WHITE COLLAR: Marsha Thomason Previews Diana's Undercover Assignment and Viewers Finally Meeting Christie - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

WHITE COLLAR: Marsha Thomason Previews Diana’s Undercover Assignment and Viewers Finally Meeting Christie

June 21, 2011 by  

WHITE COLLAR fans will get to see a different side of Diana in tonight’s brand new episode, “Deadline.” Not only does the agent have to go undercover to keep a magazine editor safe, but viewers will finally meet Diana’s as-yet-unseen girlfriend, Christie.

To celebrate the occasion, Give Me My Remote spoke with Marsha Thomason (Diana) about going undercover, her various accents, Christie, whether Diana will ever trust Neal and much more…

It seems this week’s episode is a big one for you — Diana’s going undercover! How was that?
Marsha Thomason:
Pretty exciting. It was really fun, yes. Kind of a shock to the system. I don’t usually work every day on WHITE COLLAR and I was in from the beginning of the day to the end of day every day. It was kind of a shock to the system. But it was really a great experience.

Were you given a little bit of free rein to take this undercover character where you wanted?
No. I mean, I knew who Diana was playing, so to speak, undercover and she was assistant to the editor of a magazine that exposes big money corruption. And basically the objective was to toe the line while keeping an eye on this woman and protecting her — unbeknownst to the editor — because [the editor] didn’t want the FBI’s involvement even though she was under threat. So I’m undercover to protect her, but she thinks I’m her assistant. And it was really fun because I got to use my own accent as well, so I went undercover as an English person.

Well that’s nice you got to use your own accent. Is it difficult for you to do Diana’s American accent?
You know what, it was actually much harder to be English and American in the same episode than it is to just be American in an episode. Because I would do scenes where I’m talking to Jayne Atkinson’s character — who is the editor of this magazine — within my own English accent, and then within the scene I’m picking up the telephone and I’m talking to Peter and I have to be American and if I, Marsha, was going to make any mistakes it was that I was going to — it was the opposite way around to what Diana was doing. Do you know what I mean? Because Diana’s American pretending to be English. I’m English pretending to be American. It was a bizarre kind of…it was weird.

Did Diana have any practice runs where she tried to use different kinds of English accents until she settled on your actual voice?
No, no. There was no time for any of that. Basically, Peter tells her that Jayne’s character is interviewing for assistants and I have to get the job in order to go undercover with her. So I have to win out all the competition. So they knew that she had a soft spot for the north of England, which is where I’m from. Jayne’s character had a soft spot for the north of England so they said, “Go undercover.” She spent a lot of time in Manchester and so that’s the accent. And Diana’s kind of like, “What?” But somehow she pulled it off. It’s a miracle! [Laughs]

A little out of her element but, hey, that’s always fun to have it that way.

Now that you’ve had this chance to do this episode where you were so involved in everything, is it something that you’d like them to give you more often?
Oh, well of course. I mean I don’t know many actors who want to do less. You know, we always want to do more. So, sure I’d love to be this involved every episode but that isn’t what the show is, you know? We all get our moment to shine and this was mine.

And we’re also delving into her personal life in the episode because viewers will finally meet her girlfriend…
Yes. Finally.

How was that?
The mysterious Christie. I spent all of last season joking that Diana was actually full of crap, that she didn’t really have a girlfriend at all because every time Diana would arrive home, it’d be like, “Christie? Christie? Oh, she’s not here.” She made her up. She doesn’t exist. [Laughs] So it was really fun to finally meet this character and to try and see some of Diana’s home life, because we never really see that. So it was great. We have a double date with Sara and Neal and Diana and Christie over at Diana’s house and then they have dinner. And it’s just nice to see Diana let her hair down and be more relaxed with Neal, you know? It’s fun.

And how did that date go? Because she does have a little bit of suspicion towards Neal given the whole stolen treasure fiasco…
Always. Always. And she’s right to because the whole objective — the whole reason Neal organizes this dinner is that he knows I’m translating the German manifest from the U-boat and he’s trying to find it.

Of course. Neal always has some kind of objective.
Yes. Exactly. Diana doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. She knows that Peter wants to trust him, therefore she wants to trust him. But I think if it was Diana’s choice Neal wouldn’t be working with us.

Will we be seeing Diana’s girlfriend in any upcoming episodes beyond tonight’s hour?
No. She’s just in the one episode. Much has been made of it, but unfortunately it’s just one episode that we see her in. Not to say that we won’t see her again; I mean we still have seven more to shoot, so you never know.

Is there anything you’d like to see the writers do with this relationship?
It’d be fun…Christie’s a doctor, so it’d be fun if she helped us as Elizabeth does sometimes. You know, Elizabeth helps us with cases and it’d be fun to involve Christie in some kind of a medical story line. That’d be fun.

That’d be interesting to see how Diana deals with her home life being brought into her work life.
Yes, because Diana doesn’t really like the two mixing. You know, she likes to keep them separate. She isn’t comfortable with Neal hanging out with Christie. I mean, basically, Diana comes home from undercover work and Neal’s at her house. She didn’t even agree to it, you know? Typical Caffrey style. So yes, that would be fun to see, because, like I said, she isn’t completely comfortable with the two mixing.

Are Christie and Neal getting along well?
Yes, they get along great.

Which probably drives Diana crazy if she doesn’t trust Neal and doesn’t necessarily want him in her life, that can’t be fun for her.
You know, it’s not — it isn’t driving her crazy but she’s just got her eye on him and she doesn’t trust him. And that’s the bottom line. Because she can’t relax. And it’s annoying as well when, you know — I think we can all relate to that — when you feel a certain way about a colleague and then your partner meets them and they get on like a house on fire and you’re like, “Whoa. But I told you about this person. Hello?!”

Do you think Diana will ever get to a point where she can trust Neal?
No. She likes Neal now a hell of a lot more than she did in the pilot, you know. I do think that Diana really does like Neal. But I think she thinks it’s against her better judgment.

I mean, she’s not wrong to not fully trust him.
No, she’s not wrong.

What episode are you guys up to filming right now?
We [just started] episode ten.

And is the treasure still looming out there for these characters where you’re filming?
Yes. This is — it’s an ongoing theme throughout the season. I think episode ten might be our mid-season finale. And we’re shooting out of order, but I think maybe the next episode we’re doing is the mid-season finale and I don’t actually know what happens in it. But needless to say, there’ll be some kind of great crescendo and cliffhanger and I would imagine it will do with the treasure.

Right. And has that been brought up every episode so far or is it just kind of popping up here and there?
Pretty much popping up here and there in every episode. I mean that’s the main thing that’s going on in Neal’s life right now. So, yes, it’s pretty much in every episode. It’s fun.

Of the episodes you’ve shot so far, which one has been your favorite to shoot this season?
Well, I mean it’s episode three. For me, you know I love going undercover. So that’s absolutely my favorite episode. I mean it’s such an actor thing to say: “The episode that I have the most to do in is my favorite episode!” [Laughs] But, you know, there you have it.

Are you excited to learn more about Diana?

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