Home > Interviews > WHITE COLLAR’s Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay on wet t-shirts and the show’s 2nd year

WHITE COLLAR’s Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay on wet t-shirts and the show’s 2nd year

by Jim on July 13, 2010 · 0 comments

Matt Bomer's Entertainment Weekly pictures are still steaming up the web.

One of the hottest actors to burst onto the television scene last year was Matt Bomer, who stars in the USA crime drama series White Collar. As the dapper and sexy Neal Caffrey, Bomer’s con-artist alter ego gets an early release from jail to work with FBI’s Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay) and while the weekly cons and capers are part of the appeal of the show, Bomer’s stunning blue eyes and often-seen ripped physique definitely is something worth tuning in for. (If you’re not a believer, check out the wet t-shirt photos he recently did for Entertainment Weekly! With the second season kicking off this week, Bomer and DeKay took calls from journalists wanting to know about where the show is heading and the relationships of their characters while I tried to get Bomer to open up about his personal life.

Jim Halterman:  Matt, the show’s definitely put you out there and everybody kind of knows who you are now.  Have you adjusted to the kind of scrutiny on you and your personal life through all this?

Matt Bomer: To be honest with you, I don’t really pay any attention to it.  My personal life is a source of incredible happiness for 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.

Bomer with co-star Tim DeKay on WHITE COLLAR (photo courtesy of USA)

JH: With a lot of these plot twists that come up anywhere in this season, do you guys always know they’re coming ahead of time so you can play that, or are you guys kind of in the dark too as well?

Tim DeKay: [White Collar creator] 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.

MB: 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.

Question: I just was wondering, so many of my magazines coming in the mail these days have you on the cover or featured very prominently.  How does it sort of feel to be the center of the cable universe these days?

MB: 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’s writing, most importantly, and know we’re hopefully getting the word about our show out there because we work really hard on it. 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.

The cast of White Collar: DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Bomer and Willie Garson

Question: Tim, when are we going to see you in a wet t-shirt ….

TD: If this weather keeps up, you will see Tim 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. [NOTE: White Collar films in New York where hot and humid weather has been the norm lately]

Question: What it’s like having Willie [Garson, who plays Mozzie and is known for playing Stanford from Sex and the City] in more scenes and working with Peter.

TD: 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. 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 [but] 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.

MB: 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.

Question: What do you think about the payoffs and I guess the quick reveals for the audience?

MB: I love that Jeff Eastin answers the question he asked in the first episode. 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.

Question: How do you see Neal and Peter’s relationship kind of shifting and evolving now, especially with kind of the changing dynamics with Kate [Neal’s girlfriend who was killed in the first season finale] and even with Mozzie having a little bit more of a role now?

TD: 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. 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.

MB: 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.

Question: Matt, Jeff Eastin teased that you and your fabulous co-star, Diahann Carroll, would be singing on an episode this season. Has it already been shot and what can you tell us about it?

MB: 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.

White Collar’s second season premiere kicks off Tuesday at 9/8c on the USA Network.

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