Thursday, January 20, 2011

By Alina Adams

White Collar is back, and Matt Bomer (Neal) is finally the star those of us who first saw him on Guiding Light always knew he was destined to be.

In fact, we knew he was a star before he officially arrived in Springfield even. When GL was auditioning actors for the role of Ben Reade, A&E came to film a documentary on the process. They wanted to shoot all five young men up for the part behind the scenes as they got ready to screen-test. Four of them agreed to participate. Matt didn't (he thought it might make him too nervous and affect his performance).

"Oh, God," GL's then-publicist groaned after watching them. "Matt Bomer was the best. He's going to get this. And he's the one we don't have on camera!"

Once he won the role, Matt told me, "I did so much research for this part! I bought the Guiding Light Scrapbook. I am caught up from 1957 to the present! Once I found out Holly was my step-mother, I did a lot of research, and then I was like, "Wait, does this mean I'm related to Roger Thorpe?" But then I found out I was Fletcher Reade's son. So I found out about him, and how my mom died in a helicopter crash. I had a meeting with (Executive Producer) Paul Rauch today, and I was like, "So, let's talk about my mother, Maeve, and my father, Fletch…" And he was all, "Whoa, how do you know all this stuff?"

Matt also confessed his secret for ad-libing small-talk during party scenes. "When I had a scene with Ed, I asked "How was Africa?" When I had a scene with Alex, I asked, "How was Europe?" I'm trying to stick to the major continents."

To read Matt's first-ever GL interview, click here.

And, on a personal note, Matt Bomer was one of the nicest, sweetest, most gracious actors I've ever worked with. A few months after he left the show, I ran into him on the street, walking his dog. Not only did he recognize me - out of context, no less! - but he stopped to say hello and chat! This is not typical celebrity behavior.

Now, every time I see him on White Collar, all I can think is that Matt deserves every success he's got coming to him, and more. Nice things should happen for nice people more often.


Alina Adams was the Creative Content Producer for ATWT & GL. She is the co-author of the GL tie-in, Jonathan's Story.

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