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Behind-The-Scenes Look At 'White Collar' With Matt Bomer, Tiffani Thiessen, Tim DeKay And Willie Garson

October 22nd, 2009 10:20am EDT
White Collar

Direct from the mind of Jeff Eastin, characters are definitely welcome this fall as USA unveils the highly anticipated series White Collar premiering October 23. Take the edge of espionage and deliciously perfect comic timing delivered by four amazing actors and it looks like you have a hit!

Starpulse takes you on set and behind the scenes with the cast. Lead actor Matt Bomer discusses everything criminal from becoming white-collar crime mastermind Neal Caffrey to his undeniable good looks and evoking his inner Ferris Bueller. Co-Star Tim DeKay shows his everyman reliability both on and off set as FBI agent Peter Burke. The beautiful Tiffani Thiessen talks marriage, love triangles, and growing up on TV. While the hilarious Willie Garson hones his inner Huggy Bear as the underground sidekick Mozzie, a far stretch from Stanford Blatch.

White Collar

(L to R) Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen, Matthew Bomer, Willie Garson © NBC Universal, Inc.

The streets of New York City serve as the backdrop into the world of White Collar crime and our set visit. Based on an unlikely partnership where crime meets punishment, Con artist Neal Caffrey and FBI agent Peter Burke find themselves no longer in a game of cat and mouse but as two men standing together. Motivated by the love of a mysterious girlfriend, Caffrey's failed attempt at a prison escape lands him back under the watchful eye of the feds. The relationship between the two sides of the law is what ultimately drives this crime caper. Flanked by the external characters of Burke's wife, Elizabeth and Caffrey's fellow criminal cohort, Mozzie, the show provides a healthy balance of comedy and drama sure to win over a wide audience this fall.

Behind Scenes - White Collar

Behind the scenes filming on the streets of New York City of USA Network's 'White Collar'

Derived from highly seductive bad boys like Danny Ocean in Oceans Eleven to Cary Grant's character in To Catch a Thief, newcomer Matt Bomer gets candid about portraying con artist, Neal Caffrey. As an actor he is "not interested in playing characters who are perfect" and Neal Caffrey, although devastatingly handsome is a far cry from it. His suave and sleek attire paired with his overly confident mojo does land him in a $700 a month flat with Diahann Carroll as his landlady in episode 1, but the ankle bracelet accessory can't go unnoticed.

Bomer explains, "He's not a gun guy, he's not a knife guy, he's a mind guy." His heart however does get his character into trouble, which Bomer finds the most relatable part of portraying a criminal mastermind claiming, "I like to think of myself as romantic and I guess I understood that part of him and that-has always been the driving force." Combined with a personal taste for newsworthy drama, it can't go unnoticed that Bomer is also an avid watcher of dateline calling himself "super morbid" as he does an uncanny impersonation of Keith Morrison.


The straight man in this bromance, Peter Burke is played by Tim DeKay. Maintaining his authority as an FBI agent while Caffrey consistently challenges him, DeKay's Burke is an antonym of the instinctive and edgy con man. Burke's consistent by the book persona creates a contrast worthy of an Odd Couple comparison.

The actor's personal interest in solving a good case also lends itself to the direct blue-collar agent. Dekay claims he "used to watch Colombo with (his) dad and used to try to be ahead of it." Paired with a salt of the earth off camera persona Dekay is candid about the feeling of storming warehouses in Brooklyn with a team of 15 extras shouting FBI and realizing "it's just one of those moments you played-out a thousand times in your backyard." A family man who admits to learning all the choreography for his daughters ballet recital and taking out the trash "like and FBI agent for his kids, DeKay identifies with his role as on camera husband to Tiffani Thiessen. The former "Tell Me You Love Me" HBO star claims, "I really enjoy doing this, it's not as intense as that."

Veteran TV star Tiffani Thiessen joins the cast as Elizabeth Burke. Breaking the USA casting record as a network known for its long decision making process, Thiessen was cast just 3 hours after her read with on camera hubby Tim Dekay. Claiming, "We had chemistry from day one" Tiffani will surprise audiences with a role much closer to who she is in real life. A not so newlywed who has been married for 4 and a half years, this is "a relationship I know" says Thiessen. "A lot of times on TV, even in movies you see these relationships that don't work-it's nice to see a relationship on TV that does work." Fans looking to see another bad girl type will not find Elizabeth Burke up to any Valerie Malone melodrama. Instead look for her to finally play a grownup on television. A high profile event planner, Elizabeth Burke also brings a little glitz and glamour to world of white-collar crime. Funny or Die fans will also be happy to see Thiessen's comedic side calling the show "lighthearted-it's not a drama it's not a comedy, it's right in between."

White Collar

NBC Universal, Inc.

Where there's comedy and drama you will definitely find Willie Garson. The actor famous for his over the top antics and attire as Stanford Blatch on Sex And The City portrays Mozzie. Neal Caffrey's mysterious friend and fellow criminal is an underground sidekick of sorts appearing out of the shadows at the most opportune times. Garson describes the on screen duo "like a Butch Cassidy and Sundance thing, that we've been together forever. And it never really comes out how-what was the first scam? How did we hook up?" Bomer jokes "I'm just glad there's famous people on the show."

Whatever the two have been up to, the audience will be sure it is no good. But at the same time you will also be wooed by the relationship between Neal Caffrey and Mozzie. He brings an element of bumbling charm to the sleaze of the streets. Garson claims," it's that subversive guy in the background, the brains behind the brain and that's-that's very interesting to me." Deriving inspiration from the undergroundlings of New York that you see hanging around the park all day but somehow pay rent and live, Mozzie is a far cry from the flamboyant high-fashion talent agent audiences see in Blatch. Dressed in a monochromatic street style we can already tell that this character is going to be a new stretch as Willie confirms. "I truly do try to make everything exactly different. I went straight from Stanford- back to David Mitch to play a nerdy, Jewish lawyer, you know, badly dressed, living in San Diego. The actor adds, "God bless Kelsey Grammer-you don't want to play Frasier Crane for 25 years."

White Collar airs Friday, October 23rd 10/9c on USA

Rebecca Kristen
Story by Rebecca Kristen

Starpulse contributing writer