Tiffani Thiessen Talks about This Season of WHITE COLLAR (February, 2011)
USA's WHITE COLLAR has returned for the second half of season 2 and, in this reviewer's humble opinion, is better than ever. Daemons TV was there when co-star Tiffani Thiessen (who plays Elizabeth Burke) talked about her character, the lovely relationship between Elizabeth and Peter, what it was like to finally to get it on a con and more.
On her character.
Tiffani said that Elizabeth Burke is "one of first characters I've played that I feel most like my character this time." She also said "I aspire to be her, she's very career driven but puts her relationship with her husband first." She also remarked that she admires Elizabeth's great relationship with Peter and how "they are best friends."
In fact, she said that the only real difference between herself and Elizabeth is that they don't have kids on the show, while she is now a mother herself of a seven and a half month old daughter (who we could all hear making happy baby noises throughout the call, which was very cute).
Tiffani added that she "fell in love with Elizabeth because she was written as such a strong woman."
On what the challenges are of playing Elizabeth.
Tiffani reported that playing Elizabeth was "not really challenging as it's very close to home for me. The challenge now is juggling of baby and work, and being a mom while still running off to work."
On the relationship between Peter and Elizabeth.
Tiffani remarked that White Collar was one of the "first scripts I read where it's a marriage that actually works on TV," adding "normally they are all about the drama, but not with the Burkes," and "I love the way Jeff has created the relationship between the two of them."
She also spoke about her co-star: "Tim is an amazing man. I fell in love with him the moment I met him and I had always loved his work," adding that "he and my real husband have a lot of similar qualities," which made sense as to why they got along so well on screen.
When asked about the idea of Elizabeth and Peter having children and what that might do to their marriage, she replied: "Elizabeth and Peter might bicker if they had kids, but every marriage has that, even without kids." She also added: "I had thought about them having kids, but I also enjoy that they don't have any children and that their dog is their child."
On whether or not she has any input into her character.
Tiffani pointed out that the producers, writers and directors do welcome input and brought up the fact that originally Elizabeth had a different career when they wrote the pilot. At the time, she was written as an accountant but the writers changed their minds and decided to leave that part out. So in the first episode we never knew what Elizabeth did because they simply didn't know what to do with her.
Tiffani said at that point she "sat down with Jeff Eastin and told him I always wanted to be an event planner and he loved it and put it in," adding "[event planning is] what I would do if I wasn't acting."
On what it was like to finally get to be part of a con.
Tiffani teased that we will get to see more of that kind of thing closer to the end of this season, adding "I love getting into the action with the guys and love working with all of them. We all have great chemistry, which can be a real rarity."
When asked about Elizabeth's ability to jump right into the con in the episode "Burke's Seven" Tiffani said "[Elizabeth's] been around her husband's business for a long time," and "from season one we've seen that he brings his work home with him and goes over cases with her," adding that working on cases "comes naturally to her because she is around it all the time."
She also pointed out that, in a way, Elizabeth's career prepared her for working with Neal and Peter as "an event planner is a producer so it made sense."
Tiffani also told us that Elizabeth should make more appearances towards the end of this season than she did at the end of season one, as "last year I was off a lot having the baby, etc."
She also teased that in one of final episodes we will see a lot between Elizabeth and Neal: "It will be just the two of us together," adding "I can't say more as it could give it away, but we end up working a lot together in that episode."
On what should thought about everyone's backstory in the episode "Forging Bonds"
Tiffani said "It was fun to see what [Jeff Eastin's] true vision was and how it differed from what we all thought," and that "it was lots of fun to learn about everyone."
In fact, she said the only surprise for her was "was that a mustache was in Peter's past. But I liked it, I think Tim looks great in a mustache."
On the difference between working in LA and NY.
Tiffani very quickly pointed out that the weather is the biggest difference between the two cities, commenting how it was 70 degrees in LA currently, which back east it was freezing. She also added "It's funny that I always wanted to be bi-coastal and now I get to do that and live in two great cities," adding that "I love that my daughter gets to experience the best of both worlds."