Fans at Comic-Con really know how to make somebody feel welcome. This year's Comic-Con hosted the first ever White Collar panel. Nestled between the Burn Notice panel and the Psych panel, USA's newest show was very well received. The White Collar panel was moderated by their very own Willie Garson (Mozzie). The cast present at the panel included Matt Bomer (Neal Caffrey), Tim DeKay (Peter Burke), new mom Tiffani Thiessen (Elizabeth Burke), Sharif Atkins (Jones), and Marsha Thomason (FBI Agent Diana Lancing). The cast was joined by executive producers Jeff Eastin and Jeff King.
The panel opened with a video of the cast meeting up before heading to Comic-Con. Garson had a plan to infiltrate the Convention Center and provided clever costumes for each cast member, including a Darth Vader costume for DeKay. I have to say a part of me really wanted them to walk out on stage in costume (that did not happen). Bomer sported one of his now signature fidoras, however, which was good enough for me. The cast took playful jabs at each other, showing how close they are behind the scenes, and making sure to let the crowd in on every joke.
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If you're a true White Collar fan, you probably know that Bomer loves to sing. Garson asked Bomer what song he would sing at an American Idol audition, and the cast agreed he should sing the Folger's theme song (which you'll find on the gag reel of the season 1 DVD). Bomer himself would rather sing something by Chris Daughtry.
Garson put the spotlight on Thiessen, who just gave birth to her first child on June 15. Thiessen said she got pregnant during the first season and ended up having to film many of her scenes toward the end of her pregnancy in Los Angeles away from the rest of the cast. She proclaimed how excited she is to return to New York soon to rejoin her "other" family. She talks briefly about her character and Eastin informs us that Elizabeth is based on Abigail Adams.
One of the most direct questions Garson asked was directed toward producer/creator Jeff Eastin. "Kate's plane blew up...is she dead?" Eastin was able to dodge the question by asking the crowd if she should be dead, then took a vote by a show of hands. Most seemed to agree that she should be alive, but in some sort of coma. I guess we'll have to stay tuned to see if White Collar is, in fact, a democracy.
Marsha Thomason was asked about the tattoo she has on the top of her right arm. The tattoo is of four boxes with one solid line through them. "I was 21, I decided I needed a tattoo. I got a pen, doodled for a while I came up with four boxes and a line. Thats the truth!" she confessed. Thomason seemed a little embarrased that the story wasn't more interesting.
With cast members who (so obviously) love what they do, respect one another, and truly believe in their characters, I can confidently say that White Collar will be back at Comic-Con to promote future seasons. After giving us the gift of a great show, and a great panel, the folks at White Collar went one step further: everyone in the audience got a Comic-Con exclusive White Collar t-shirt. Season 2 is now airing on USA Network.