I’ve been following Matt Bomer‘s work for a while. I remember I forgot my name and age briefly when I first saw him in White Collar. I was stunned by his presence. I later saw him in The Normal Heart where he received a Golden Globe. That was when I knew that guy was gonna make it far. You know, in all fairness — we don’t really know celebrities. But sometimes we do wonder how they’re like in person. That’s why I was super excited when Karina sent me a story about Matt, helping me affirm my beliefs that he’s truly humble.
About Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer landed his breakout role of a con-artist in the USA Network series White Collar from 2009 to 2014. Bomer won a Golden Globe Award and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for his supporting role as Felix Turner in the HBO television film The Normal Heart. You might also have seen him rocking some serious abs in Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL. Right now, he’s starring alongside Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys.
Karina is from Denmark. She is 39 years old and proudly sharing her birthday with Matt Bomer. Except from being a Collar by heart, she loves music, travels, adventures, and being with friends and family. She works in the web business and has co-owned a couple of companies the last 16 years. Some might call her a geek but she just likes being herself. She doesn’t like being like everyone else, which is probably a good thing, because she’s not.
My friend, Ulrik, and I have been huge fans of White Collar since the very beginning, and in December 2013 there was this charity auction online where Tim DeKay offered a visit to the set of White Collar to the highest bidder. We wanted – no, scratch that – we NEEDED that, because in May 2013 we’d been fortunate enough to be around the show while filming in Brooklyn, NYC, getting the chance to talk a bit to Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay and Tiffani Thiessen, but we really, REALLY wanted to visit the studio. We figured that this would be our only chance, so we bid on the auction, and after an insane adrenaline rush late one night we ended up as highest bidder. Yaaii!
In July, 2014, we headed from Denmark to New York to spend 3 weeks in the Big Apple. We dedicated our entire trip to White Collar and did the best we could to find out where they were filming around the city, even if it meant spending hours in the sun or sitting on a random sidewalk. We met other fans spending their vacation the same way, because – as it turned out – that summer meant the filming of the very last season of White Collar (sniff), and many Collars wanted to get the most of it before the end. We made great friends! Actually – some of these people we already felt like we knew, because they were part of the greatest fandom and the group of Collars who had joined forces to create a spectacular gift for the entire cast.
143 fans from 29 different countries had come together in the months of May and June to create personalized books for each member of the main cast. All books included messages from fans, pictures, information about how we were fighting for more White Collar, and what this phenomenon “Collars United” was (and still is) all about – and of course we used the books as the fans’ way of saying a huge thank you for everything that White Collar has given us and means to us. I write this in present tense, because even though the show ended about 1½ year ago, it still means a lot to most of us.
Anyway, Ulrik and I brought these books with us on our trip, and we were excited to present the gifts on behalf of the worldwide White Collar Family. The day arrived and we headed for the sound stage in Queens. Tim’s and Matt’s personal assistant welcomed us and showed us around the studio; the Burke’s kitchen and living room, the FBI offices, and finally all the way around to Neal’s apartment where Matt Bomer was filming a scene with Gavin Lee who played the head of the Pink Panthers in the final season. We got to watch and enjoyed being behind the scenes.
When Matt and Gavin finished shooting, Tim DeKay, Willie Garson and Tiffani Thiessen showed up – they were all getting ready to film a scene in the Burke’s kitchen, but while the crew set up the equipment we had (plenty of) time to talk to all four of them, and not least hand over the gifts we’d brought along. First off was Tim who actually told us that he’d recognized us on the sidewalk a few days earlier while we were watching them film from a distance. We were a bit surprised that he remembered us from the year before, but it was cool. Tiffani clearly remembered us, too, as she put her hand on my shoulder and said it was good to see us again. I’m still amazed that they remembered, knowing how many fans they meet and talk to all the time.
The books were a huge success. They were all amazed how so many fans had managed to work on the project together despite being spread out over the entire world, and they gave their thanks by handing out hugs and handshakes (can I just say that both Matt and Tim are soooo awesome huggers!?). Especially Willie was excited and ready to show the entire crew what he’d received. He hugged the book and called it a treasure. Let’s just say that we were thrilled! In return we got lots of pictures with the cast, videos of them unwrapping and not least I got the sweetest messages from all four of them on my White Collar poster that I had brought along in the hope of getting some autographs. Oh, boy – I did! And that poster is now framed and hanging in my bedroom so I can look at it every night before I fall asleep.
We spent almost 5 hours in the studio, talking to cast and crew, watching them film, hearing about the process of their work and of course getting to see the set. Meanwhile, we had people from the fandom waiting for us to come online and share everything. No-one was jealous, and that’s one of the most amazing things about Collars United – you really mostly hear people being excited for each other when some of us get to experience these special things. But we share of course, we always share with everyone. That’s one of the reason that the White Collar Family and Collars United mean so much to all of us.
We also shared the rest of our vacation through pictures and updates, because even though we kind of had “mission accomplished” that day in the studio, we continued following the show around the city until we had to go back home. Some might say we stalked them. We think of it as “extensive research on how to film a modern day TV-show” in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world. And you know what? The cast and crew seemed to like us being there. They always greeted us, smiling, a couple of times they shared drinks with us, because it was really hot, and one day when we couldn’t get close due to security reasons, Matt Bomer noticed and said to us a few days later: “Where were you the other day?”
I think — no, I KNOW that the summer of 2014 was my best vacation ever. At least so far, because as Tim DeKay wrote on my t-shirt the very last night we were in the city: See you next time!
Let me just finish off by saying that the White Collar fandom isn’t just a fandom, it’s like having this huge extended family all over the world. We’ve all made amazing friends due to something as simple as a TV-series – though a series that turned out to be a diamond if you ask the Collars – and people are no longer just names behind a screen. We meet, we have fun! Such friends are worth keeping close for years to come, and we’re brought together thanks to White Collar, Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay and the rest of the cast and creators. I’ll be forever grateful!
Karina’s story was very inspiring and we are so happy she found such a heart-warming fandom and met all these amazing people from all over the world. Fandom stories are always very moving. What’s yours? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org