BWW Interviews: Matt Bomer & Tim DeKay Talk New Season of USA's WHITE COLLAR
Matt, in regards to your new handler, Warren Kole, could you tell us a little bit about how Neal handles this, what's the chemistry like between you, and when are we first going to meet him?
Matt Bomer: Neal's initial reaction to Warren's character Siegel is one of trepidation because he is very by-the-books, by-the-numbers, and he's an agent who's gotten to where he is because he plays by the rules. And that's - it's obviously very threatening to Neal. And Warren did a great job of bringing lots of different aspects to the character and somehow making him charming and entertaining at the same time as Being sort of a paint-inside-the-lines guy.
Tim, could you talk about your relationship and how it will be with this character? Are you friends with him?
Tim DeKay: Well, Peter was - he was concerned about this guy even though he brought him on and felt that he would be right for Neal because he felt that Neal needed somebody with - that could give some Tough Love from a - that has a distance to Neal. Peter thought somebody from outside the New York Division would be better.
But there were some - there was trepidation as well on Peter's part because with that, with handing over the reins, he no longer get to, you know, no longer gets awry. And that's something Peter was going to miss. But as Matt said, I thought Warren did a fantastic job playing the role, and was able to find the right tenor for what was needed on our show and the kind of genre that we have.
Peter doesn't necessarily trust Neil still, but it's a different kind of not trusting I think than early on in the relationship.
It's huge moment for Peter to recognize Neal going off anklet and even responding because at one point in the relationship it would have been cut and dry. He wants off the anklet, he's going back to prison, no Bones about it.
But, you know, this relationship has grown in such a way where Peter knows, for the most part, where Neal was coming from. But to address your, you know, your question of trust, I still maintain that if Peter ever implicitly trusts Neal about anything, I think then the relationship and the show for that matter takes a very sharp turn, and I think we lose a great tension if that trust is complete - is gained completely.
Your series is popular all over the world. What is that like for you guys to realize that your show has had that kind of impact and what is it about the show that brings people in to watch it?
Tim DeKay : Well, I can certainly speak to how it feels to know that the show is welcome in many parts of the world. It's wonderful. I love it when I'm in New York or filming in New York and somebody from another country comes up and starts talking about an episode or is, you know, is complimentary to the show. I just - I think it's great that there's something about this relationship between the, you know, the cool criminal and the lawmen that is so universal.
Yes, I had a really pivotal moment when we were filming a scene in Central Park this season and in between I was trying to take some time to visit with some fans and take pictures and things, and it was like a map of the world between the pictures I was taking. One couple would be from Japan, the next was from Italy, the next was from Amsterdam. And it just went on and on.
And it was a really profound moment for me in terms of, you know, things you learn to appreciate as a show continues on into a fifth season, is that, you know, there's something the writers have created and helpfully we have too in the relationships and the characters that does transcend cultural or idiosyncratic bounds of one country or another and seems to relate to a lot of different people.
And then of course the second place in my mind was, where are my foreign residuals?
I'm kidding. It was a really great moment to - a moment that made - reminded me of how grateful we should all be to be there on the show, because it meant a lot to get that kind of response from all these different places.
Neal and Peter have basically switched places for all intents and purposes. We've got Peter in the orange jumpsuit, he's locked up, Neal is out. How does that play out? What was it like for both of you, both as actors and as the characters to be in those opposite roles?
Matt Bomer: Yes. There was a moment when we were filming a scene in the prison and I saw Tim in an orange jumpsuit, you know, clearly complete role reversal and the coin Being flipped. And I found that really interesting. Neal can obviously relate in many ways. He has a real sense of responsibility about everything that's transpired, even though his father was largely responsible. He's certainly feeling the weight of that as well.
And as someone who's been where Peter is, I think that resonates with him even more, and makes him dig even deeper into his bag of tricks to figure out how to fix it. Like a typical guy, he wants to fix everything. And...
And from an actor's perspective, I guess it wasn't terribly different because we had - I guess it was just more surreal for me personally because we had filmed the opposite side of the coin before, so, first of all, Tim looks great in orange. Fantastic color for him. And secondly, you know, it was a bit of a - it was a trip to see him on the other side of things and see how he handles it.
And of course he's such a great actor that I was just watching him planning on what I would steal in the next ten hours (in orange). Well, it was a trip to - I wish that - I wish that actually we explored that for a longer period of time even.
Tim DeKay: Me too. I think that was - but, you know, story-wise we couldn't, but I thought that would have been interesting had we kind of stretched it out a bit longer.
You had that great scene in the premiere where Peter basically acknowledges that he doesn't have the objectivity anymore to keep an eye on Neal. Were you glad to see him take that moment and have that speech? Do you think it was a humbling moment for Peter at all?