At the USA Network luncheon held during the TCA Winter Press Tour, co-stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay were there to promote the Season 3.5 premiere of White Collar on January 17th. The two hinted at what’s to come in these six episodes, that they will end with their biggest cliffhanger to-date, that they have a rough idea of where Season 4 will be headed, and how things could change now, with the possibility of Neal Caffrey’s freedom.
Matt Bomer also talked about his role in Magic Mike, about an upstart male stripper who is taken under the wing of a more experienced colleague and based on the life of actor Channing Tatum (who also stars in the film), working with director Steven Soderbergh, doing research with a group called The Hollywood Men, and acting alongside some of the best abs in Hollywood. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Question: Have you gotten any of the Season 4 scripts yet?
TIM DeKAY: No, we haven’t gotten any scripts yet.
MATT BOMER: We have a general idea of what the mythology is going to be, but we don’t really [know every detail].
DeKAY: (Show creator) Jeff Eastin has given us a rough scope of what Season 4 is going to look like and it’s exciting. The end of Season 3 is the biggest cliffhanger to-date. It’s huge!
Do you guys mind having the seasons broken up, or is it more fun that way?
BOMER: I think it’s a fun 2-for-1 special.
DeKAY: Yeah, it is.
BOMER: We know it’s one big arc, but we know there’s a moment at the end of 10 episodes that we’re working towards. And then, we know we get to start from there and work towards the next moment.
DeKAY: And, we shoot them all in a row, so it doesn’t split up our shooting schedule.
What can viewers expect from Neal and Sara (Hilarie Burton), coming up?
BOMER: They found a really great way to work Sara into the storyline, in the next six episodes. They have a really grown-up, mature relationship, in a lot of ways. They have fun together. There are some sparks. They enjoy each other, mentally and physically. They’re sort of like, “Let’s just see what happens.”
DeKAY: That’s what this second half [of the season] is all about. The stakes get heightened greatly. Neal could have freedom, or he could stay. Peter could possibly encourage that freedom, or make him stay. There are two guest stars that come on the show that are fantastic – Anna Chlumsky and Beau Bridges. They influence Peter and Neal’s moves greatly.
Was the bromance between the two of you just instant chemistry?
DeKAY: Oh, it was instant chemistry. Matt had already been cast, and I went in and read with him. As soon as we read together, I knew, then and there, “This is mine to screw up. I’ve got to get this.”
BOMER: And I was like, “That is the man! Make it happen!” Not that that mattered, at all.
Neal gets by on his good looks a lot. Has that ever happened for you, in real life?
BOMER: Hell no! Not at all. I don’t have as dapper a wardrobe as Neal Caffrey, or a writing staff in my life. I try to bump it up to first class [on airplanes] and I get rejected.
BOMER: No, that’s it. That was plenty for me. I counted myself so lucky to get to work with [Steven] Soderbergh and Channing [Tatum], and everybody else in that film. After that, I said, “I just want to hang out with my family.”
How did Soderbergh direct you to play a stripper?
BOMER: I guess the way any genius auteur would direct an actor to play a stripper. He made sure that we prepared properly.
Did you go see any performances to prepare?
BOMER: Yeah, I studied with a group called The Hollywood Men, here in L.A. I learned a lot from those guys. A lot of my performance takes place wither on stage, or backstage when you’re preparing to go on, or after we’ve come off. So, getting to hang out with them was very informative, in that way.
Magic Mike has some of the best abs in Hollywood. Did you guys all work out together?
BOMER: I got bigger. I think I gained 15 pounds, or so. I didn’t want to get too big, either. But, it was fun. We went to Tampa for a little bit of the shoot, and we worked out together there. Other than that, we were just all trying to hit it on our own and come correct, by the time those cameras were rolling.
BOMER: I wasn’t even going to enter that competition, with the cast involved. We had some massive people. We had Joe [Manganiello] and Kevin Nash, who’s 6’10″. I was like, “I’ll be the one with the swimmer’s build.” Life is a spice rack. It takes one of each.
What’s the film about?
BOMER: It’s actually a really intricate plot. It’s very of a Saturday Night Fever/Boogie Nights ilk. It’s a coming of age story. The central relationship in the film is Channing [Tatum] and Alex Pettyfer’s relationship. They play Mike and this character called The Kid. It’s a mentorship type of thing. One person is unhappy with where he is and knows that there’s a real ceiling to that lifestyle and that life, and one person is just getting into the whole glorious aspect of what it means to be a stripper.
Who are you playing?
BOMER: I play one of the fellow dancers who’s a big part of bringing The Kid a little deeper into what it means to be in that world of stripping.
BOMER: Good or bad is all kind of subjective, isn’t it?
Are there actors whose body of work you admire?
DeKAY: I’ve always admired Gene Hackman, Jack Lemon, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck. I’m showing my age here.
BOMER: I would say Paul Newman and Matt Damon. I’m more a fan of directors. I like to just work with great directors. I think, if you’re able to do that, hopefully you can continue on that course and you’ll be in okay shape.
Are there any movies you’d like to remake and have a role in?
BOMER: I’d like to remake Le Samouraï, that [French] movie with Alain Delon. That would be a fun one.
DeKAY: I would just love to do It’s a Wonderful Life. I think that movie is fantastic.
WHITE COLLAR returns for Season 3.5 on January 17th. For more on Magic Mike, Steve interviewed Channing Tatum yesterday and they talked about the rating (it will be a hard R) and whether or not there is full frontal nudity.