Tiffani opens up about following in Mark-Paul Gosselaar's footsteps, White Collar relationships, and her teen crush! (September 11, 2012)
As you guys saw from last month's Saved by the Bell: Where Are They Now piece, Tiffani Thiessen could not be any cooler (hello—did you see how open and appreciative she was of her time at Bayside High?), and now she's kicking it as the amazing super-wife and career gal Elizabeth Burke on USA's White Collar.
In tonight's episode, Elizabeth plays an integral role as she helps her husband, Peter (Tim DeKay), spy on Neal (Matt Bomer), which leads to some pretty climactic moments.
So what does Thiessen, 38, think about her White Collar character? Plus, would she ever be up for playing herself on TV (much like Mark-Paul Gosselaar is going to do this fall on Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23)? Read on!
Glamour: You've said that your character, Elizabeth Burke, is the role that is most similar to you in real life. What do you admire most about her?
Tiffani Thiessen: Wow, I think a lot of things I admire about her actually. I admire the person that she strives to be. I admire her passion and her entire relationship with her husband. I admire that she's very strong in her career and owns her own business. She's creative, and she is in a field that I love, and I've always said that if I wasn't an actor, I'd be an event planner. Event planning and catering... food... I would do that whole side. There is so many things that I absolutely love about her.
What would you change about Elizabeth?
Wow, that's hard. I think that one thing I would change about her is I always wish she was more demanding of her husband's time. [laughs] I think the one thing that is so nice and sweet about her is that she is so understanding, and that's why their relationship does work. Because she gets that her husband is an FBI agent and works a lot and the hours are crazy. But I can't imagine in real life that that would be an easy relationship to have.
What would you like to see happen for Elizabeth and Peter?
From the moment I read the script in the pilot episode, I always loved that Peter and Elizabeth have a positive relationship, and you don't always see that on TV very often. You always see the drama of a relationship, or infidelity, or what isn't working because obviously that makes interesting TV, but what's nice is that I get stopped all the time by people who say, 'It's so nice to see a positive relationship on TV. I love the fact that you and your husband love each other.' I love hearing that. As for what I'd like to see happen, I think it's funny because a lot of people ask me if they'll have a baby or have children, and Tim and I talk about it because we both have families of course in our real lives. What I admire about them—and we've come up with our own ideas about why they don't have children—is that it's very common that people aren't conceiving as easily as they used to be because sometimes women are waiting a little bit longer to have kids, which makes it harder. But we've come up with our ideas why, and I think they are a very modern family in that sense. Their relationship is enough for them, and their dog is kind of their kid, and their careers do take a lot of their time. Although don't quote me on that, because next season we could have a kid on the show!
What was it like this summer with all the Magic Mike hoopla surrounding Matt Bomer? Did you guys tease him about his role or ask him to show his moves on the set?
[laughs] There were definitely some minimal jokes... like, there was a poster of Magic Mike and the crew put their own pictures in the place of all the other guys except for Matt Bomer. Other than that, not really. When the movie first came out, I went and saw it with all my male gay friends. It's the one thing that I admire about my co-workers is that we are all family people and the thing we talk about most is our families. That's what we'e excited about. The last thing we want to talk about is work. It's a very grounded group of people.
It was recently announced that Mark-Paul Gosselaar is going to be guest-starring as himself on Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23. Would you consider doing something like that, or even recreating Kelly Kapowski like Mark-Paul did on Jimmy Fallon?
No, I didn't hear about that! [laughs] That's awesome! Yeah, I would totally show up as myself on a show. It depends on the show and the kind of storyline they would write, but I would absolutely be open to that. I think it's always fun to do something different, especially when you're on a TV show six months out of the year playing the same character, we love playing something different. Yeah, of course, I'd always be open to it!
The Obsessed Q&A:
The TV show—aside from White Collar—that I'm obsessed with is: 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday Morning News. I'm being honest! It's awesome.
The TV show I can't wait to introduce my daughter, Harper, to is: Oh wow! Another one I'm obsessed with her watching, sooner than let's say, 60 Minutes [laughs], would be the Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. I love that show! [laughs] I love food! And I love Top Chef too.
The TV show I was obsessed with as a kid was: Smurfs as a cartoon, and The Brady Bunch as a live-action.
The movie I know all the words to is: These days, I know all the words to Up because my kid watches it! [laughs] I mean, literally, verbatim. You could literally turn down the volume, and I could recite the whole thing to you!
My teenage crush was: Ricky Schroeder. I loved Silver Spoons.
The best advice I've ever received about marriage and relationships is: That communication is the most important and it's so true. And you have to be patient. Relationships take a lot of work, whether it's a marriage, or a mother/daughter relationship, a friendship. They're not easy. I think we're all so wired differently, and our energies are different. Hi Jackson! You multitask when you're a Mom! And another thing is, you have to make time for your husband. Last night we went to see a movie which we haven't done in forever because it's really super hard to do sometimes, but we did, and we let my Mom put my daughter to bed and gave her a bath, and then we went to see a movie! So it's important to do those things for the two of you.
My best career advice is: Be yourself.
My favorite vacation spot is: Before a kid, it would be Thailand and Greece. Greece was probably my favorite. And now with a kid, you want someplace kid-friendly, so a beach like Hawaii.
I could go bankrupt buying: Kids clothes for Harper! More than me any more. And wine! Those are my two loves! [laughs]
If I have an hour of free time, I love spending it by: getting a massage. You need it when you're running around chasing after your kid and picking her up all the time!