White Collar stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay as Neal Caffrey and Peter Burke. Together they work with/in the FBI to take down the dastardly white collar criminal element. White Collar season 2 premieres soon – on July 13th.
To prepare, we suggest you read our season 2 episode 1 exclusive advance review (our White Collar season 2 episode 2 review is forthcoming and YES Neal and a lady will be hitting the sheets sans clothing.) Then read this interview the duo gave to bloggers and TV journalists as they ‘gird their loins’ (we’re allowed to quote The Devil Wears Prada every single day, yes!) for season 2 to debut on screens everywhere.
Tim Dekay and Matt Bomer in season 2 of White Collar Ph: USA Network
“My personal life is a source of incredible happiness to me, but it’s just that; it’s personal and I would never – it’s not for me to hock, or shop around to the highest bidder, and plus, it could never live up to the amazing mythology that everyone online has created for me. So, I’ll keep mum about it.” – Matt Bomer
“I don’t know what you’ll – if this weather keeps up, you will see [me] in a wet suit because I will just sweat through everything and you’ll see Peter dripping as he does a walk and talk with Neal.” – Tim DeKay
Matt, how will your character, Neal dealing with Kate’s death?
Matt Bomer: What I think those particular events sort of set in motion this season is that Neal’s big struggle is between doing what’s legally right and what he thinks is just. So his big struggle this season in terms of avenging Kate’s death is whether to do the right thing legally or what he feels is right and just.
Can you talk about the new additions to your cast?
Matt Bomer: Yes,we’re very excited about that. First of all, we have Marsha Thomason back on a regular basis, which is wonderful. She’s a fantastic actress and gorgeous and so great to have on this show. And then we have Hilarie Burton who makes a recurring guest arc this season as sort of — I guess from my character’s eyes, she plays a high class repo man, an insurance repo man, who’s basically out to settle an old score between herself and Neal. So it’s kind of fun and contentious and slightly flirtatious and all those things, hopefully.
So many magazines are featuring you prominently. How does it feel to be the center of the cable universe these days?
Matt Bomer: Well, I don’t perceive myself that way in any light. Thankfully, I’m so busy with work that I don’t have time to process too much of that stuff. But it’s great that people are responding to the show and [Jeff Eastin’s] writing, most importantly, and know we’re hopefully getting the word about our show out there because we work really hard on it, and I speak for myself and Tim and the cast and Jeff when I say that we’re really proud of the stuff we’re working hard to put out there, and thankfully, or hopefully, the word is getting out.
What do you think about the payoffs and quick reveals for the audience on your show?
Matt Bomer: I love that Jeff Eastin answers the question he asked in the first episode, and I agree with you. There were big payoffs and I think Tim and I were both were looking at each other going, “Where are we going to go from here?” But then we did, and now we’re at the mid season finale this season going, “Oh my God! Where are we going to go from here?” So, fortunately we have a great writer in Jeff Eastin who likes to answer the questions he presents pretty concisely and pretty briefly, so I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
Tim and Matt, how do you see Neal and Peter’s relationship kind of shifting and evolving now, especially with the changing dynamics with Kate, and with Mozzie having a little bit bigger role now on the series?
Tim DeKay: I think it’s like any other relationship that changes and evolves, but at the base of it, I just get the feeling that these two care for each other very much, and with that, they’re going to have a good time together. They’re going to be hurt by each other, and are going to possibly not trust each other to greater degrees than previously or lesser degrees than previously. But I think that’s to Jeff Eastin’s credit, in writing a very complex — you know, people have said, “Oh, this is a buddy-cop relationship that these two have.” I think yes, it is. But, I think it’s much more than that and that’s because Jeff Eastin has said, “No, no, no. I want it to be more than that.” And I think he’s written something more than that.
Matt Bomer: I would echo that sentiment and just say yes, it’s about two guys who have a mutual respect for each other, who have a lot of differences but who compensate for each other’s differences in interesting ways, and who always end up, at the end of the day, having a pretty good time together. But the one dynamic that’s always shifting and changing between our relationship and between the series at large is that of trust.
Matt, do you think Neal could take down Bryce Larkin (Chuck) in a fight?
Matt: Oh! Neal could outsmart him, but if you’re talking about a UFC catch match, Bryce would definitely win.
Jeff Eastin recently teased us that you and wonderful co-star Diahann Carroll will be singing this year in one of the episode’s. Has that been shot yet, and can you tell us about it?
Matt Bomer: He teased me too. I’ve heard rumor. It would be an honor. She’s a legend and it’d be really, really fun to get to do something like that. I have no idea if it’s actually going to come to fruition. We still have eight episodes to find out or seven episodes to find out. So I guess as soon as I know, I’ll let you know.
Tim, in episode two of season two, there’s a running gag about you and the mustache. Was this a creation of the writer’s, or did you just show up on day a little fuzzy?
Tim DeKay: Yes, I showed up — that happens a lot. I’ll show up fuzzy and it will inspire people. No. It was completely by Jeff. I honestly think the twisted mind of Jeff Eastin thought, “Oh, I bet DeKay would look goofy with a mustache. Let me write that.”
With all of these plot twists, do you know they’re coming ahead of time or are you kept in the dark until you get the scripts?
Tim DeKay: Jeff Eastin is good in that he’ll tell me a plot twist that’s coming up if he thinks it would be something Peter would know ahead of time, and if it’s something that would be a surprise to Peter, I’ll tell Jeff, “Oh, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.” And then it’s exciting to read it and exciting to play it. This one kind of came up on me, the one for the mid season, only because I think we’ve been so entrenched in shooting these first eight episodes, that when I got the next episode—Oh wow! Oh right, this is the mid season, and then it was a page turner, I have to say.
Matt Bomer: I like not to know unless it’s something that I need to know specifically for how I color a performance, but at the beginning of the year, basically I just talk with Jeff and say, “What’s the overall motivation for Neal for this season?” And then we go from there, and I get pleasantly surprised when I get the script, five minutes before we shoot it.
Matt, the show’s definitely put you out there, have you adjusted to the scrutiny on you and your personal life?
Matt: To be honest with you, I don’t really pay attention to it. My personal life is a source of incredible happiness to me, but it’s just that; it’s personal and I would never – it’s not for me to hock, or shop around to the highest bidder, and plus, it could never live up to the amazing mythology that everyone online has created for me. So, I’ll keep mum about it.
The two of you have great chemistry on screen. What is your relationship like off set?
Matt Bomer: I don’t let Tim look at me, unless we’re shooting.
Tim DeKay: Yes, it’s just better for me, that way I know the rule. Matt will have other production assistants come up to me and remind me, “Mr. Bomer does not want you to make eye contact with him.”
Matt Bomer: Until they call action. No, Tim is actually my life coach. He doesn’t know it, but he is.
Tim DeKay: Oh, likewise.
Matt Bomer: I rely on him for advice and information on life on a seven day a week basis basically.
Tim DeKay: We have a good time.
Matt Bomer: We do.
Tim DeKay: Yes, we have a very good time.
Matt Bomer: There aren’t many days when we’re not laughing pretty hard, so how could we complain?
Tim DeKay: There aren’t. Matt’s the funniest man.
If Pete or Neal were called to testify at a trial and had to be character witnesses for each other, would they do that?
Tim DeKay: It’s going to seem odd, but this is my first instinct and I think I have to go with it. One, [Caffrey, Matts character] is smartest individual I’ve met. And two, [Burke, Tim’s character] one of the most devoted. Yes, he’s one of the — oh my gosh! I think because of this question, I’ve hit something here that I think that Peter sees in Neal; that he respects and adores, for lack of a better word.
Matt Bomer: Oh, s***. We’ve got to do these calls on a more regular basis.
Tim DeKay: Yes. He sees a strong devotion in Neal. And it makes sense. Look how devoted he was to Kate. Look how strong he stayed with Kate and was devoted to her. And if he can do that for her, he can do that for the bureau, and certainly for his friends.
That makes sense. What does Neal think?
Tim DeKay: Peter the player.
Matt Bomer: He’s a player.
Tim DeKay: He’s slept with every single woman in the bureau.
Matt Bomer: One lady to the next, Peter. I would say that Peter is an incredibly intelligent, dedicated, devoted, a family man. I mean, he has the white picket existence that I completely admire and respect and wish that I could have, but don’t really ultimately believe that I can.
Tim DeKay: And Peter’s funny.
Matt Bomer: And he’s funny!
Tim DeKay: And he wears really good ties.
Matt Bomer: And he puts up with my bulls***.
What do you think about Willie Garson as Mozzie having a bigger role this year?
Tim DeKay: It’s great because I just love the relationship of Peter and Mozzie. He’s this nuisance, but we need him every so often, and he’s good to go to. And he’s also one of these guys who goes above and beyond every so often, and Peter hates to say it, but he says thank you to him.
And here’s the other thing about the world of “White Collar” is that even though Mozzie is a conspiracy theorist and there is a combative element between Mozzie and Peter, never, never, never would Peter ever not trust him with — no, let me rephrase this. There isn’t that element of violence, and because that element is not there between certainly Neal and Mozzie and Peter, it gives it great flexibility. It gives that relationship a great flexibility. Peter’s never worrying, “Oh, Mozzie might draw a gun on somebody.” That’s just not there. And because of that, you’ve got much more leeway in the relationship.
Matt Bomer: I think Willie is great and fun and he always brings something extra to the role, and it’s been fun for Neal to get to bridge two worlds that were very different for him in the first season, and to see people who he respects and admires and likes working with in two very different ways, come together and sort of being the intermediary in their dynamic at times, and also watching them get along famously at other times.
Tim, when we will see you in a wet T-shirt?
Tim: I don’t know what you’ll – if this weather keeps up, you will see [me] in a wet suit because I will just sweat through everything and you’ll see Peter dripping as he does a walk and talk with Neal.
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