Preface - Over the last several days, I had the privilege of conference interviewing with Willie Garson and Andrew McCarthy to talk about the Forging Bonds episode of White Collar. (It was fantastic, so check it out if you missed it.) The Willie Garson interview is from my notes so there is more paraphrasing, but the Andrew McCarthy one is from the interview transcripts. The Andrew McCarthy interview will be posted shortly. Thanks to everyone who suggested questions for both.
Willie Garson is very personable on the phone - funny, self-deprecating, and friendly. He enjoys playing Mozzie because the character is similar to himself in his world views and wry sense of humor. "Mozzie is close to me but he's certainly not me." It allows him to bring more depth to the character, to be more collaborative, since a lot comes from his heart. If fact, he says that about every 3-4th line comes out of his head. He thinks fans find Mozzie endearing because he's well-written with a lot of heart. He likes Mozzie's vulnerability and thinks the audience is drawn to the sweetness of that. However, getting the part took some doing. He was in Bogota, Columbia on a movie when he heard about it and then worked hard for 2 months to get the role.
Professionally, Garson has been developing TV shows with 2 partners and have sold a couple of reality programs. (Say it isn’t so.) He also wants to direct and is in talks "as we speak" to direct an episode of White Collar. He figures that is a good place to start since he is personally invested in the show. However, he's not looking to pursue 2 acting jobs at the same time though. Shooting White Collar during the day and the Sex and the City movie at night almost killed him. He also teaches an acting class. His advice to actors - "bring yourself to the role" instead of doing it like someone else would. He just read Michael Caine's biography and really admires how each of his characters had a life of its own. Currently, he sheepishly admitted that he is reading the bootlegged copy of O. J. Simpson's If I Did It. He got is for Christmas (yikes) but is not very impressed by the first 50 pages.
Screencaps by BuddyTV, TV Caps, whitecollaronline.net, and SuperiorPics.com