White Collar Interview (August 4, 2011)
Well the interview was today with Tiffani Thiessen and it was a busy conference call but once again we managed to get a few of our questions answered. It was a really good interview, Tiffani was brilliant and really warm and welcoming to everyone in the call and it came across how much she loves the show and the people she works with.
Below you can find some of the highlights of the interview (some questions had very similar answers so I've combined them). You can find Tiffani on Twitter as @TAThiessen
There are some spoilers included in the interview regarding the shows return in January, her involvement and her thoughts on the mid-season finale. Watch out for my review of the mid-season finale in the next few days.
Apoliges if there are typos & spelling mistakes I quickly typed this out while listening to the interview a few hours ago.
Where does Elizabeth stand on the developments on the relationship between Neal and Peter?
I like to try and think that she tries to stay in the middle. Of course her first priority is her husband, I've always thought she has a soft spot for Neal and can see the good in him, probably more than Peter's character does. The questions that are surrounding the whole scenario with the treasure, you'll see in the mid-season finale. A lot of those questions will get answered and new drama unfolds with it.
What is it about Elizabeth's character that contributes to Peter and Neal's investigation?
I've always thought that she is the voice of reason and that plays greatly into the show. She is definitely the middle person between Peter and Neal at times when they are butting heads, she definitely bridges the gaps.
What was it like to work with your husband?
It was great but sadly I did not get to work in any scene's with him but it was great to have him as part of the show, he had a blast. He knew all of the cast ahead of schedule so it was a comfortable for him.
Did he enjoy playing the bad guy?
We got a lot of feedback from friends and family on how great of a bad guy he was because he is such the nicest guy in real life.He loved playing a character that was totally opposite to himself. He enjoyed working with the cast that he knows so well with him being my husband.
What has been your favourite scene to shoot with Tim DeKay(Peter)?
That's hard. There is a scene that you have not seen yet and it is one of the last scene's in an episode in January/February where you get to see the sexy side of Peter and Elizabeth. You don't get to see this side of their relationship which was quite fun.
What do you think that Peter brings to Elizabeth to keep her in the relationship with him working so much?
They have a relationship that's very understood, she knew what she was getting into from the start. They are both career driven people, and their careers are both important to each other. They are very much best friends and can turn to each other when they need it. There is a lot of understanding between them.
Where would you like to see Elizabeth develop next season?
You have already started to see some of it so far this season and more so in January when we come back. I love how they are pulling her back into the art world and working with her husband.
What originally attracted you to the role?
There were a few things. The writing was really strong, the characters were relatable,the show was fun. It's the kind of TV and storytelling I like to watch myself. It was the first role that spoke to me in a personal way because I think she is very close to my true self compared to past roles. I also loved the relationship (Peter and Elizabeth) on TV that works compared to other shows.
What have you learned about yourself since joining White Collar?
Well I've learned, especially the past year, I can still have 4am call times and not have any sleep after having a child. My body has been put through a lot as well as my head. It has been one of the funnest shows I've ever worked on in 30 years. This is one project I can say I really enjoy going to work.
How does it feel to have played 3 different iconic roles in your career (saved by the bell, 90210 and White Collar)?
They are all extremely different, its great. It's an actors dream to play different roles all the time. Being able to play different roles helps me to fulfil the creativity I constantly strive for in this business.
Usually your character is not involved in the main story, however in a recent episode Elizabeth takes on an integral part. What was that like, will it happen more in future episodes?
Like Willie Garson we are more supporting characters on the show. In the episodes coming up I take more of a central role and in one episode I come up with a case and solve it which was a really fun episode to shoot. The episode you mentioned was a really fun episode, I love being in the episodes a bit more.
Are you going to get into any stunts in the future?
Yes, in the episode I just mentioned. Elizabeth starts to get some more action, she wont be jumping off bridges but she does get a little bit of a groove on.
Were you surprised by the backlash from the change in the opening sequence?
I didn't realise people were so invested in the opening credits, but i have to agree I was not a fan of the new credits, I was actually disappointed. I was really happy that the fans spoke and they got what they wanted.
It was great to see you saving the day in the episode "Deadline", how did you enjoy the role reversal during that episode?
It is always fun to have little bit of role reversal. Its always fun to work with other cast members.
Is there any cameos for your daughter coming up on White Collar, now that your husband has been in it?
Oh No, we are gonna try and keep her behind the camera as long as possible. I wouldn't understand how we can integrate her into the show.
The finale has you involved greatly in the final scene and you have mentioned that you are returning more to the art scene. Is this leading to you being tied to the art that Mozzie just sold on the recent episode and you tracking it down?
Well I know your from Spoiler TV so I won't spoil it to much but I am involved in the cliffhanger and when I come back in January I definitely come back as part of a big episode, it picks off where we leave in the summer and then continues in a few episodes after that.
How have you found the interaction with fans via twitter?
I'm still new at the facebook/twitter thing. I'm definitely involved but not as much as some people. It is fun to see what people are responding to in your life and professionally and the things you are doing. The social media aspect is really exciting and amazing with where it is taking us.
In last weeks episode Sara found the treasure and ran away from Neal. How do you think Elizabeth would have reacted if she had found the treasure?
That's a great question. I would think she would have a very hard time with it. She is always behind her husband and she would have to go to him. I think she always tries to see the good in Neal and would try to explore what went on and would see he was having second thoughts. I think she would have gone to Neal first to give him a chance.
Is the episode you mentioned earlier in January the episode where Joe Manganiello guest stars?
Yes it is the episode, he moves in 3 doors down form the Burke's. He's not so nice a character. He's a great actor, Matt and him were at school together and were good friends. He was great fun to work with.
Do you think Elizabeth would be a better FBI Agent or a Con Artist?
Wow, that's hard. I always believe women are better actors [laughs]. She has been married to a FBI agent for over 10 years so probably an FBI agent because she knows that world. Not that she couldn't be a good con man to.
Are you now more recognised for your work on White Collar?
I always know when a new show I'm on is doing well, not that they stop talking about my previous shows because I was on 2 popular shows and that's hard to get people to stop talking about. Lately the past couple of years people are talking about White Collar, which is exciting because I love to know that people are watching current work and falling in love with what I am doing now.
Is there any scene's that have stood out to you so far?
I've done a lot more in the past few weeks, I will have to tweet a pic closer to the episode air date in January from a stunt I do where i wrecked a chair and its really quite funny.
What is your favourite thing about working on White Collar?
It is one of the nicest cast and crew Ive worked with in 30 years. We laugh constantly. Tim and Willie love to make people laugh, its just such a fun set to work on. I just wish people could come visit the set for 5 minutes just to see how much fun we have and I hope it translates to screen. We also spend a lot of time together off screen which is very rare for a show.
As a final question and it's a tough one, how would you describe the mid-season finale in 3 words?
Riveting, surprising and [Long pause].... Shocking.