The two sides of the law are team­ing up on Ten’s new se­ries White Col­lar, as Guy Davis heard from good guy Tim DeKay and not- so- good guy Matt Bomer.

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CAST Tim DeKay, Wil­lie Gar­son, Matt Bomer, Tif­fani Thiessen

SUM­MARY Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer’s char­ac­ters – FBI agent and con­man – share a lively re­la­tion­ship forged to tackle crime.

You could call Neal Caf­frey, the charm­ing crook who ends up work­ing on the right side of the law in Ten’s new se­ries White Col­lar, a con man, but Matt Bomer – the ac­tor who brings Caf­frey to life – has a some­what craftier moniker in mind.

“ I pre­fer ‘ so­cial en­gi­neer’ be­cause that’s what con artists tend to call them­selves,” he said with a laugh.

And ac­cord­ing to the ac­tor, who had sup­port­ing roles in a num­ber of films and TV shows be­fore land­ing his break­through part as Caf­frey, his char­ac­ter’s work isn’t all that dis­sim­i­lar to his own.

“ A lot of what’s in­volved in a con­fi­dence game is what an ac­tor does,” he ex­plained.

“ You have to do a lot of home­work – the best con men do a lot of home­work, so they know their mark in­side and out.”

White Col­lar, Ten, Tues­day, 8.30pm

In White Col­lar, Bomer’s Caf­frey forms an un­likely al­liance with his arch en­emy, FBI agent Peter Burke ( played by Tim DeKay from the cult hit Carnivale).

Burke is the only man who was ever able to bring Caf­frey to jus­tice. But their cat-and-mouse game be­gins anew when Caf­frey busts out of prison only months be­fore his release.

When the feds fi­nally catch up with the con man, they strike a bar­gain: if Caf­frey helps Burke track down and catch the most elu­sive “ white col­lar” crims on the FBI’s hit list, Burke won’t send Caf­frey back to the slam­mer.

White Col­lar, which was in­spired by the likes of Catch Me If You Can and Ocean’s Eleven, bal­ances its breezy crook-chas­ing capers with the tense re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two lead­ing men.

Ac­cord­ing to DeKay, view­ers shouldn’t ex­pect the law­man and the con man to be­come best bud­dies overnight.

While their re­la­tion­ship does evolve, said the ac­tor, “ I also think it’s im­por­tant that the ten­sion is al­ways there: ‘ Make no bones about it, I can put you back in prison in a sec­ond’.”

The ten­sion be­tween Caf­frey and Burke cer­tainly isn’t shared by the ac­tors por­tray­ing the char­ac­ters, how­ever, with Bomer singing the praises of his co-star.

“ I knew from the first time that we read to­gether that this has to be the guy to play the role,” he said.

“ He’s so tal­ented, he’s so present, he un­der­stands his char­ac­ter, he un­der­stands what’s funny about his char­ac­ter. And what makes it fun, what makes com­ing to work with him fun, is that I never know what to ex­pect and I don’t think he knows what to ex­pect from my side be­cause we’re al­ways throw­ing dif­fer­ent things at each other. It keeps both of us on our toes and keeps our job in­ter­est­ing.” And DeKay’s take on his co-star? “ I carry ev­ery scene that he and I are in,” he said with a laugh.

“ No, it’s fan­tas­tic be­cause I think that’s where the show lives, hon­estly. It lives in be­tween us. I think that is where the show is most fun to watch: ‘ What are those two go­ing to do next?’ It’s a blast to work with him.”

Both ac­tors also feel that the tone of White Col­lar, rem­i­nis­cent of the sleeper hit Burn No­tice in its com­bi­na­tion of action, sly wit and char­ac­ter-driven sto­ry­lines, sets it apart.

“ I think it’s a re­ally unique show,” Bomer said. “ I think that the char­ac­ters and the dy­nam­ics meld to­gether a lot of in­ter­est­ing sto­ries and I hope peo­ple who watch it find it funny, en­joy the re­la­tion­ships, and en­joy the char­ac­ters be­cause I think they have a lot of unique things to of­fer that aren’t on TV right now.”

DeKay agrees, say­ing that “ my last two se­ries, Carnivale and Tell Me You Love Me, were very dif­fer­ent kind of shows: one was a pe­riod piece and one was very sex­u­ally coura­geous. I’m an old-fash­ioned sto­ry­teller, so I re­ally like the fact that this is an in­ter­est­ing story and you’re in­ter­ested in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two”.

And while White Col­lar may on the sur­face ap­pear like an­other cops-and-crooks pro­ce­dural, DeKay be­lieves that the medium is chang­ing, with the qual­ity of writ­ing, pro­duc­tion and es­pe­cially per­for­mance lift­ing the genre to a new level.

Stand by your man: The cast of White Col­lar, from left, Wil­lie Gar­son, who played Stan­ford in Sex and the City,

Chuck’s Matt Bomer, Carnivale’s Tim DeKay and Tif­fani Thiessen, who shot to star­dom in Bev­erly Hills, 90210.

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