An Interview with Marsha Thomason of “White Collar”

AE: If Diana and Christie aren’t going ring shopping I’m guessing there isn’t going to be a Neal hosted bachelorette party?
MT: No, I’m afraid not. 

AE: Oh, too bad.
MT: [laughs]

AE: Jones might have been the most excited about that idea last season. 
MT: I know. There’s some wonderful character development this season with Jones as well. We really get to see another side of him as opposed to the serious FBI agent. I’ve enjoyed watching that development of his character.

AE: That’s great.  I think we got, either last season or the season before [Season 3’s “As You Were”], we got to meet his former girlfriend and that was a nice piece of information to draw into his story.
MT: Yeah.

Photo courtesy of USA Networks

AE: Last season we got our one and only glimpse of the Shegull’s Nest and Christie, any chance she’s coming back or is she just too stuck in the hospital?
MT: [laughs] We’re not going to be seeing Christie, I’m afraid. 

AE: Too bad.
MT: It’s all, every question you have, it’s all episode five. Episode five reveals everything. 

AE: I can hardly wait. Diana’s daily wardrobe is pretty standard issue FBI suits which I’m guessing are not brands that an FBI agent could ever afford.
MT: No, I’m not sure how many FBI agents can afford Hugo Boss. 

AE: We’ve also seen Diana dress up for a number of undercover missions. She seems equally comfortable in pants or a dress and I was wondering what you picture Diana wearing to her wedding?
MT: I think that Diana would probably wear… I don’t think she’d wear a dress. I don’t think she would. Even though she’s comfortable in a dress, we see her undercover all the time in a dress and done up and all of that. I don’t know. Maybe a really dope white suit from Gucci or something, I don’t know. She wears suits to work so that would be lame. I don’t know. [laughs]

AE: Sort of an unfair question. 
MT: I just don’t see her in the blancmange, you know what I mean?

AE: No, that would be hard to imagine. Your fellow Lost alum Rebecca Mader is going to guest star and the rumor is that she plays a con who is looking to work with Neal and maybe cozy up to Diana, can you tell us a little bit about that episode?
MT: Well, I can’t say too much, I don’t want to give anything away. You know what? I don’t even want to comment and give it away. It’s coming up soon and all will be revealed. I know that’s a really boring answer but anything I say is just going to ruin it.

AE: I understand. 
MT: When I’m watching TV I never watch coming up next on whatever. I don’t watch the trailer for the next episode because they tell you everything! 

AE: Some shows, they really do. I don’t think White Collar tends to give it all away.
MT: No, it doesn’t because, actually, the trailer the upcoming episode on Tuesday it [cut] out huge chunks of what’s going on. So that’s actually really good. 

AE: There’s always some sort of surprise or twist and it’s nice that in a show based around mystery that it’s not all given away beforehand.
MT: Yeah.

AE: Each episode tends to have an undercover piece, whether it’s Diana who goes undercover or Neal who is usually heavily involved.  Last episode we saw Peter pretending to be someone else. Do you have a favorite undercover mission that you’ve done so far?
MT: For me, it’s the one where I went undercover at the magazine [Season 3’s “Deadline”].  It was the most challenging episode because I had to be American and English which was harder that you would think. For me, I’m pretending to be American but Diana was pretending to be English and so it was the opposite way around. I’d be on phone calls to Peter in an American accent and then I’d have to hang up and switch on the English accent and it was just, ugh, a topsy-turvy world. It was kind of cuckoo, but really fun. I had a great time on that episode. 

AE: That’s actually one of my favorites. One of the reasons was that we got to hear your regular accent instead of your American accent, which is quite good.
MT: Oh, thanks.

AE: We also got to see Diana sort of uncomfortable and a little bit frazzled.
MT: Yeah, which is great because she’s always so cool. 

AE: She’s always so cool and always so under control and this was an episode where she was legitimately frazzled and her team thought it was very amusing. I’m sure Diana didn’t think it was funny at all. It was fun to watch.
MT: I have a couple of undercover episodes toward the latter end of the season. Titus Welliver, another Lost alum, he guest starred on the show and I had a fun undercover with him. I don’t want to say too much but I got to play a fun character.

AE:  I read that you’re a big karaoke fan.
MT: I am.

AE: What would it take to get Diana to sing karaoke and what do you think she’s sing?
MT: I think that Diana would totally sing karaoke. I think she’d need a couple of drinks and I thnk she would sing Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.” 

AE: [Laughs] To Neal?
MT: [Laughs] Maybe. [Laughs]

AE: That’s great [Laughs].  A couple of questions unrelated to the show.  I’ve read that you’re a big Manchester City fan.
MT: Yes!

AE: It’s been a pretty good year to be a Manchester City fan.
MT: Yes it has.

AE: Winning the Premier League in such fantastic fashion and at the cost of Manchester United.  Were you in the States during all that? Were you following it?
MT: I was in the States. I was shooting White Collar but I was watching it on television and literally couldn’t bear to look anymore. In the eightieth-something minute it looked like we’d blown the whole thing and couldn’t believe it and I was so mad and so upset I didn’t even know what to do with the emotions. So when the whole thing turned around there was no better feeling. Really incredible after forty-four years, my god!

AE: I’m a Red Sox fan so I think I can feel something akin; the years of futility and taking down your biggest rival at the same time.
MT: Exactly! 

AE: There’s not much better joy, at least for a sports fan, I don’t think.
MT: No, absolutely not. I don’t think we’ll ever have a moment quite like that because, god forbid, it’s another forty-four years.

AE: No, you don’t want that.  Are you excited for the Olympics?
MT: Yes I am. I’m going to go home and watch. [We spoke as the Opening Ceremonies were happening in London.]  It’s going to be on in our home every day.

AE: Any favorite events?
MT: Not especially. I really like the track events but I don’t know who is competing or who the stars are. I don’t know any of that stuff anymore but I really like the track events and I like the gymnastics too.

AE: Last question, any preview for upcoming episode? Neal is going to charm a widow and Peter is still not back with White Collar.  Anything else we should look for?
MT: Well, I’m not going to say anything about it but I am going to say that Laura Vandervoort plays the widow.  She and I were in a movie a while ago and she’s great on the show. God does she look breathtaking, she really does.  But other than that, I’m not saying anything [laughs].

AE: I thought that might be your answer.
MT: [Laughs]

AE: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.  I really appreciate it.  
MT: Any time. Thank you very much.

White Collar airs at 9 PM on USA Network.

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