If an actor is lucky, they'll have one adored and long-running show on their resume. If an actor is really lucky, they'll have two. But thanks to her role on the slick and sexy White Collar, Tiffani Thiessen now has three hit series' to her name! And, perhaps, in the truest test of the show's staying power, fans are now approaching her about Elizabeth Burke as frequently as they do about Kelly Kapowski or Valerie Malone!
Tonight serves up the White Collar summer finale -- an episode that Thiessen teases will leave fans (and her character!) dangling from a precarious precipice as the show's biggest cliffhanger lies in wait!
ETonline: White Collar has really injected Elizabeth into the action this year -- how exciting has that been for you?
Tiffani Thiessen: It's been fantastic. I wasn’t able to do a lot last season [Thiessen was pregnant with daughter Harper Renn Smith, born on June 15, 2010], so as wonderful as 2010 was for me personally, it was a little hard with the show. So it’s been really fun to come back this season and have Elizabeth involved with a lot of fun stuff again. I’m really a part of the show now, which is how it was always meant to be.
ET: But your character isn't the only one finally living up to her potential, I feel like the show is truly firing on all cylinders this season.
Thiessen: I agree. It’s really exciting. I think, as an actor, everyone strives to, first, get a job. Then get a job you enjoy. And lastly, you want to get a job which will last. It’s three separate things, so the fact we have all three of those with White Collar is amazing. And let me tell you, I love working with this cast, which is not always the case. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years and it’s a definite gem.
ET: Is it strange to say "I've been doing this for almost 30 years?"
Thiessen: Yes! Because I don’t feel old enough to say that. [laughs] I started acting when I was 8-years-old, and I’ll be 38 next year, so it’s crazy to have been in this crazy business for 30 years and still be making my living at it! That’s something to be proud of. But the fact I’m enjoying it still is even more exciting.
ET: Not only to be working for 30 years, but to be a part of three signature shows must make it even sweeter.
Thiessen: It’s nice. Most people talk about Saved By The Bell and 90210, but when fans start talking to me about another project, that's when I know it's really connecting. And that’s starting to happen with White Collar, which is the most exciting.
ET: Tonight is the big season finale, what can you tease about the inevitable cliffhanger?
Thiessen: Something big happens to Elizabeth tonight, I haven’t seen the finale yet, but our creator Jeff Eastin says it’s the best episode we’ve done in three years and the biggest cliffhanger yet.
ET: As a loyal watcher, that gives me Keller concerns...
Thiessen: [laughs] I know, I know. You’re just gonna have to wait and see. It’s crazy. But Keller is very dangerous … which is why we’ve kept him around. He’s dirty. He’s especially dirty tonight. You’ll see. He’s not a nice man!
ET: Looking ahead to the new season, starting January 2012, what can you reveal?
Thiessen: You’ll definitely come back with some answers, and conclusions with the cliffhanger that happens tonight. It’s a very big episode. You’ll see a lot of me, because I kind of end the episode tonight. It’s crazy! Crazy! After that, you’ll see Elizabeth solving her own case! I become suspicious of our new neighbors and open up this case on my own. I end up getting them arrested. It’s a really fun episode, where I do a lot with Matt [Bomer] and Willie [Garson]. People have really been responding to the Elizabeth/Mozzie dynamic, so they’ve been writing more and more for us, so you’ll see a lot of that next season.
White Collar's season finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. on USA