Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay should always do their interviews together: this is the consensus of just about anyone who is lucky enough to corner the pair (in a previously established time and date) to ask them some questions. Our TV blog, Small Screen Scoop, was just that lucky – and participated in a conference call for the two USA network stars of White Collar. Here’s a hint: if you aren’t watching this show already, you need to get on board as fast as you can.
White Collar returns on January 18th, 2011 to USA Network with the episode “Burke’s Seven.”
Bomer and DeKay talked about so much, but even more fun was what they ended up SINGING. So, let’s dig in. I’ll be adding in tons of notes for you dutiful readers.
What guest stars will be in the second part of White Collar season 2?
M. Bomer: We have Andrew McCarthy.
T. DeKay: Andrew McCarthy, of course, yes, and that’s been in TV Guide so that’s— (Editor’s Note: It seemed like DeKay was going to say “that’s something we can legally say without causing a major spoiler. They were both very hesitant with this question, and with good reason! Plus, it can’t be easy to remember everything. I have trouble remembering what I ate yesterday.)
M. Bomer: – Who plays sort of Neal’s mentor from the past who taught him a lot about both creating his persona and he taught him a lot of hard lessons as well. I’ll leave it at that.
We have Paul Blackthorne. We have Billy Dee Williams who is in a really fun episode with Diahann Carroll. He plays somebody from June’s past who comes back and is sort of a glimpse into the world Neal would have if he continued on a more crooked path. Ross McCall is back. Adam Goldberg is in it.
(Editor’s Note: Billy Dee Williams is an American legend. He’s an actor, artist, singer, and writer best known for his work in Star Wars. He was a classmate of Diahann Carroll at Manhattan’s School of Performing Arts, and they both went on to play husband and wife in the 80’s TV hit Dynasty. Williams, Carroll and Bomer have a special musical moment later on in White Collar season 2!)
T. DeKay: I was just going to say Adam. Yes, Adam plays a great role in this as well.
M. Bomer: Gloria is back and we have Richard Shipp.
T. DeKay: Hilarie is back.
(Editor’s Note: So many fans openly dislike Burton’s character of Sara, but Bomer talked about both Hilarie and Sara with great love later on in the call. Sara also has a great bit in the episode that returns on January 18th! Do you guys remember the characters Dean and Bela on Supernatural in the ghost ship episode? It reminded me of that a bit.)
How do you maintain your friendship?
T. DeKay: We go to therapy once a week.
M. Bomer: Couples therapy.
T. DeKay: Yes. It really—
M. Bomer: It’s worth it.
T. DeKay: It is.
M. Bomer: We meet our deductible pretty quick and from there on out it’s just a co-pay and it’s worth it.
T. DeKay: Because we’re both in the union, so that helps.
M. Bomer: That helps. That’s good. (Editor’s Note: Serious mode time!) I think Tim is inherently a generous person and very generous of spirit and he brings a real sense of play to the work. I try to do the same. I know he lifts me up on my off days and—
T. DeKay: Oh, and you lift me up on my off days. No, listen, we have a blast. We have fun together, but in the end, we respect each other.
M. Bomer: Yes.
T. DeKay: I mean as far as the work is concerned. It’s just like any other relationship, if you don’t have that, then there is no ground to it.
M. Bomer: As much as the trust dynamic is liquid between Peter and Neal, I think Tim and I pretty much trust each other.
T. DeKay: Yes. Yes, that’s good. Therein lies a big difference.
Matt, you were fantastic singing at the Kennedy Honors. Are you going to be singing this season?
M. Bomer: Yes. I do sing with Diahann and Billy Dee in that episode. It was an incredibly surreal moment.
T. DeKay: Yes, it was a great moment. It’s one of those moments on the set where— Matt has sung before—fun singing around the set, just being goofy—but when he and Diahann sang that song everybody on set just got quiet because we had to rehearse it. The whole crew just went into a spontaneous applause. It was just one of those moments like, “Oh, wow, that’s neat.” Then Billy Dee Williams at the piano doing an amazing job faking it.
M. Bomer: He’s the best fake piano player I’ve ever seen in my life. He had such a look of just unconditional support when he would look up at me when I was singing and it really bolstered me. I wish that I could take him everywhere with me when I sing.
T. DeKay: And fake the piano.
M. Bomer: Diahann is amazing; I mean she’s a legend. He’ll fake the piano and the real pianist will be offstage. Diahann is obviously a legend and incredible and it was a real honor to get to sing with her.
The working relationship between Peter and Neal is sort of an unusual one at best. Do you think this sort of relationship could actually exist within the FBI?
T. DeKay: Well, because of my technical consultant, Tom Barton, he has expressed to both Jeff Eastin and me certainly relationships like this, to the extent that the CI or Criminal Informant just comes into the house and pours a bowl of cereal. I don’t know if it goes that far, but Tom certainly has talked about how he’s received Christmas cards from people in prison that he’s worked with. That’s where Jeff’s inspiration came from. Who knows, maybe there is a relationship like that out there.
How does it feel to be involved in such a big mystery around the show especially in terms of the status of Mozzie?
T. DeKay: Usually there are two questions people ask me about the show it’s, “What’s Mozzie’s fate?” and, “What’s going on with the music box?” It’s exciting. I feel like I keep giving the same answer of “Oh, you won’t be disappointed, let me tell you—” It’s very difficult. You want to answer it for these people, at least I do, so it’s difficult to evade that question all the time. I’ll be glad when it airs.
M. Bomer: Yes, I feel like we’re always sort of dancing around the secrets involved with the mythology of the show and that’s fun. That’s a fun aspect of it. Jeff is always outdoing himself as a writer and every time we get the mid-season finale or the finale script, we always look at each other and go, “Really?” He’s almost like the writing equivalent of the guy at the party who takes the joke one step too far, but then that night you think about the joke and you realize it was actually really profound and kind of amazing.
T. DeKay: Exactly.
M. Bomer: He’s incredible that way. He’s always surprising us. I don’t like to know too far ahead of time what’s going to happen because I like the element of surprise as well. Then I also don’t have to dance around the mystery quite as long.
Can you kind of talk about how you both got started working on White Collar?
(Editor’s note: No matter how often these two are asked to recount an early story like this, they always manage to tell the story with such great affection for it all. Can we ever be sick of seeing such great friends talk about the start of their working relationship? It’s an rare bond you don’t see with all leads.)
T. DeKay: Well, Mattie was first.
M. Bomer: I went into a room and met with Jeff Eastin and auditioned and then had to test twice for it. Jeff Eastin thankfully was in my corner from the get-go and stuck by me. We hashed it out and thankfully, I got the job.
T. DeKay: You had the job for a while, didn’t you?
M. Bomer: I did. I had it for—I don’t know—maybe a month or so before I met you.
T. DeKay: Right, usually it happens faster than that. At the time, I was doing the New Adventures of Old Christine, doing a recurring on that. I got a call to do a chemistry read. I was excited because I thought, “I think I skipped a step there”, which was good, as opposed to just going in and auditioning. Then I went to the casting director’s office and Matt was there in the waiting room and we chatted then and—
M. Bomer: I told him I was a huge fan of his work…Both stage and screen.
T. DeKay: I thought, “Oh, this guy certainly has great taste,” and I thought, “All right, well, this should be fun,” and went in there and as I’ve said many times as soon as we read the scene I thought, “Holy bleep, don’t screw this up, Tim, because this could be something really special.”
M. Bomer: I just remember it being so incredibly fun. There were a lot of great actors that came in to read that day, but it was so fun with you. I think we’d both been around the block in TV enough to know that we were going to be working long hours together and that this should probably be really fun.
T. DeKay: Yes.
M. Bomer: Tim was amazing. I knew from the second we did the scene that he was going to be the guy.
T. DeKay: The thing was I also felt that good writing shows a lot of different layers and certainly, Jeff’s does. There was a strong heart to this show that I was concerned that they didn’t want to turn their backs to—that Jeff and company wanted to make sure that that stayed strong throughout the show, throughout the pilot and it did. That was something that came out in the audition. I thought, “Oh, these guys—” because at the bottom of it they really like each other.
M. Bomer: Yes.
T. DeKay: Then there were all these tests and you sit in the waiting room and you see other guys who are reading and you think, “Oh, he’s going to get it. He’s my idea for the role.”
M. Bomer: Yes.
T. DeKay: You play all those crazy, stupid games. You know what, I have to admit, I didn’t play that game with this show.
(Editor’s note: Has DeKay admitted that before? It’s interesting that with each recounting of this story they get more comfortable in what they’ll confess. It’s interesting, as a non-actor, to know what the mind of someone auditioning is like, isn’t it? Even the pro’s! Hell, especially the pro’s. But what’s interesting is that both DeKay and Bomer felt they owned the role, and when you truly believe it, it works out sometimes and you are proven right. There’s a bit of hope for you all!)
M. Bomer: I didn’t either. I mean, I was nervous as hell, but I think I just went into to have as much fun as possible.
T. DeKay: Yes, exactly.
How maybe would you like to see things change? Not necessarily on set so much, but just even with the development of your characters.
T. DeKay: I don’t know. That’s a tough one.
M. Bomer: I don’t really feel like much has changed for me personally other than it’s great to have the support of fans who are interested in the stories we’re all trying to tell, which is amazing and a great feeling. In terms of character, now that we’re starting to really put a lot of major story arcs to bed, I would love to dip into Neal’s past a little bit more and maybe see some of his family members come into play and see what kind of conflicts that brings up between he and Peter. I wouldn’t mind seeing him be a little bit of a man-whore, to use a little bit of the James Bond tactics to maybe do whatever it takes to solve the case.
T. DeKay: I feel as far as character, I think Jeff and the writers have met everything that I had hoped for. The big story arc with the music box was something that I didn’t expect or even see. I find it wonderful. I too, would like to delve into some more of Peter’s background and we did an episode where Jeff and I both went to the University and got into both Peter’s and Neal’s background.
M. Bomer: Oh, yes, your blue collar upbringing—
T. DeKay: Yes.
M. Bomer: (SINGS) —in a White Collar world.
T. DeKay: (Editor’s Note, the Official Transcript has omitted something here that you cannot miss! Tim followed up Matt’s singing by adding, “Tuesdays at 10!) Those are fun because what it comes down to is I think the more Peter and Neal know about each other actually it strengthens and lengthens the relationship because these two just love to dig. Peter would love to meet a family member of Neal’s. He’d love to sit down and get to know his mom or dad or brother or sister.
M. Bomer: I could go on and on with my ideas, but I think the great thing about having somebody like Jeff at the helm is that you know whatever it is, it’s going to be fun and interesting and well written. You get what you get and you don’t get upset.
T. DeKay: Yes, but we had to look for something. Like Jeff answers it. I mean it’s one of the most exciting moments of the week is to crack open that next script.
M. Bomer: Yes. To crack open a cold one and then crack open that next script.
T. DeKay: Try not to pour that cold one on that script.
M. Bomer: There might be a ring here or there.
(Editor’s Note: Both laughed like they were sharing an inside joke and duly amused with each other. The joke might have something to do with an early season 2 episode where Neal and Mozzie had to make something look ‘read.’ The inside joke could also be something totally different.)
The show started with a focus on Peter and Neal, but now it’s a bit more of an ensemble piece. Do you enjoy working with your co-stars more frequently?
T. DeKay: I certainly do and yet I like that in the end that it’s about Peter and Neal; that’s the base of it. I love it when Elizabeth gets involved with a case and I love that Diana is back and working on the case. She adds such an intelligence to it.
M. Bomer: Yes and a sexiness.
T. DeKay: I love that Jones is involved more and that Peter and Mozzie have found a way to dance together.
M. Bomer: Yes. I think it makes the day really fun and it has added a lot to the show. It opens up a lot more relationships and we get to work with Hilarie, who brings so much to the table, and Gloria who’s relationship is so different than that of Neal and Peter’s. It breaks things up. It’s more of a window into the character when you see how they behave with a lot of different people. It’s kind of fun to get to explore those relationship dynamics. At the end of the day, for me it always is fun just to kind of come back to home base and do a nice Peter and Neal walk and talk down the streets of New York.
What show on USA Network would make for a good crossover?
T. DeKay: I think my immediate response goes to Royal Pains because it’d just be nice to go out to the Hamptons for a few days. Then again, it would be nice to go down to Miami and shoot some things in Miami.
M. Bomer: Yes, I think Burn Notice would be a really natural fit just because of the worlds that our characters live in and inhabit, but to be honest with you I love all the shows they have. It would be really fun and an honor to get to work with on any of them—to cross over on any of them.
T. DeKay: It’d be fun to do some World Wide Wrestling as well.
M. Bomer: Well, yes, I mean that goes without saying.
T. DeKay: Yes.
M. Bomer: Tim, you’re about to get us into a tag team wrestling match.
T. DeKay: I can you just see me reaching over the ring, “Tag me, tag me, come on.”
M. Bomer: Peter and Neal’s trust dynamic, WWE Wrestling.
Is there backstory we’re learning that also surprised you or didn’t match up with what you had thought was true?
T. DeKay: For me there was not anything that didn’t match up. No.
M. Bomer: I think for me the way I met Mozzie and the way we sort of came to become friends was pleasantly surprising. I thought for some reason that maybe we’d gone back a little bit farther than that, but it was fun. Getting to see Willie in several different toupees and facial hair arrangements was sort of the highlight of that episode for me, one of many highlights of that episode.
T. DeKay: Yes, and he said he brought them out from his closet and let production use his old toupees.
M. Bomer: Yes, shake out that toupee and put it on a Styrofoam head and tuck it under his arm and bring it on into work.
The premiere opens the door to Neal’s past. How do you feel about opening that big curtain to see his beginnings of the con and how do you think that’s going to really affect Peter and Neal? Is Peter going to be shocked?
M. Bomer: Well, it’s the second episode back. I think for me it was so interesting and amazing that Jeff was able to squeeze so much into one hour of TV. I think he was smart in that it’s a lot of really nice little glimpses into the past or enough snippets to sort of piece together where he came from and why he is who he is. The nice thing about it is it also leaves the door open for a lot more flashbacks to fill in a lot of holes.
T. DeKay: Yes, there was something Jeff said. I don’t know if I can make a direct quote, but he said, yes there are some big answers that were given in this flashback and just also tastes of the past, as Matt said, that allow us to do more flashbacks. I think that’s Jeff’s intention.
What spoilers can you tell us?
(Editor’s Note: There was such a long moment of silence it felt like an entire minute. Which says a lot about what spoilers they can say. It was inherently comical. And then it got even funnier when Tim and Matt decided to speak up…)
M Bomer: (SINGING) Here we go again on our own… (Editor’s Note: This is also omitted from the official transcript, but was one of the best moments of the call not just because it was hilarious, but because Bomer sings so damn well.)
T. DeKay: You can expect commercials every 15 to 18 minutes. I don’t know. What can you expect? Just more fun. That sounds incredibly intelligent and insightful, doesn’t it?
M. Bomer: I think I can safely say that a lot of really big storylines that we’ve been exploring over the past couple of seasons really get brought to a head and closure on a lot of things. We get a glimpse into a lot the characters’ pasts and see why they are who they are and how they got that way. We get to see, as usual, sort of a liquid trust dynamic between Peter and Neal. Then obviously also we get some resolution to Mozzie’s incident relatively quickly.
T. DeKay: We do and I think that Jeff and the writers came up with a fantastic, creative, exciting way to have that happen.
M. Bomer: Yes. All I can say is that in the last episode of the season I never—I mean, if you locked me in a padded room for five years and made me continually guess where this season was going to end I never would have come up with this. It was astounding and amazing and surprising and incredibly fun where—
T. DeKay: You’re talking about the very, very, very last scene?
M. Bomer: Yes.
M. Bomer: The last scene in the last episode in general.
T. DeKay: Yes, when I read the last episode I did everything I could not to call my wife, my dad, just—“You won’t believe this. This is incredible,” but I didn’t want to do that because then they would just bug me and say, “Well, what is it? What is it? What is it?” So I didn’t, but yes. Yet, Jeff and the writers were able to shut the lid on the music box—no pun intended—and within one second turn around and open up this other one that just was astounding. I don’t know, maybe I’m setting the bar too high.
M. Bomer: No.
T. DeKay: The last episode is really boring, really boring. Let’s set it low. If we set the bar really low people will be happier. Does that make sense?
M. Bomer: Sure. I’m with you. I got your back.
We have Hilarie back in the season premiere, so I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how Neal and Sara’s relationship is going to develop this season. What’s it like having this challenging female character to play off?
M. Bomer: I think it’s fantastic. She brings so much to the role. She’s the real deal.
T. DeKay: Yes.
M. Bomer: She’s gorgeous, and she’s in it, and she has brought this amazingly intelligent, challenging, super Type-A character to life that Neal finds really intriguing and ultimately on some level I think wants to tame.
T. DeKay: Oh, I like that. Oh, that is good.
M. Bomer: It’s a really fun dynamic to get to play with her and she’s such a great actress. It’s really kind of moment to moment with her, which is always fun and keeps me on my toes. Yes, and she’s gorgeous to boot; a really, really great girl. We have a lot of fun stuff that we get to do with each other and their relationship will grow and there will be a lot of tension there, maybe a little sexual frustration and then maybe some sexual frustration release; I don’t know. I’m just saying maybe.
What was it like filming your series on location in New York City?
T. DeKay: It’s amazing. I’ve been asked before if this show could be shot somewhere else where would it be and I don’t have an answer because I’ve never been on a show where the location, the city, is so much of a character. If we shot it somewhere else, it’s as if you’d recast it and this is a character driven show and you couldn’t recast it.
You couldn’t shoot it anywhere else. It’s just a blast to be in the city. We shoot quickly. We shoot in seven days for one episode so we are moving. We are shooting so that we can get a great angle. Russell Fine is fantastic that way. He’s the director of photography and the directors are with him to they make sure we get some gorgeous building in the background for whatever location we find ourselves on.
We shoot that and then we move on. We’re at some Gramercy Park the first half of the day and the second half of the day we’re on some dock down at the Bowery. It’s beautiful. I’ve seen parts of New York I never thought I would see.
M. Bomer: Yes. It’s a dream come true. To get to work in New York and see so many amazing locations and interact with New Yorkers in many ways and be a part of such an amazingly metropolitan energy that I think adds a lot to the show. I think it’s the way we shoot the show. As well as the way Russell Fine shoots the show is a real celebration of New York.
New York is this gritty place filled with alleys, which there aren’t really alleys in New York City. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble on that, but the way Russell shoots the show is we look up at the city and we sort of celebrate the architecture and the people and the blue sky and the sunshine that’s going on above the buildings as well.
How much of what goes on in a show do you think you could get away with in real life?
M. Bomer: I test my boundaries quite a bit, but nowhere near the level at which Neal does. I would venture to say about 5% of what I get away with on the show.
T. DeKay: You get away with in real life.
M. Bomer: Yes, about 5%.
T. DeKay: So you only steal 5% of what Neal does?
M. Bomer: I only pickpocket 5% of the people in Neal does. I only steal 5% of the art Neal does.
T. DeKay: Right, which isn’t bad.
M. Bomer: But the great thing is I only get caught 5% of the time, which is why I’m calling from a prison phone.
T. DeKay: Right, right.
M. Bomer: That’s not funny.
T. DeKay: Anybody have any more quarters?
Jessica Ree: You guys are great friends, and I don’t know if you are aware of this, but you’re incredibly insightful about each other. I would like to flip the tables a little bit and ask Matt – what question that you think we should be asking Tim right now?
M. Bomer: This is going to be general and I apologize, Tim, but I’d say what’s your favorite thing about Peter Burke. What’s something about Peter that no-one would guess?
T. DeKay: My favorite thing about Peter Burke is that he has to nearly contain his giddiness when he’s on a case that takes a lot of synapses moving. He just loves it. That keeps him going. I’ve said it before, there is almost a little disappointment when the case is solved. Almost a little bit.
(Editor’s Note: Whenever Tim DeKay is answering interview questions, it sounds like he’s really affording a lot of thought to each sentence ((not in a slow way, but in an affectionate way)), and the tone of his voice changes into this incredibly warm, thoughtful way of speaking.
Now, I had plenty of more questions I could ask this pair. Are you kidding? Tons. But because these two are such good friends I thought it was be an interesting risk to see what they’d know or think of to ask each other. After all, they know each other more than I know them. Time was seriously running out, and it’s hard to be put on the spot, so Tim’s question to Matt wasn’t as serious as Matt’s was – but it was very funny.)
M. Bomer: I love it.
T. DeKay: Yes, because he just loves the chase. He loves it, loves it and loves it with Neal because there is a part of him that would love to go to that side, but knows he can’t. So it’s okay with him just to watch it and every once in a while somewhat dip his foot in that pool.
Then what was the second question?
M. Bomer: What’s something about Peter that people wouldn’t guess that you don’t mind sharing?
T. DeKay: Oh.
M. Bomer: Well you kind of did in that answer as well.
T. DeKay: Yes, I think so.
M. Bomer: Yes, you answered both my questions with one answer. You must teach me this trick.
T. DeKay All right. My turn to ask Neal?
Jessica Rae: To ask Matt, yes. what is a question that you want to ask of him? Put him on the spot!
(Editor’s Note: Isn’t it cute when actors slip up and call their co-stars by their character names?)
T. DeKay: If Neal were a flower, which—?
M. Bomer: It would be a poisonous flower.
T. DeKay: But a beautiful one.
M. Bomer: It would lure you in and then it would be poisonous.
T. DeKay: But poisonous only for—
M. Bomer: Only for specific—not a broad spectrum poison, only a very specific poison.
T. DeKay: Right, that isn’t necessarily lethal, but would—
M. Bomer: Make you trip out for a couple of days?
T. DeKay: Yes.
M. Bomer: Sort of like a peyote flower.
What are you singing on the show, Matt?
M. Bomer: We are singing One For My Baby and One More For the Road.
Given what happens in the last minutes of the first episode coming back from break, is it fair to say that Andrew McCarthy is going to play a kind of large role for the rest of the season?
M. Bomer: Yes.
(Editor’s Note: This is a short, one-word answer. But Bomer can’t say too much. After you see “Burke’s Seven” you’ll have more insight into what this means for the show.)
Do you watch yourselves on White Collar and other shows, or do you say, “Oh no I hate that, I’m not going to watch that.”
T. DeKay: I don’t like it, but I think I’ve come to learn for myself at least that it is an education for yourself as an actor, at least for me, to watch the stuff. We’ve got to come back to it. I’ve got to come back to Peter and if I’m watching it and saying, “Oh, okay this works, that doesn’t work.” Because it’s such a group effort this filming, so, “I see they edited the scene that way so that was their intent for this scene. Oh I was right about that. I saw which way they wanted the scene to go and I was right,” and then sometimes you think, “Oh, I missed it on that. This is how they wanted the scene to be seen more than—” in a different way than I did. I’m not crazy about watching myself, but I feel I have to.
M. Bomer: It fluctuates for me as well. I watched the first season really intently because the learning curve was so steep and so much of that first season was a lot of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what worked and what didn’t and what could I learn as an actor. What part of the character that I was trying to bring out was working and coming through and what wasn’t, but I don’t like to watch myself at all. I try to just do it intermittently when it’s something that I can—it’s not an aesthetic thing or anything it’s just I’m really hard on myself. Sometimes it’s more difficult to watch myself. Every now and again I’ll think, “Oh, let me check it out,” but generally I don’t like to watch myself at all.
I have a question for Tim about your horseback riding in the return episode that we see. Is that something you’ve done before, or was it just on the moment this is what you’re going to do in this episode?
T. DeKay: No, I’ve done that before. I don’t know what the final cut is, but there was a lot of running the horse through Central Park. I used to ride when I was younger from like the age of eight until I went to college, but then I hadn’t ridden for about 20 years. I knew the episode would be riding so they were nice enough to say, “Let’s go out to upstate New York and you can ride and just—as the saying goes—get back on the saddle.” I did and it was great. The next day I could barely get out of bed my legs were so sore.
M. Bomer: I remember seeing you hobble down the hall.
T. DeKay: Oh, I know it. Oh, my inner thighs—they were just killing me. I’ll cut to the day we’re shooting, I also had a bit of a cold coming on so there was just this moment where I realized, “Okay, I should take something for my cold,” because I was a bit stuffed up, “and I also should probably take something for my thighs because they were killing me.” I took everything at the same time and there was a moment where I was on the horse and they were about to say action and I had to run the horse under a bridge up over this hill. I was so woozy I thought oh this— I did everything I could just to stay on it. I thought for sure the medicine was just going to knock—I thought I was just going to pass out right on the horse.
M. Bomer: Thank goodness Pippin knew his blocking.
T. DeKay: That was the name of the horse, Pippin.
M. Bomer: I couldn’t tell you were on medication at all. I thought you looked great riding it.
T. DeKay: Oh, well, thanks, but I thought that Peter would have a horse—I don’t know—like Luke or Lightning, Trigger or Chestnut—something, but Pippin?
For Tim, you had a great con episode and when you see the chance to sort of tables turned, how did you feel about being the con man and of course ”Burke’s Seven” is great and I hope to see more of that.
T. DeKay: Thank you, I felt great about that. That goes back to that question Matt asked me. Peter gets giddy and it means that he gets to go to the other side for a little while, aw, that’s a blast. Certainly as an actor, whenever you can go not just one step into the imagination, but in essence two steps into the imagination, when your character plays a character, that’s even more fun as well. In the end that’s what we love to do as actors is just dive into the world of pretend.
It was a hoot. You will see more of that. I think with everybody—and that also goes back to the relationships that are strengthening with the other characters—we all are jumping into a lot of different arenas. I think it makes for some good story telling.
If you guys were going to do a duet together, what would you sing?
M. Bomer: You have all the song books, so you’d have to really dig in there. To me it’s very occasion specific because we do weddings, we do bar mitzvahs.
T. DeKay: Yes, we’d be more than happy to sing some for you, but our booking agent would not be happy.
M. Bomer: No, no.
T. DeKay: What song could we sing—would we sing? I can’t sing today. What’s that song “Wherever he goes, whatever he—” Do you know that one?—“we’ll always go through it together.”
M. Bomer: Oh, I like that.
T. DeKay: “We may not go far, but sure as a star—”
M. Bomer: I don’t know the song, but I love the sentiment.
T. DeKay: Yes, it’s a great one. That one comes to mind.
M. Bomer: I like that. I’ll go with that.
What actors you’d like to work with in the future?
T. DeKay: Every time I’m asked this question I feel awful because I have a list of about 25 people, be it names that you would know and then names that maybe you wouldn’t know, but are great actors that I know from theater or even way back in school. So, to give you two, my thought goes immediately to, “Oh, that’s going to be printed and I didn’t give them this name. Oh, I hope this person doesn’t read that because I’d love to work with them.”
M. Bomer: Yes. I agree with Tim on that. There are a lot of great actors out there regardless of their recognizability or desirability who would be great on the show. We’re open to anybody who wants to come play ball and have fun with us. I do have to say—I have to put it out there—if someone is going to play my dad I think Powers Boothe would be really good.
T. DeKay: Oh yes.
M. Bomer: But that’s just me, what do I know?
In light of this next new episode that we have coming up do you guys think that Peter is more understanding or appreciating of the art of the con and is Neal seeing more of the wisdom of doing things legally?
M. Bomer: I hope so. I mean I think that’s sort of the long-term trajectory certainly in Neal’s character, is starting to see the benefit that his expertise has in helping the FBI and helping better people’s lives. The great thing about Jeff Eastin’s writing is usually when you think it’s going to go one way you never know what could happen next. I think he is, but I think there is a part—one of his feet is still planted somewhat firmly in the world that skirts the law or the typical moral parameters of getting what you want.
T. DeKay: Joe, that’s a great question. Really, that’s the crux of the show. I mean that balance going back and forth on that line is—that’s what we hope to keep the show living for many seasons.
M. Bomer: My dad used to—whenever we were fishing he used to say, “Keep your line taut so the fish will bite.” I feel like between Neal and Peter the line always has to be taut. It can never be somebody comfortable, inherently trustful dynamic between them. There is always that tension of the poker game. What are you going to do next? What cards do you have and what are you going to play? Are you going to go the right way this time? Are you going to take your own road?
T. DeKay: Yes, it’s true. To keep that with a poker game, they can be at the table having a beer together and enjoy it, but that tension is always there—always.
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