'White Collar' Stars Tease 'Explosive' Season
White Collar has always ended every season with a cliffhanger -- but last year's hit below the belt big time as Peter's wife was abducted by the nefarious Keller in an attempt to force Neal to turn over his Nazi treasure.
And tonight's season premiere picks up right where we left off, as you saw thanks to TheInsider.com's exclusive sneak peek, with Peter cluing in on Neal's role in Elizabeth's kidnapping.
To further work you into a White hot lather, I caught up with stars Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay last week to talk all about this six episode mini-season that will end with a seriously game-changing decision!
Insider.com: White Collar's August mid-season finale gave fans your biggest -- and most dangerous -- cliff-hanger to date with the abduction of Elizabeth. Where do these next six episodes go?
Matt Bomer: These six episodes obviously start off in a really high-stakes place because of Elizabeth's kidnapping and only get progressively more and more intense.
Tim DeKay: That's the thing about [creator] Jeff Eastin, we always think, "Where are you gonna go from here?" I remember saying to Jeff, when the plane blew up in season one, "That's supposed to be in season seven -- don't give it all away yet!" [laughs] But here we are!
Insider: Last season took a big risk in fracturing the relationship between Neal and Peter. Where do things go for them this season?
Matt: It starts off pretty fraught. I would say that it's the most physical conflict we've ever had. It's a new way to play into the trust dynamic that's so fragile between the two of them. It's interesting,. It starts off completely on the rocks and then we get closer together but it blows up again at the end of the season.
Tim: Just like any relationship, it blows up because they have more invested in each other. And Peter knows that Neal is somehow instrumental in Elizabeth's kidnapping.
Insider: If there was a theme to these six episodes, what would you say it is?
Matt: I would say the central conflict of season three is within Neal -- it's about nature vs. nurture, fight or flight -- something that has really been playing out all season and is truly brought to a climax over the next six episodes. Neal makes a choice by the end of the season that will forever change the show.
Tim: Let me tell you, this finale is the biggest we've ever had!
Insider: Can you give me a little hint as to what it involves?
Tim: It involves the two guest recurring stars – Anna Chlumsky and Beau Bridges.
Matt: I love Anna so much, but I had to get over the My Girl thing at first [laughs]. I had to stop crying and pull it together. Thomas J is OK in real life, we can now work together.
Insider: Matt, as excited as people are for White Collar, they're even more excited for Magic Mike. Did you anticipate just how much time you'd spend talking about that film in the run-up to the actual premiere?
Matt: Due to the salacious aspect of the film, I had an idea [laughs]. Also, the fact it's material that has never been handled and is being done by an auteur like [director Steven] Soderberg – it certainly peaked more people's interest than I thought it would but I can't say I'm unhappy that there's so much interest in the movie.
Insider: It certainly helps when you talk about putting a speedo on backwards.
Matt: I wish it were a speedo! It's a small equilateral triangle with the thinnest string. It was dark and 5am, I couldn't get it together.
Insider: Tim, what do you think about seeing your friend in that light?
Tim: I can't wait! I can not wait! First in line to buy a ticket! Matt: Oh god … [laughs]
Insider: I've heard from co-stars that you've got the best moves, Matt. True or false?
Matt: That is so false. Channing [Tatum] is one of the coolest people I've ever worked with and one of the best dancers I've ever seen. His dancing defies the laws of physics. He's 6' 1" and in great shape but moves his body in the most incredible ways. People will be blown away by his dancing in this.
Insider: Do you have a favorite routine?
Matt: I have two fun numbers – but I think my favorite is where I play a Ken doll that comes to life!
Insider: Was stripping harder than you anticipated?
Matt: It really was. The rehearsal process was great and I got to work with The Hollywood Men – this dance troupe that caters to ladies in LA, which was very informative. But when you're actually out there in front of a gaggle of women cheering, it becomes this amazing Dionysian theater of the absurd. Nothing in life can really prepare you for it. It was enervating and exhilarating and terrifying.
Tim: Every stripper that I've seen interviewed says they enjoy it once you're out there. Did you?
Matt: There is something very energetic about it.
Tim: I would imagine.
Matt: Especially when they're paying extras to act really interested [laughs].
Tim: You're doing it for pretend but it's the ultimate letting go.
Matt: Right. It's as if you're thinking, "I am naked before you and you are accepting it!" Actually, not only accepting it, but paying for it. Joe [Manganiello, who co-stars as Big Dick Richie in the movie] and I talk about the after effects all the time. He went to get gas after we'd finished filming one of his numbers and there's something about that little pat on the back; getting some $10 in your speedo that makes you carry yourself differently.
Tim: Now, every place you go, you think, "This could be a number!"
Matt: Totally! I think about the costumes, the moves [imitates a sexy strip tease] – "I've got a bandana on my arm, I fill up your tank, wash your windows. It'll be a full-blown party! [laughs]
Insider: Kinda sounds like Tim is angling for a role in the sequel!
Tim: I am!
Matt: I'll get him into it!
Tim: I was gonna do this one, but the lighting wasn't right.
Matt: I'll get it into White Collar next season: Peter and Neal go undercover as male strippers.
White Collar airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.