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BWW Interviews: Treat Williams Talks Guest Starring on USA's WHITE COLLAR

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And I think that the goal is to really do those things that excite you and you're passionate about. And, you know, there's a period in time when your kids are in school and, you know, the bills need to be paid.

But I'd like to get to the point where - and I'm heading much more and more in that direction, where the work I do is the work I do because out of a great passion for it. And that's where it seems to be heading with this play in the summer.

What initially drew you to the role of Sam Phelps?

TWhen I saw the show I loved it. I thought the show had such a beautiful look. And being a New Yorker for 33 years, you know, there's a quality that Jeff Eastin seems to love Woody Allen - love New York like Woody Allen does. It's just - there's so much of the city as a character.

But I also - you know, those - there - it was a variety of things. Tim DeKay and I are old friends. Tim starred with me on Everwood the first season. I thought Matt was astonishingly good in the show. I loved, you know, the quality of the work in it.

And I don't think it's too often you get to play a character who is mysterious. And no one seems to know who he is or what's his next move. And that's always fun too. He's not just the dad. He's - we don't even know if he's the dad which is fun.

So I think it's mostly the mystery and the quality of the show. And I'm - I haven't played a cop in a long time since Prince of the City. And I thought that would be a lot of fun to kind of come full circle.

What's it like having Matt [Bomer] play your son?

Easy. I mean, I adore him. He has - he's a lot of fun on set. He takes the work very seriously and himself not so seriously.

He is (honorable) and humble and funny and a lot of the attributes that my son has. And I would be proud if he were my son. I just - it's just one of those things where he just - it was very, very easy. You know, I just adore him. I can't speak enough about him.

And whatever success he gets during the show and afterwards he deserves whole-heartedly. I don't know an actor who works as hard as Matt does.

You're one of the busiest and hardest-working actors around. What drives you so much to - you know, at this point in your career you probably could work a bit less and do other things.

Well, you know, I don't work as much as it seems. I mean, even if I'm on a bunch of stuff - like this year I'm on, you know, Hawaii Five-0 and I'm on Chicago Fire and I did four movies.

But as I get older the parts, you know, are less and less dense. So I mean dense in terms of time. So I might do four days here and, you know, six days there. And I get bored, you know.

And so I would assume I average about 15 days a month. You know, half of my time is off still even though it looks like I'm doing a lot. So most Americans work all year long and get two weeks' vacation. So I feel like I'm one of the lucky ones!

ABOUT WHITE COLLAR:

In the mid-season premiere of USA network's White Collar entitled "Family Business", Peter and Neal attempt to find the truth behind Neal's father's crime. In doing so, Neal must go undercover into the world of counterfeit whiskey to take down a high level member of the Irish Mob. The episode airs Tuesday, January 22nd - 10/9c.

ABOUT Treat Williams:

Prolific character actor Treat Williams began acting on stage and made his Broadway debut in 'Grease' (1976), in which he eventually took over the leading role of Danny Zuko. His later Broadway credits included the musicals 'Over Here' and 'Pirates of Penzance' and the reader's-theatre exercise 'Love Letters.'

He starred on the big screen in the mid 1970s with a role in the film adaptation of Terrence McNally's play, "The Ritz" (1976). He has since played major roles in such films as "Hair" (1979), "Prince of the City" (1981), "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984), "Smooth Talk" (1985), "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" (1995), "Mulholland Falls" (1996), "The Phantom" (1996), "The Devil's Own" (1997), "Deep Rising" (1998), "The Deep End of the Ocean" (1999), "Hollywood Ending" (2002), and "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous" (2005).

On TV, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor has starred in the TV movies "Dempsey" (1983), "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1984), "J. Edgar Hoover" (1987), "Echoes in the Darkness" (1987), "The Late Shift" (1996), "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1999), and "Guilty Hearts" (2002). He also portrayed mercenary-turned-teacher Karl Thomasson in the sequels "The Substitute 2: School's Out" (1998), "The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All" (1999), and "The Substitute: Failure Is Not an Option" (2001; V). Additionally, he made his directorial debut with "Texan" (1994), an acclaimed 26-minute short film written by David Mamet.

He starred as lawyer "Eddie Dodd" (1991) in the ABC legal drama series of the same name, and acted opposite Shelley Long in CBS' sitcom "Good Advice" (1993-1994), playing divorce attorney Jack Harold. From 2002 to 2006, he starred as neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew 'Andy' Brown in the popular WB primetime TV drama "Everwood" and in 2007, he headed the cast of the short-lived TNT medical drama "Heartland," playing heart surgeon Dr. Nathaniel 'Nate' Grant. He currently stars as Sam Phelps in USA Network's White Collar.

Photo by: David Giesbrecht/USA Network


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