• ‘White Collar’ episode features reunion of CMU grads

    Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Date: January 30, 2012

    For “White Collar” star Matt Bomer, this week’s episode of the USA Network series marks a mini class reunion.

    The episode, “Neighborhood Watch,” features fellow Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and Mt. Lebanon native Joe Manganiello. Both actors are members of CMU’s class of 2000.

    “The producers brought it up to me, and I said I would love for Joe to do it,” Mr. Bomer said in an interview earlier this month. “We reached out to him, and being an old friend, he was excited to come and he did a great job.”

    Mr. Bomer stars on “White Collar” (10 p.m. Tuesday) as Neal Caffrey, a charming con artist who partners with a straightforward FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), to catch criminals. In this week’s episode, Burke’s wife (Tiffani Thiessen) suspects a new neighbor (Mr. Manganiello) is up to no good.

    “I have to go undercover and suss out what he’s up to,” Mr. Bomer said, noting he and Mr. Manganiello have stayed in touch since their CMU days. “We were always bumping into each other at things and we’d check in, and this past year has really brought us back together in so many ways.”

    In addition to this week’s “White Collar” episode, the two actors will appear in the film “Magic Mike” playing exotic dancers. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Ocean’s Eleven,” “Contagion,” “Haywire”), “Magic Mike” is expected to arrive in theaters June 29.

    Mr. Bomer said acting with his college friend has some similarities to when they acted together in classes at CMU.

    “It’s completely different and not different at all,” Mr. Bomer said. “It’s different because there’s a camera crew there and a set, and we’re getting paid as opposed to paying vast amounts of money. At the same time, it’s me and Joe playing characters and doing a scene together, so it’s different and the same.”

    Just last week, reports emerged that Mr. Bomer will have another role on TV in the near future: He’s close to a deal to play the older brother of Blaine (Darren Criss) on Fox’s “Glee,” even getting a rare opportunity to sing on camera.

    The current batch of “White Collar” episodes marks the back half of the show’s third season, which culminates in a cliffhanger on Feb. 28. Mr. Bomer returns to work filming new “White Collar” episodes in March for a likely summer debut.

    “This is the biggest cliffhanger we’ve had so far, and I say that every season, but it’s because it’s true every season,” Mr. Bomer said, praising show writer Jeff Eastin for outdoing previous season finales. “I was really proud of and inspired by and blown away by where he took the story.”