Entertainment » Television

For White Collar’s Marsha Thomason, on-screen girlfriend is no phantom

by Jim Halterman
Tuesday Jun 21, 2011

Currently in its third season, the USA series "White Collar" is always full of cons, mysteries and the occasional whodunit but there has never been a secret that FBI secret agent Diana Barrigan, played by Marsha Thomason, is a lesbian. However, while Diana has mentioned her lover Christie from time to time, we’ve never met her. Thomason has even joked in interviews that her on-screen girlfriend is a phantom.

Not anymore.

While there’s no shortage of gorgeous talent on "White Collar" with not only Thomason but also resident hunk Matt Bomer starring as con man Neal Caffrey, beautiful actress Moran Atias ("Crash," "Deal Or No Deal") appears as Christie for the first - but hopefully not last - time in this week’s episode. EDGE’s Jim Halterman jumped on the phone with Thomason late last week to talk about finally meeting Diana’s lover and her thoughts on the attention she’s received for playing gay on one of cable’s hottest television series.

Going undercover

EDGE: Let’s just jump right in. You know, the first two episodes of the season so far have been a little Diana-lite, but I guess that’s changing this next episode?

Marsha Thomason: They were a little Diana-lite, weren’t they? I didn’t notice that was an issue and when I sat at home watching them, I mean, where am I? But the good news is that, yes, this next episode is a pretty big one for me. I go undercover and, yes, I’m in it a lot this one episode.

EDGE: Can you talk a little bit about what the case is or is that kind of hush-hush, or can you talk about it?

MT: I go undercover as an assistant at this magazine called Circumspect. It reports on big money [and] big corporation scandals. The editor of the magazine has received a death threat, but she doesn’t want the FBI to be involved so I go in and interview to be her assistant, get the job and keep my eye on her from within. And I go undercover using my own accent, which is kind of fun.

EDGE: Was it kind of odd for you to actually use your real accent since you’re so used to not using it?

MT: It was really odd. And it was weird because I would do scenes where I would be talking to Jayne Atkinson -- who plays the editor of the magazine -- in my English accent. And then I would pick up the phone within the scene and be speaking to Peter in a whisper in an American accent. And it was just strange because, you know, Diana is American pretending to be English, but I’m English pretending to be American, so it was the opposite to what I was used to. Kind of funny. It was harder than I thought it was going to be.

Story continues on following page.

Watch this interview with Marsha Thomanson about season 3 of "White Collar"


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