Matt Bomer and Piper Perabo: License to Thrill
by Damian Holbrook
He's the bad boy, she's by the book. But when you put two of cable's sexiest stars together for a photo shoot, a funny thing happens. After shaking off the sand and scrubbing off their sun-kissed makeup, Matt Bomer, who plays White Collar's swoonworthy con man Neal Caffrey, and Piper Perabo, the Golden Globe-nominated knockout behind Covert Affairs' CIA rookie Annie Walker, chill out at a café on New York's Chelsea Piers. When not dropping hints about their season premieres this week — Collar returns with our beloved Neal-Peter bromance on the rocks, and Affairs finds Annie protecting a CIA ally just as strong-willed as she is — the two laugh it up about love interests, filming on location and their perfect idea for a crossover episode. Hot and hilarious? Talk about an explosive combo!
Perabo: Oooh, I like your natural skin color.
Bomer: Thank you! I was an orangey brown for the shoot. Oh, and I liked your Brigitte Bardot hair.
Perabo: [Laughs] It was so big.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you know each other before this?
Perabo: No. Actually we did a phone interview together. That was the first time we ever spoke. Then you sent me flowers [after] the last episode of Covert Affairs. That was so nice.
TV Guide Magazine: You Texans take care of each other...
Perabo: You're from Texas? Where?
Bomer: Spring, outside of Houston.
Perabo: How cool! I'm from Dallas... You better like the Cowboys.
Bomer: My dad was drafted by them, so I didn't have a choice.
Perabo: No way! Are you kidding me? Did you go to school in Texas?
Bomer: No, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. I was [Lights Out's] Pablo Schrieber's roommate.
Perabo: You were his roommate?! He played my husband when we did Reasons to Be Pretty on Broadway. [Laughs] When we're not in the middle of an interview, I am going to ask you so many questions.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you watch each other's shows?
Bomer: Of course.
Perabo: It makes me homesick to watch White Collar because they film in New York and he's constantly going past restaurants I love, or a park I miss.
Bomer: [Laughs] Awww.
TV Guide Magazine: And you're up in Toronto shooting Affairs, right?
Bomer: You guys do an amazing job making Toronto look like [D.C.].
Perabo: It's well suited for the switch. You couldn't actually [do] our show in Washington because the real FBI doesn't like it if you pull guns and run around.
TV Guide Magazine: Would your shows do a crossover?
Bomer: That would be badass.
Perabo: You could do all three [USA shows]: Covert Affairs, White Collar and Burn Notice — because [Jeffrey Donovan's character is] burned, he'd be a useful person for us.
TV Guide Magazine: He could be connected to Annie's ex, if he survives that finale shooting.
Perabo: I can tell you that you will find out in the premiere what happened to Ben after he was shot.
TV Guide Magazine: And what about Collar this season? Does Neal take the Nazi treasure he found in the finale?
Bomer: That's his conundrum. He has to choose between the big score or really cooperating with the FBI. The stakes are higher and it's brought a new tension to the relationships.
TV Guide Magazine: What did you think when they told you it was gonna be Nazi treasure?
Bomer: I thought, "OK, we're going into Raiders of the Lost Ark realm... Let's do it."
TV Guide Magazine: Will you be trading Neal's fedora for a more Indy-style hat?
Bomer: How great would that be?
Perabo: No, I love the fedora!
TV Guide Magazine: Back to relationships: What's up with Annie's and Neal's love lives?
Bomer: You have a lot of choices.
Perabo: You should see Season 2!
TV Guide Magazine: There's the new doctor...
Perabo: And there's another one coming.
TV Guide Magazine: Has Neal found a keeper with Sara (Hilarie Burton)?
Bomer: I like his and Sara's relationship. It's adult, they have fun — recreationally and in the sheets. I love me some Hilarie Burton, and it was about time Neal got laid. He'd been in prison a long time and then he was looking for Kate for a couple years. [Laughs] He needed it.
TV Guide Magazine: Since this is our Summer Preview issue, what's your favorite part of this season?
Bomer: I like barbecues with friends and family. I do a homemade bourbon-molasses barbecue sauce. I don't wanna toot my horn, but it's good.
Perabo: After Texas, we moved to New Jersey, so I [spent a lot of time] on the beach in Seaside Heights where Jersey Shore is filmed. That's how I got my hair so big!
TV Guide Magazine: With such physical roles, you must be beach-ready, huh?
Bomer: You're assuming I have time to go to the gym.
Perabo: When I go outside, I am slathered in sunblock to make sure my color doesn't change!
TV Guide Magazine: Do you guys have any summer plans?
Bomer: My summer plans are to work on White Collar. If I have a free weekend, I'll escape up to Sag Harbor or Shelter Island. It's nice there.
Perabo: And I'll be filming, too. But we did get to film in Puerto Rico and Paris. We think there is a leak in the Syrian embassy in Paris, so I go there to get information.
Bomer: What? That is hot! [Laughs] Now I definitely want to do a crossover. Just get me to Paris.
For more scoop on this season's hottest summer shows, pick up this week's issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, June 2!