White Collar

Matt Bomer Q&A

Did you ever worry as an actor, that taking on the role of a stripper can glorify an industry that legitimises the objectification of men and women?

It’s a very real story. I am so grateful that people responded they way they did to the film, Channing’s story and Matt’s role, all the guys actually but when I signed on I thought it was a really small independent film that would be a small gritty story that Steven Soderbergh was directing and then it became something very different which is amazing and completely surprising. I’m so glad that Channing decided to tell the story and I got to be a part of it.

To me Steven Soderbergh is one of the artistic heirs to Robert Altman, was it difficult to adapt to that highly naturalistic, but stylised perspective?

It was fantastic, working with Steven Soderbergh, it was a dream come true and it was a great group of guys. It was like getting to be in a fraternity, which I never got to do in college so it was like entering into an endeavour that was quite intimidating (laughs) but everyone banded together and we all stayed after our scenes were done to watch and support everyone else. It was one of the greatest ensemble experiences of my career thus far.

If you could appear in any other TV show…?

Gosh that’s good, well drama definitely Homeland which I enjoy a lot but comedy, there’s a show here called Portlandia, which I’m not sure if it plays in the UK as it’s very cult here and it might be idiosyncratic to the States, or maybe Modern Family!

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So what can fans expect from series three of White Collar?

“What I love about series 3 is that Neal’s conflict goes from an external one (to find Kate, and avenge her death) to an internal one which is ‘do I stay or do I go?’ and the tryst dynamics between he and Peter get thrown completely out of whack this season so a lot of it is about them sussing each other out and Neal figuring out if he’s going to be a career criminal or does he really have value and worth at the FBI.”

Have you ever been conned in real life?

“Absolutely, I think anyone who moves to New York as a young twenty-something has been conned one way or another! I was sold a pair of dud speakers in college once. It made me open my eyes to the world around me and, not be a cynic but, certainly always look for the deepest agenda in any situation.”

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White Collar is not the kind of show you can multi-task in front of. You have to give it your full attention!
The writers are very smart and very respectful of the audience. That’s one of the things I love about working on the show — when I pick up the scripts I’ll have to read it two or three times to keep my wits about me.

A lot of people make the assumption that telly is dumbing down. But isn’t it smarter than it’s ever been?

I think so. I’m really happy with the state of television, specifically on cable [White Collar airs on the USA Network in America], because there’s a bit less bureaucracy and they don’t worry about every demographic. We have a bit more freedom to tell the story we want to tell.

You can read the rest of the interview here.