Matt Bomer

White Collar returned last night for its third season and, lord, they didn't waste any time getting right back into the action, huh? So, since we lovelovelove USA's crafty con drama and what is being set up with this Nazi treasure mystery, the Watercooler has decided to devote today's column to a chat with star Matt Bomer about what's coming up and why Neal may not be such a good guy after all. (But shhh, don't tell Peter!)

TV Guide Magazine: OK, three seasons in... are you still having fun?
Matt Bomer: Oh I'm having a blast. Whenever you get to work with writing that inspires you? You're only as good as the writing you get to work on. Not to take anything away from interpretation because that's really important, as well. But great writing, you know, it motivates you.

TV Guide Magazine: Where is Neal headed this year?
Bomer: It's about "Do I stay or do I go?"

TV Guide Magazine: Do you think that's even a question for him, after all this time working and building a friendship with Peter?
Bomer: Yeah. I mean, the great thing about the writing on this show is that there is a lot of foreshadowing. Nothing ever comes out of the blue... even if it's one line, three episodes earlier. One of the things we always talk about is "how do you give it up?" Is there always gonna be the next big score? Will there always be something more tempting? And are we born the way we are, or do we get to choose? Is the con part of Neal's DNA or can he choose?

TV Guide Magazine: So when do we find out what choice he's made?
Bomer: I can't answer that. [Laughs] Sorry, I wish I could! I actually elect not to know too much, so that every script is like a Christmas gift every week. But the frustrating thing is, every time I do press, there are so many exciting things going on that are shrouded in mystery that I can't talk about.

TV Guide Magazine: But you do know some stuff, right?
Bomer: I always sit down at the beginning of every season with [Collar creator] Jeff Eastin and ask what is Neal's big super-objective? What is motivating him, what's his crisis, his obstacle... and then we flesh that out.

TV Guide Magazine: Now, we saw the song-and-dance side of you last season, so are we thinking "musical episode" anytime soon?
Bomer: We joke about it a lot, and as fun as it would be, I think it would be a ways down the line. What I liked about getting to sing with Diahann Carroll on the show is that they did manage to make it an organic moment, where it could actually have happened.

TV Guide Magazine: Rather than Neal being bumped on the head and waking up in a musical?
Bomer: Exactly! [Laughs]

TV Guide Magazine: So we love the little bromance-y bits between Neal and Peter. Do you and Tim DeKay work on that stuff off-camera?
Bomer: We always take time together when we rehearse the scene to hash out anything we might want to tweak or rhythms we want to establish, or things we think might be funny. Then when the cameras roll, we try to save some of that stuff for then, too.

TV Guide Magazine: Which one of you is the cast clown?
Bomer: We both get pretty silly, we like to riff on each other. But I would say that Tim is one of the funniest people I've ever known. He's always making me laugh. He is an A-plus human being, truly.

TV Guide Magazine: OK, last question. We know Neal's pretty shady, but what's the shadiest thing you have ever pulled?
Bomer: I'll tell you the one I am most comfortable talking about! [Laughs] It was sneaking off with my brother's car. I'd just turned 16. I pushed the car down the driveway, rolled it down the street, started it up and went joyriding with my friends.

TV Guide Magazine: Nice!
Bomer: Well, we ended up bumping into a couple trashcans and got a flat tire, so I got instant karma. I was grounded for a long time. I had just gotten that license, and my dad was waiting at home in his tighty-whiteys. "Lemme see that license" and it was gone!

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Are you watching White Collar this season? What do you think of this Nazi stuff?