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White Collar Preview: Willie Garson Talks the Final Season [INTERVIEW] 

White Collar - Season 6
Photo Credit: Robert Ascroft/USA Network

This is a bittersweet day for White Collar fans. Tonight, the hit USA Network series begins its sixth and final season.

The title of the premiere is even a little sad. It’s called “Borrowed Time.” The Synopsis: In an attempt to secure his freedom once and for all, Neal convinces Peter to strike an ironclad deal with the FBI brass. But first, he must gain access to the leader of an international crime syndicate. Meanwhile, El is confronted with startling news about her future with Peter.

TV Goodness was part of a press call with the actor who plays the entertaining enigma known as Mozzie. Willie Garson talks about what he’ll miss most about White Collar, if he’s happy with the way the show ends, his next project and he takes the time to thank the fans.

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/USA Network

On what excites him most about the final season

Willie Garson: What excites me the most is that we got it, that we got one actually because it was a little in jeopardy just to due to economics. And it was really important to us and eventually also thankfully to USA to give us these six episodes to finish up the story as much of it as we could.

So we’re really excited because our fans are so into the show, which we’re very thankful for and we really want to give them some kind of closure. And so we have – we really took that opportunity seriously and worked very hard on these last six. So I’m excited for people to see it.

Garson says the show will get to explore Mozzie’s background in an “incredible way” 

Willie: It was a massive surprise to me and it will be a massive surprise to our fans. So it’s terrific, I think it’s episode four and it’s quite terrific so people can really look forward to that. Any Mozzie – any very strange Mozzie fanatics can really look forward to that episode.

On whether he’s happy with the ending of the show

Willie: I think it’s a really hard thing to end a show that satisfies everyone. I think in a way…I think ours will be pretty successful and for not the reason that you think. I think it’s because we were in a hurry.

And we didn’t have a ridiculously long amount of time to prepare for it. So, because of that…much like I tell my son when he’s playing tennis, the longer he waits to take that shot the worse the shot is going to be.

And that’s how I feel about ending  [the] show. It came too quickly and we were not prepared for the show to end so we just went to work and quickly summed it up.

And I think it came out in a really elegant way. I was surprised at how lovely the final episode actually is. So we did our best.

On what he enjoys about playing Mozzie

Willie: What I liked most about this character was that it was the closest to myself, which I never really had a chance to play. That was very freeing in terms of adding stuff and coming up with ideas that had to change me.

I really got the opportunity to entertain myself in this role. That said, that all comes from the way Jeff [Eastin, White Collar creator] set up the show. It’s so collaborative.

And I think it was a surprise because this was going to be a very ancillary character who just kind of helped where Neal would maybe go consult with him once an episode for a scene about something nefarious.

It’s been a playground the whole time. They also let us write stuff and change scenes and fix scenes and add stuff and it’s just been terrific in terms of all of that. That’s been a very special experience I don’t know if I’ll have that again.

On what he’ll miss most about White Collar

Willie: Really the day-to-day camaraderie and fun of being together. We’re all very much the same kind of people and we just gelled perfectly. Jeff along with the network worked very hard on casting this show.

And they just got it right in this blend of people and as hard as we all worked actually to get it. And it just worked out perfectly. Tim [Dekay] and Tiffani [Thiessen] and Matt [Bomer] just fit in perfectly in my life.

And so I’m going to miss the camaraderie and also the collaborative nature of it. We almost felt like we were in a high school, that first time when you’re acting in high school plays and you’re all in it together making it as good as it can be together.

And that somehow transferred into a big time TV show and it was just delightful. I’m really going to miss that camaraderie and seeing Matt and Tim and everyday is a big deal for me. So we try to now even though we’re not working together.

On his next project…he’s bringing the Courtship of Eddie’s Father back to television.

Willie: I am producing and have story rights. It’s a combination of the original show — Courtship of Eddie’s Father — combined with myself and (Nathan) my son, our life together as an adopted father combined with courtship. So I came up with it and I’m producing it and I will be acting in it as well. It’s in development for Fox so who knows what’s going to happen but we’re on our way.

He gives thanks to White Collar fans

Willie: We always take these opportunities and this is our last opportunity for this show, but to thank you all for being unbelievably supportive of this show and for writing about us and getting the word out about this show. It did not go unnoticed and this show has been a real fan-driven show and that’s because of people like you. So we thank you a lot for that. Know that we’re aware of that we’re very pleased and thankful for what you’ve done for us.

The sixth and final season of USA Network’s White Collar premieres tonight at 9/8c.

Interview edited for space and content.

Cheers to White Collar!

Photo Credit for Images: David Giesbrecht/USA Network

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