White Collar Season 4 Interview: Treat Williams Discusses Playing Neal’s Father

Treat Williams comes back to White Collar as Sam during the mid-series premiere, and TV Equals was able to learn more about what to expect from Williams’ time on the series through a conference call. Read below to understand more about what attracted Williams to the show, how he feels about his character and more.

Why White Collar?

Williams talked about what attracted him to White Collar in the first place.

“I thought the show had such a beautiful look,” he said, discussing how New York acted as another character in the show, before adding, “…it was a variety of things Tim DeKay and I were old friends–Tim starred with me on Everwood, the first season. I thought Matt [Bomer] was astonishingly good in the show. I loved the quality of the work in it. And I don’t think it’s too often that you get to play a character who is mysterious and no one seems to know who he is or what’s his next move and that’s always fun.”

More on Matt Bomer

Williams discussed more about his thoughts on Bomer during the conference call.

“I adore him…He takes the work very seriously,” he said. “…[He's] humble and…I adore him, I can’t speak enough about him. And whatever success he gets, on the show and afterwards, he deserves. I don’t know an actor who works as hard as Matt does.”

Sam’s return throughout the mid-season

The mid-season premiere will not be the only time you’ll see Sam. Williams said there are a few more episodes during which his character will play a part in.

“You will see me on more than the season opener…I’ve signed on for six [episodes],” he said. “I honestly don’t remember how many have been shown. I think there are at least two more before the season ends.”

Going with the flow

Williams said he wasn’t sure where his character’s storyline was going when he first signed on, but grew to understand the process of not knowing.

“It was frustrating at first, but finally, after reading the first two, I said, ‘Look, these guys are such good writers, I’m just going to go with the flow on this,’ and I was excited to get the next script and find out [what happened next],” he said. “I didn’t even know until two or three episodes in that I was going to end up being…a good guy, so it was fun to…get a script and go, ‘Oh, this is [what we're doing] this week.’”

Differences between Williams and Sam

Williams said one major difference between himself and Sam is Sam’s “troubled” nature.

“I watched the episode last night again, and I think that one of the things that’s very different between he and I is that he is troubled in the sense that he’s spending time with this kid who was the love of his life until he was five years old and then was torn away from him by circumstances that he started,” said Williams. “…This character’s in a lot of pain, having to keep it a secret that this is his long lost son, but on the other hand, he gets to be with him. I think that’s that the greatest difference between us is that not too much bothers me.”

The mid-season premiere of White Collar airs January 22 at 10/9c on USA.