Source: The TV Chick
Date: March 8, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend USA Network’s 2nd Annual Character Approved Awards reception, where they honored innovators in various different fields of work. It was an amazing reception, where guests were treated to a performance by American Idiot before the cast makes its Broadway debut. The Character Approved award honorees are Katherine Bigelow (pre-Oscar win), Nora Ephron, Green Day, Narciso Rodriguez, Angela Brooks (groundbreaking architect), Kehinde Wiley (urban arts painter), Yves Behar (designer of a bluetooth headset and $100 laptop), Dan Barber (well known restauranteur), Jessica Jackley (founder kiva.org), and Alex Rigopulos & Erin Egozy (creators of Rock Band and Guitar Hero). To learn more about the nominees, you can visit the Character Approved website. It was great to see such leaders in their own field be honored by a network that is innovative in and of itself. Many of the stars of the USA Network shows attended the reception, and I was able to speak with the cast of White Collar. Matt Bomer, ever so dashing and lovely, took some time out to talk about Neal, what’s coming up on the big season finale and his favorite part of filming the show so far. (And of course, the most important thing–what was he wearing?)

What are you wearing tonight?
I’m wearing Calvin Klein.

Is there any way Bryce will be back on Chuck?
That’d be really fun. We’ll see. The opportunity is open, but timing-wise with both of our schedules it hasn’t really worked out so far. But I love that show, I love everybody on it, I wish them all the best, always.

What’s coming up on White Collar?
We have a big season finale coming up. A lot of big story lines coming to climax, a lot of really unexpected stuff going on, and we’re really setting ourselves up nicely for the second season. Check it out!

What has been your favorite part of filming the show so far?
I think really the cast, who I love, and we get along amazingly, and it’s truly a joy to come to work every day. And also getting to shoot in New York City. We get to see a side of New York City that a lot of people don’t get to see even if you live here. We’re shooting in huge, amazing townhouses and brownstones and getting to see the insides of a lot of the white collar aspects of New York City.

Do you have a favorite location from filming the show?
We got to shoot in a lot of really iconic places, like Times Square, the NASDAQ building and Columbus Circle, so for me, as somebody whose lived in New York, it was really a surreal experience for me. So I would say it would be somewhere between that and something really nice — we got to shoot in a really nice townhouse on the Upper East Side that had a million dollar chandelier that went down six stories and spread out on the floor. It’s just crazy opulence that I’ve never experienced before.

And you and Tim just recently rang the opening bell at the Stock Exchange. What was that like?
It was so much more exciting than I thought it was going to be. The countdown and leading up to it, and getting to introduce it, it’s such a huge part of New York City, just being in the financial capital of the world and getting to do it was a real honor. I can’t believe they let a criminal, though, ring the bell…but…

Has being on White Collar made you more aware of white collar crime? Have you done and investigation into some of the cases?
I think it was so out there, we were so fortunate, because we just came out there in the zeitgeist at the right time. We shot the pilot and then the whole thing with Madoff went down which was so fortuitous for us. And then, you know, it just kept rolling out and became more and more front page stories so the work sort of did itself that way. Anybody who picked up a paper was aware of a white collar scandal at the time.

Do you think Neal is going to trust Peter more in the upcoming season?
I think Neal never really trusted anybody 100 percent, but I think Peter’s probably the person he trusted the most so you know, I don’t think he’ll ever be really, completely given over to him in terms of trust but he definitely has a lot of trust in him.

Did you know the show was going to be such a huge success when you started?
No! We had no idea. To me, I just loved the script, I loved the character, it was so much fun to do that whatever came about was great. I think I’ve been in this business long enough to not really have any expectations, just show up, do the work, and do the best I could. And I knew I was on a network that really gave shows a shot, and really got behind their shows and so I’m really grateful to be working for them and I was pleasantly surprised.

Do you have anything else you are working on?
Right now, it was tough because this hiatus was so short. I did have movie offers, but I couldn’t shoot them in such a brief period of time so that was tricky. But right now, I’m doing a workshop of a new Broadway musical. They’re re-making the last Rat Pack movie actually, Robin and The Seven Hoods, and I’m playing the Sinatra role in that, so that was sort of a fun way for me to get to flex my creative muscles with a much smaller time constraint.

Is there a particular genre of film that you like?
I really respond to a lot of the really fun romantic comedy stuff. I think it’s fun, and it gives you a real sense of liberty as an actor to make fun choices, and I think that’d be a really fun place to start.

Do you have anyone in mind who you’d want to play the lead actress opposite you?
Oh my gosh, the list is endless. I really like Ginnifer Goodwin a lot. Who else do I really like? Anna Faris I love her, too. I think she’s hysterical.

And are you anything like your character? Are you anything like Neal at all?
Well, I think I’m gonna miss him because I’m definitely a bit quixotic like he is but I’m not nearly as smooth in terms of pulling off crimes, so the similarities end there.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow night to USA Network at 10 pm for the season finale of White Collar.