What will you be doing tonight at 9 PM EST? Starpulse suggests turning on USA and watching the second season premiere of their hit show White Collar. USA brought Starpulse behind the scenes for a day to meet the cast, ask them about what's coming ahead, and see the sets in person. A panel of journalists got to speak with Tim DeKay (Peter Burke), Matt Bomer (Neal Caffrey), Marsha Thomason (Diana Lancing), Sharif Atkins (Clinton Jones), upcoming guest star Hilarie Burton (Sara Ellis), writer Matt Negrete, and costume designer Stephanie Maslansky. Then we got to wander the set and see Neal's penthouse apartment, the FBI office, and a gambling area for an upcoming episode. Here's a close look at where White Collar left off at the end of last season, and then some of the questions asked of the cast by Starpulse.
Neal Caffrey is one of the most brilliant criminals in the world, but he happened to face off against an FBI Agent that just so happened to be better: Peter Burke. After five years of searching for him, Burke finally put Neal in jail, where he's been serving his time. Just a few days before his sentence is up, his girlfriend Kate (Alexandra Daddario) shows up to break with him and disappear. Neal escapes prison to try and catch her, and instead of sending him back, Burke offers him a job: help him catch criminals, and Neal can be on probation in New York City. Under Burke's watchful eye, of course. As Neal searches for clues about Kate and what a mysterious music box has to do with her disappearance, he makes new friends in the FBI Branch and with Burke's lovely wife Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen).
Spoiler alert! At the end of the first season, Neal managed to make a deal with the loathesome dirty agent Garrett Fowler (Noah Emmerich) to spare him and Kate in exchange for the music box. There's a plane waiting for him with Kate on it, but Burke stops him. Burke begs him to stay and to choose this life over the one he used to have, and just as Neal's about to answer, the plane blows up. With Kate inside. The second season will address Kate's death, who is behind it, and maybe answer more about the music box and its importance to everyone. Plus there will be more baddies for Burke and Neal to chase down together!
Here's a few questions asked to the cast from yours truly and their answers. Thanks goes to USA for giving us the transcript!
Chelsea Doyle: When did you think that the relationship between Neal and Peter changed between the convict and the person who caught him, to an actual friendship?
Tim DeKay: For me, it was when he was, it was an episode called Vital Signs. And there was a time where, in order to get Neal out of that clinic—he was drugged at the time—in order to get him out, Peter had to one, go in there and get him and there was a moment where Peter had to make the decision to steal the surveillance tapes from that clinic. And that was a moment where Peter, you could say, crossed the line and did something illegally, and it was simply for him, it was for Neal and no other reason other that.
Chelsea: How do you like being portrayed in one of the healthiest couples we’ve ever seen on TV?
Tim: It’s wonderful, it’s wonderful. Because most of the relationships I’ve had on television have not been healthy. So it’s real—or working on getting to be healthy. It’s wonderful, it’s just great and it’s not healthy in a Leave it to Beaver way either. It’s healthy in a very mature—what’s the word I want there? They’re savvy, they’re both, they’ve got it going on, they’re a good couple to emulate.
Chelsea: So, I have a question about Kate. And you know, Neal, we had to start out believing that Neal really loved Kate and this whole thing. But as the time went on, and now with her dead, it turns into more of like, is she a symbol, is she a mystery? Because it seems a little bit more of an obsession that a love now?
Matt Bomer: Well, what I always loved about the character is that his romantic life is where he got sloppy. It’s sort of his tragic flaw, Achilles heel. So, I truly believe, I do think Neal is a little bit obsessive-compulsive in a lot of ways. I think that’s one of the benefits and probably drawbacks of being as intelligent as he is. I think he probably over thinks a lot of things. But yeah, she was definitely an obsession, but I think in his heart he truly believed that she was the one for him. And whether it’s rational or not at a certain point, is sort of irrelevant for him. So, yeah, I think in his heart and his mind it’s love.
Chelsea: Tim had mentioned that Peter really trusts Diana.
Marsha: Thomason: Yes.
Chelsea: There’s probably going to be a big fall-out there eventually.
Marsha: He does trust Diana.
Chelsea: Peter might be shaken a little bit because of what happened with Fowler and that there might be corruption in the FBI, and it would seem that Diana might not be completely on the level. But how do you think Jones will react to them that there are dirty cops or dirty people around him?
Sharif Atkins: You know what? I think Jones—I’m discovering he may have a penchant for gambling. But I think Jones is kind of level—you know what I mean—because, you’re right, Peter’s kind of going through some ups and downs. He’s being attacked on all sides. And I think Jones’ char—you know, I think that character is just right down the middle—you know what I mean—and can sort of play off and be the anchor when it feels like Agent Burke is kind of up in arms or what have you. That’s my take on it anyway.
Chelsea: Now Neal and Sara have a past, what’s that about?
Hilarie Burton: You know they have a—I don’t know how much I’m allowed to give away. Nothing. I’m not going to give anything away. But it seems that Neal has a past with everybody and I feel very fortunate to be one of the woman that he has crossed paths with, whether that’s in a good way or a bad way. Yeah, I mean he certainly has made his mark on the city of Manhattan. And, yeah, I think we come in with a little bit of a history and add some layers to when our characters see each other again.
Chelsea: Are there going to be some romantic sparks between Sara and –?
Hilarie: And Neal? Well God I hope so, that’s a good looking man [laughs]. I mean, I think anybody regardless of gender, race, creed, wherever you’re from, can admit that he is probably one of the Seven Wonders of the World. That man is beautiful and charming, so I wouldn’t be opposed to that, that’s ridiculous.
Chelsea: Would Neal assume that there’s a possibility Kate could be alive, or would it even cross his mind?
Matt Negrete: You know, he’s looking into it. I think that basically he just wants answers, and so I think a lot of what we’re going to explore in Second Season is him trying to get to the bottom of what happened, was this an accident, was it not? And if it wasn’t, like who could possibly be behind it?
You heard it from them, now support this excellent show on USA tonight for the second season two of White Collar at 9 PM EST!