. Thankfully so far people have been watching so I
think we realize; weíre grateful for every day we get to work together.
Thatís certainly how I feel. Itís just been easy and fun from day one
for me. Tim is just a great guy, the kind of actor you feel really safe
working with because he just sort of says yes to whatever you bring to
the table and then goes with it.
T. DeKay Thatís the way I feel about Matt, to be honest with you.
I really do. It is true, but even more importantly, Matt told me that
Iím a good singer. I havenít heard that in a long time. Matt
complimented me; he said that I can hold onto the melody while he
harmonizes, which I never knew was a difficult thing to do. Now I feel
like Iíve got that in my back pocket.
M. Bomer Itís true.
T. DeKay Hereís the thing. You can ask; Iíll speak for both of us
on this one as well, which echoes what Matt is saying. In order to be
able to work with somebody in acting, itís going to sound judgmental and
I hope it doesnít, but youíve first got to think that personís a good
actor before you can enjoy working with them. I guess that goes with the
trust. I like this person, the way they work; I think theyíre a good
actor. Great, that is done now we can just go from there and see what
happens and listen and play together.
M. Bomer Agreed.
Moderator Our next question Lauren Becker, Shooting Stars
Magazine; please go ahead.
L. Becker My question has to do with the character of Neal. Heís
definitely so far a likable bad guy kind of person. I was wondering what
you thought personally about the character of Neal, what you didnít like
and what you do like about him.
M. Bomer I think you always have to be your characterís defense
attorney. As an actor you have to find whatís likable about them and you
have to empathize with them enough that you understand why they do what
they do. I never really judge anything he did, but what I like about the
character was that he wasnít a goody-two-shoes and he didnít just jump
over to the other side of the law and become a good guy. I like the fact
that he struggles with it and that heís human and that he has real
Achillesí heel in terms of his sloppy romantic life. Thatís where he
makes bad decisions. For me those are the really fun parts of the
character to get to play.
T. DeKay Iíve always liked Neal. I think Peter has always liked
Neal. Iím looking through Peterís glasses as well. Iím sometimes jealous
of Neal. Peter can get jealous of that kind of life and sometimes
doesnít understand it. Not jealous that he breaks the law, but jealous
that he has that carefree attitude that he can walk in a place with his
hat on and be free about that. Thereís something that Peter canít quite,
thatís just not in him. He wishes he had it. Peter likes Neal a lot and
I think thatís a big part of what keeps Peter rooting for Neal when
maybe he shouldnít on the surface.
Moderator Our next question is from Icess Fernandez of Writing to
Insanity Blog. Please go ahead.
I. Fernandez My questionís more on the writing side, wanting to
pick your brain as actors. As actors, when you go through the process of
trying to determine what your character is like and trying to get the
back story, could you explain a little bit about how script can inspire
M. Bomer I think your text is everything; itís what informs you;
itís what gives you the given circumstances. Then you take that and you
add your own creativity and your own spin on things and you make it
personal. Thatís what makes that character and that text unique to you,
when you personalize it. I think thatís where your job as an actor comes
in. The text is everything especially in TV, which is really a writerís
T. DeKay I agree. The text and the words simply have to inspire
you. If they donít itís an awful, awful battle that is not fun. If they
inspire you itís great, you fly. If they donít you spend much of your
time justifying what has been written for you. Fortunately thatís not
the case here. The words are great; we get to fly off of them.
I. Fernandez Sounds like youíre super lucky.
M. Bomer We are.
T. DeKay I feel we are.
Moderator Our next question is from Bethanne Henderson,
NiceGirlsTV.com; please go ahead.
B. Henderson Iíve seen the screener for the episode coming up and
I just wanted to know what we can expect out of the rest of the season.
Can you tell us?
M. Bomer Even more car accidents, lots of violence.
T. DeKay A lot of death scenes. I think the Martians come back.
M. Bomer They do. I think the intelligent procedurals continue,
what I like to think of as intelligent procedurals as well as a lot of
character development. In terms of my character, a lot of the stuff is
coming to fruition that happened in the cliffhanger gets ironed out
between me and Peter. Then my character really starts having to make the
decision, is he going to operate for the law or is he going to do
whatever it takes, against the law, operating outside of the legal
system, to find Kate. Thatís his struggle in the second half. He starts
to push those boundaries a little bit more.
C. Fehskens I wanted to hop back in here for a second and let
everyone know that we have time for one more question with both Matt and
Tim before Matt needs to head out. Weíll continue the session with Tim
for the remainder of our time. I wanted to give everyone a heads-up and
we go to our next question.
Moderator Allison Ruppino, PopCultureMadness.com; please go
A. Ruppino I think you all for sharing that Ö story because I ran
to the fire hydrant. I appreciate one other --. I wanted to know because
now the showís airing on a different day and time. Iím so curious about
actors, how they feel when a show switches a day and time, if there was
a particular reason in this case why it did. Even if there wasnít, if it
were due to programming differences, how does that have an effect on
you? Does it become nerve-wracking? Do you get nervous to see how the
showís going to do in a different time slot?
T. DeKay It doesnít become nerve wracking. A lot of that business
stuff and the decisions that come from that certainly come into your
brain. You donít want to hear about it because you know, I know my job
is to be an actor and to be in the show and to play the role. I have to
say itís nice when your boss at the network continues to say theyíre
behind you and they feel that theyíll get more viewers if they move to
Tuesday night instead of Friday. When moves like that are made you feel
that they have great confidence in you. Whenever somebody else has
confidence in you, the person who hired you, you feel they have
confidence in you, it does give you more confidence as well.
M. Bomer I agree and would just say in the hands of another
network it might be worrisome, but I think USA does a really incredible
at marketing their shows and making sure their audience knows that
thereís a time change coming. As an actor itís important to understand
what youíre in control of, as Tim was saying. Thatís our work and
showing up and doing the best we can when the cameras are rolling. The
rest of that stuff we have to trust and leave to the professionals. I
trust that they know what theyíre doing.
Moderator The next question is from Alix Sternberg, TVChick.com;
please go ahead.
A. Sternberg We watched the mid-season finale Ö on a big
cliffhanger and then Ö. I want to know if you have a favorite moment
from shooting the episodes that are upcoming that you could share with
T. DeKay There are so many favorite moments. The scene that I did
with Kate was exciting because it just was very different for Peter. I
think there are some really fun, on the set and with the writers, we
call them Peter/Neal moments where itís just the two of them. Those are
the ones I enjoy greatly. Youíll see Peter go undercover a couple times,
a few times, I think, in the second half of the season. Heís good at it;
not as good as Neal.
A. Sternberg I look forward to it very much. Thank you.
Moderator Our next question is from Kenya Jones, Aced Magazine;
please go ahead.
K. Jones Iím sorry I missed Matt, but that is cool. The showís
doing awesome because itís an awesome show on an awesome network and Iím
really happy for you and proud. You do have time to do other things and
I wanted to ask you about an upcoming project, I believe called
Political Disasters, if youíre able to talk about that or if you wanted
to talk about that at all.
T. DeKay Itís a movie that I shot a good year ago. Itís an
independent film; Iím not quite sure what the release on it will be. I
know that they just finished it up in post. Itís by a very promising
young writer and director. Iím trying to get you some information on
that, but I donít want to say too much because that will be coming out
soon. Itís part of a trilogy that I think is quite good, actually.
Political disasters, natural disasters and I think the other one is
plane disasters; Iím not quite sure.
Iím also producing a film with my brother that my brother wrote. Itís
called The Bride of San Lorenzo. Itís actually a bilingual piece in
Spanish and English that is going to be done. Weíre going to be doing it
in Mexico. Weíre going to try and start that sometime in the next month
or two. Weíre working with a production company right now. Iím working
Political Disasters by Zak Horton should be coming out soon so be
looking for it.
Moderator Kelly Christianson, MattBomerFan.com; please go ahead.
K. Christianson Can you give us a typical day on the set of White
Collar, what you do and everything that goes on.
T. DeKay The typical day starts very early. You get there and you
get your breakfast and then we shoot about anywhere from seven to ten
pages a day. We try to, depending on where we are. Sometimes weíre on
location; sometimes weíre on the set. For the stages we have the FBI
offices, Nealís apartment, Peterís apartment, Peterís home. Sometimes
theyíll build something else as well then everything else is on
location. So half the day we may be on the stages and then the other
half we have to go to some location. Then youíre dealing with these New
Yorkers who want to be part of the movie or some cabbieís mad at you
because youíre taking up his street that heís supposed to be driving
down and weíre not supposed to be shooting. Itís a good, exciting 12 to
Itís gorgeous. Itís amazing how many wonderful locations weíve been to
and how many homes. Every time I walk into one of these homes I just
think really, somebody lives here in what looks like a museum? Itís
astounding how many gorgeous, six-story homes are right in Manhattan,
Moderator The next question comes from Concepcion Allen, Blast
Magazine; please go ahead.
C. Allen I just want to say first of all, as a fan of both White
Collar and your former show, Carnivale, itís really nice to see you back
on network television. I think itís really interesting what you said
about protectiveness. Your character, Jones, in Carnivale, who
coincidentally is very protective of his group, the relationship is kind
of similar with Peterís role with Neal.
Having said that, I think that would, with the cliffhanger that it has,
is there going to be any sort of disruption with the supporting cast as
far as their reaction to what happened, like Mozzie or Elizabeth? Will
they be caught up in --?
T. DeKay Thatís a good question. They will become part of that.
They will become part of, let me say, not to get any spoilers out there,
but theyíll become part of answering that cliffhanger, yes. Thatís a
good question. Everybody gets involved. It becomes a big family affair.
C. Allen Thatís great because I think one of the things about the
show that makes it good is that connection he has with the people in his
life; heís not just contained in his work. I that itís interesting how
he has kind of a darker side, would you say?
T. DeKay Yes. Youíll see, but to that I think all four characters
- Neal, Peter, Mozzie and Elizabeth Ė as the season progresses you see
all four of them mingling together in a certain way. Itís great. I think
itís one of the reasons why the showís so special; itís about the
characters. The writers always write some very smart procedural, but
really, itís about how these characters are going to solve that crime.
Not so much about you want to see the crime solved; you want to see how
theyíre going to solve it.
Moderator Lena Lamoray, LenaLamoray.com; please go ahead.
L. Lamoray How do you think the series would change if roles were
reversed, if Matt played the agent and you played the con man?
T. DeKay How do I think it would fare?
L. Lamoray Yes.
T. DeKay I donít know. Weíve never had that question, I donít
think. When we shot the pilot friends of mine would ask me what I was
doing. I would say Iím shooting a pilot about this con artist who helps
out this FBI agent solve crimes. Most of my friends would say, ďYouíre
playing the con artist, right?Ē It would be interesting. That would be
fun. You just may have given us an idea for an episode where Neal has to
play the FBI agent and Peter has to wear the fedora and be the cool ex
con artist. Who knows.
What do I think would happen? Honestly I think parts of the show would
be very much the same. It would still be Matt and me working together.
You have stumped me on that one. Thatís a good one; Iíll have to think
more about that. One of the reasons I couldnít imagine that is because I
feel that the two of us, the roles fit us, I believe. We certainly enjoy
playing these roles. Iím speechless on that one; Iíll have to think
about that and get back to you.
Moderator Next question is from Stephanie, the Morning Call;
please go ahead.
S. Sigafoos Thereís a scene in Tuesdayís episode where youíre
actually out trap shooting. I wanted to ask Matt how long he practiced
that because we didnít get to really see you do it. Is there anything
coming up at the tail end of the season, anything that sort of takes you
out of your element that Peter attempts to do for the first time? Weíve
seen Neal have a lot of that kind of fun, but not so much Peter.
T. DeKay Peter has to go undercover as a massage therapist,
chiropractor. That was fun. Thereís a bit more action in the second half
of the season, but Iíve always enjoyed doing action. I wanted to do
skeet shooting. Iíd just done it for the first time in Maine this past
summer. I was all ready to show the boys how to do it.
S. Sigafoos Did Matt really take those shots?
T. DeKay No he didnít. Iíll say yes; yes he was amazing.
S. Sigafoos You ratted him out.
T. DeKay No I didnít. Mattís an athlete; heís a good athlete. I
think he used to skeet shoot in Texas. I guarantee you he would have
been able to hit them.
C. Fehskens Dana, we have time for one more question.
Moderator please go ahead.
W Iím really glad I had a question specifically for you. Your
resume is really impressive and you have worked with a lot of really
talented people throughout the span of your career. I was wondering if
there is anyone that stands out to you that you thought would be a good
guest star for White Collar or maybe what role you could see them
T. DeKay Thatís a great question. That is fantastic and I feel
that if I gave you ten people Iíd hang up the phone and say oh, my gosh
I didnít mention this person. This person would have been great, let
alone all the people that I did theater with. Let me answer this. I go
back to actors on Carnivale --.
W Ö play favorites. Itís okay; I wonít tell anyone.
T. DeKay Ö you wonít tell anyone; youíll write it though. It
wonít come out of your mouth; itíll come out of your fingertips onto
W Details, details.
T. DeKay Iím on to you. I play an FBI agent; I know these things.
You canít get that by me.
W Fair enough; I tried.
T. DeKay You did try. There could be scores of people. That would
be a dream of mine to have all these different people that Iíve worked
with come and guest star. That would be a dream.
W Fair enough, Iíll accept that answer.
C. Fehskens Ladies and gentlemen, thatís unfortunately all the
time we have for today. I wanted to thank everybody for joining us and
remind all our participants that transcripts of this call will be
provided within the next 48 hours. Donít miss the return of White Collar
next Tuesday at 10:00, 9:00 p.m. CST, on USA Network and enjoy the rest
of your day, everyone. Thanks again.
AIRDATE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 19
Neal must infiltrate a company of corrupt Wall Street brokers to
preserve his deal with the FBI. When Peter is forced to go undercover
alongside him, a discovery is made that could change their partnership
Series Regulars: Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Willie Garson
& Natalie Morales
Featuring: Sharif Atkins
Guest starring: Alexandra Daddario
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