Catching Up with White Collar’s Tiffani Thiessen

The summer season of White Collar is building up to a finale that star Tiffani Thiessen, who plays Elizabeth Burke, called “riveting” and “shocking” when we spoke with her recently. Find out what else she had to say about this season and what’s to come …

Elizabeth’s take on the tension between Peter and Neal:

“You know, I always try to think that she really tries to stay right in the middle. I mean, of course her first priority [is that] she always stands by her husband. But I’ve always thought that Elizabeth really kind of has a soft spot for Neal and sees the good in Neal probably more often than Peter’s character does. But I think there’s definitely – the questions that are surrounding the whole scenario with the treasure, I think she’s kind of in question as well and you’ll see in the finale that a lot of those answers get, as well as some new drama unfolds with it.”

What Elizabeth sees hidden in Neal:

“I think she sees that there’s a part of Neal that really kind of envies and has a feeling of desire wanting what possibly Elizabeth and Peter have. You know, he plays this kind of guy that loves the ladies and likes to be moving and grooving and out and about and you know, his con guy. But I think there’s a part of him that desires to be a little more grounded and desires to kind of have a little bit of the white picket fence and the wife and the dog and all that. And I think she sees that more than I think even he sees it.”

What might have happened if Elizabeth had found out about the treasure instead of Sara:

“You know, I would think that she’d have a very hard time with it. I think there would be a lot of stewing, of trying to figure out what’s best, on how best to approach Peter about it, but I do believe that she’s always behind her husband. I believe that she would have to go to him because I just think that’s part of being honest and being in a marriage and also knowing right from wrong. She is married to an FBI agent, of course … But I think she always tries to see the good in Neal and so I think she would definitely explore the possibilities of what exactly went on … and I think she would figure out that maybe he was having second thoughts about it and doubts about it. I think she would see that. But I think ultimately she would definitely have gone to her husband no matter what.”

On whether Elizabeth and Satchmo will get involved in another case soon:

“You definitely see me for sure. You see me in the season finale – something very big happens in the season finale and I hope you guys will like it. It’s definitely one of our better episodes. It’s pretty exciting. And then you definitely see it unfold of course next January when we come back and I’m very much involved in that as well as another episode that comes after that … I kind of come up with a case and crack the case myself. So you’ll definitely see a lot more of Elizabeth, which is quite fun.”

How Elizabeth has evolved:

“I think every season and every year she becomes more and more understanding. Also I think she finds a way to reinvent and kind of fall in love with her husband all over again, which I love about her. Right now in this season in particular I think she’s trying to figure out some possible changes in her career which is kind of fun, the fact that she’s kind of going back into the art world again, which is exciting, so I think that’s been fun to see some changes in her and her career, which a lot of us women go through, and men too. We get to that age where we’re [asking] ‘Okay, is this what I want to do the rest of my life?’ And I think she’s kind of there as well.”

What she’d like Elizabeth to do in the future:

“You know, we’ve started to see a little bit of it and you’ll see a little bit more in January, but I do like that they’re starting to kind of pull her back into the art world again, which is kind of where she started and where she met her husband, so I’d like to kind of see that go a little bit more. It would be kind of fun, which would help get me more involved possibly with some of the other characters in the show.”

And some inside scoop on Satchmo!

“This season his real name is Jackson. Crazily enough we’ve had a different dog every season; I don’t know if you guys have realized that. I think the first season he was a little chunkier, in the second season he was a little younger and this season he’s right in the middle. This year he’s a great dog named Jackson … He’s actually quite sweet. He’s a dog that definitely wants to impress. He’s still got a little puppy in him so he’s still got a little bit of childlike behavior, which is kind of funny, but all in all he’s a very sweet dog and he loves to be petted. And he’s a big licker as well, so you’ve got to be careful.”

Watch White Collar‘s summer finale tonight at 9/8c on USA!

Photo Courtesy of USA Network

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