Diahann Carroll WHITE COLLAR Interview

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					Final Transcript

  White Collar – Diahann Carroll Q&A Session
  February 5, 2010/2:30 p.m. EST


Moderator           Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the White

                    Collar - Diahann Carroll conference call. At this time, all participants are

                    in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer

                    session. As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to

                    turn the conference over to our host, Andrea Epstein. Please go ahead.

A. Epstein          Hello everybody. Thank you so much for joining our call today. As you

                    know, we have the very lovely and talented Diahann Carroll with us.

                    Diahann plays June on an original series, White Collar, which airs on

                    Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on USA Network. We have a new episode coming

                    up this next Tuesday, I think we are eager and ready to begin, so we'll go

                    ahead and take the first question please.
Moderator    Okay, one moment please. The first question comes from the line of

             Curtis Shaw, who is with Fellowship of Fools. Your line is open. Please

             go ahead.

C. Shaw      Ms. Carroll, how are you today?

D. Carroll   I'm very well, thank you.

C. Shaw      Wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us.

D. Carroll   It's my pleasure. Thank you.

C. Shaw      First of all, I just really loved your role as Burke's mother in Grey's

             Anatomy. I mean, it brought a whole new depth to Burke's character and

             his relationship with Christina.

D. Carroll   Oh, that's a lovely thing to say. I always feel very good and comforted

             when someone has taken the time to really understand the character, so I'm

             delighted to hear that. Thank you.

C. Shaw      Of course, but my real question, though, relates to some of your earlier

             work in 1978. You were part of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Can you
             talk a little bit about how you got that role, your feelings about the holiday

             Special, and if you've had any Star Wars fan experiences regarding that


D. Carroll   You know, I think it's the biggest secret in the world. I don't know that …

             ever was, much less that I was ever a part of it. I think it was co-produced

             by a friend of mine, who called and asked if I would be a part of it and I

             had never done anything like that before. The fascination with Star Wars

             and what compiled Star Wars was sort of “in the air” and I was intrigued

             by it and, yes, I decided to be a part of it. As I recall, I was practically

             nude on … That's my recollection.

C. Shaw      Have any Star Wars fans approached you and asked you about that, or any

             of that interaction?

D. Carroll   No, the only thing I've ever been asked is “When are you coming back?”

C. Shaw      Do you have an answer?

D. Carroll   “'I don't know” is my answer.

C. Shaw      Wonderful.
D. Carroll     Maybe not.

C. Shaw        Thank you so much.

D. Carroll     My pleasure.

Moderator      Okay, thank you. The next question comes from the line of Jim

               Halterman and Jim Halterman is with jimhalterman.com. Please go ahead.

               Your line is open.

J. Halterman   Hi, Ms. Carroll. Thanks for your time today.

D. Carroll     How do you do? It's my pleasure.

J. Halterman   I'm doing well. Thank you.

D. Carroll     Good.

J. Halterman   I wanted to know—how did the role come about on White Collar?

D. Carroll     The creator, actually, is the person who approached us about doing this

               role and he really understood the period of time that was—my character,

               June—that was her hey-day and I thought, well, this is going to be really

               great fun because it goes back to the period of the Rat Pack and she was,
               obviously, a part of it to the degree where she was married to one of the

               musicians, or—it's not exactly clear what he wants to do with that area of

               it and that's another thing that I love—the creativity as you go along.

               That's how she meets the main character, getting rid of some of the

               clothing that she has kept, her memorabilia from that period that was a

               wonderful time in her life, but actually, he has a great feeling for that

               period of time, and so it's been, really, a joy being there and doing it.

J. Halterman   That's great, and you know, in your career you seem to have done it all. Is

               there anything that you still have yet to accomplish?

D. Carroll     That's a great question. I appreciate that question and I really have not

               done it all, but, I mean, in terms of—I've done theater and television and

               film and nightclubs, that is true, but I really would love another

               opportunity to do something as fascinating as Dynasty was, on television.

               I really enjoyed doing that and I'd like to see something like that come

               about again. Something that is totally absurd and fun.

J. Halterman   All right, we love seeing you back on TV. Best of luck.

D. Carroll     Thank you.
Moderator    The next question comes from the line of Rosa Cordero with Accidental


R. Cordero   Ms. Carroll, thank you so much for speaking with us today. It's an honor

             to talk to you.

D. Carroll   Thank you very much.

R. Cordero   I'm really enjoying your character on White Collar. I wanted to know, as

             the first black woman to star in your own TV show, what are your feelings

             about how it's changed for, not just black women, but for minority women,


D. Carroll   Television, how has it changed?

R. Cordero   Yes.

D. Carroll   Well, I would have to say that I have a positive feeling about that. There

             are so many shows on the air that I'm not really familiar, but I do believe

             that the stereotypical woman that was dominating television when I

             started, we've done away with that, for all of but what we call third world

             women—people—and that's very gratifying that we've done that. The
             integrating is still not on a level that I would like to see it, but I do think

             it's coming. I do feel that we are trying and that it's getting better.

R. Cordero   You think we still have a long way to go?

D. Carroll   Oh, indeed. Yes, we do.

R. Cordero   One more brief question. Could you tell us anything about June? What's

             going to be happening with her on the remainder of the season of White


D. Carroll   June is, at this moment, enjoying her relationship with her new found

             friend and I think that they're just getting, really, to know each other under

             all circumstances and she trusts him and is fascinated by him and also his

             friend. The characters are developing into very interesting—I'm trying to

             think of, the young man with the glasses—

R. Cordero   Willie Garson. He plays Mozzie.

D. Carroll   Oh, he's a wonderful character and I think—

R. Cordero   Oh yes, I love him.
D. Carroll   I think all of it together is something that I'm enjoying having to relate to


R. Cordero   Wonderful. We're really enjoying seeing you again on a television show

             and I wish you luck. Thank you.

D. Carroll   Thank you.

Moderator    Next question comes from the line of Christine Nyholm with the

             Examiner. Your line is open. Please go ahead.

C. Nyholm    Hello. Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today.

D. Carroll   Hello. It's my pleasure.

C. Nyholm    My question goes to a more serious topic. As a cancer survivor myself,

             and I know that you're an activist for breast cancer, and have had a

             personal experience and I understand you have a program coming up

             about that and I was wondering if you would mind sharing, with us, your

             thoughts about that.

D. Carroll   Any time I have the opportunity to talk, particularly to women who are

             going through what I experienced, it's always a very gratifying exchange

             for me and I learned something and I hope that I give them something in
             return, something they can use, something they can move on, and I think

             that's one of the best things—one of the perks actually if that can be called

             a perk—when one knows that they have breast cancer—is the exchange,

             meeting each other, discussing, making new friends, learning new things

             that they have done that they can pass along to me, and vice verse, and

             that's what we will be doing.

C. Nyholm    Do you know where that will be airing or broadcasting?

D. Carroll   No, I don't. I'm sorry. I hope everyplace.

C. Nyholm    Okay, so it's a program that is developing, yes?

D. Carroll   Yes. Absolutely.

C. Nyholm    Okay, well, and I do enjoy your character on White Collar. It's fun to see

             that relationship with Matt Bomer. I was wondering, is he as good

             looking in real life as he is on TV?

D. Carroll   If it's possible, he's better looking in real life and also very charming, and I

             think this is going to catapult him into the kind of stardom that he

             deserves. He is very hard-working and it's a delight to watch him in front

             of the camera. I think the character is perfect for him. He is really a bad
               boy who has good instincts and he looks the part. I'm enjoying it very


C. Nyholm      Thank you very much.

D. Carroll     Thank you.

Moderator      The next question comes from the line of Icess Fernandez with Writing to

               Insanity. Please go ahead.

I. Fernandez   Ms. Carroll, it's such a pleasure to talk to you today. I'm quite honored.

D. Carroll     Thank you very much.

I. Fernandez   The question I have, kind of, expands on a question that has already been

               previously asked. You were around when African Americans were first

               starting in television, so I was wondering—you were talking about that we

               needed to be—people of color need to be more integrated in television and

               you said that that was coming. What can—what are some things that can

               be done to help facilitate that integration?

D. Carroll     I suppose our lives need to be more integrated. We have white

               communities and black communities and white country clubs and black
               country clubs. It's very important when we integrate ourselves, and it

               helps us to have a better understanding of the world, to people all over the

               world and this is the time in history that we have become very aware of

               how important that is, so I think it's just really—we have to know each

               other and work together and play together in order to write about each


I. Fernandez   That's pretty inspiring, actually.

D. Carroll     Well, I certainly hope so. I do, because I believe it's true.

I. Fernandez   Let me ask you one more additional question. I'm actually a writer and so

               I'm always interested to think about what actors think about when they

               read writing, and so, the question I have for you is what do you look for in

               a script that helps you identify with your character?

D. Carroll     Oh dear, that's a very complicated question. Identify. It can be a negative

               too, you know, … something that someone has written on the page. It's

               not always something that you are able to verbalize. It's something that

               happens intrinsically and also if there's … action to some the action that is

               required of the character and it moves you in a way that is different from

               anything else that's on your desk, that's the piece that you will respond to

               and wish to have as a part of your life and as a part of your legacy. It's
               something that's inexplicable, really, that's down in your gut and it's

               moved by something that makes you feel “I'd like to do that, I'd like to be

               able to say that and make people hear me because I think it's important,”

               even if it's not—even if it's a negative, it'd still be important, so I think

               that's as much as I can say about it, because it's something that really is

               emotional and difficult to verbalize.

I. Fernandez   When you were saying negative, were you talking more of negative as far

               as the role being perceived as negative, or just a gut reaction to what you

               see on the page, being negative?

D. Carroll     If the role is negative on the page, and by negative I can—it can also be

               not negative to someone else. Someone may have a terrible reaction …

               someone is playing a whore and someone else may not have that same

               understanding of the role, so that's why I say, it's such an emotional

               reaction each time, that it's very hard to say why you want to play a role.

               It's something you feel—a kinship—and you know that you can make it

               understood or felt easily by others, I think.

I. Fernandez   Wow! Now that, for a writer, is an education. Thank you so very much.

D. Carroll     Oh, I thank you. My pleasure.
Moderator    Okay, the next question comes from the line of Kristyn Clark with

             Popculturemadness.com. Please go ahead.

K. Clark     Hi, Ms. Carroll. Thank you for taking our call today. I wanted to ask you,

             what would you say is one of the most important lessons that you've

             learned, throughout your career? Is there any advice you would share with

             an aspiring actor or actress?

D. Carroll   I think, probably, the lesson that I would hope everyone would learn quite

             early in their career is don’t take it personally. Whatever it is that

             happens, you're accepted for a role or rejected for a role of whatever, don’t

             take it personally. It's part of the business and the person that is either

             hiring or firing—that's their business. That's what they are there for and it

             has nothing to do with how you feel about … It has to do with someone

             else's perception of should you, or can you, do this particular part, so just

             don’t take it personally,. The business is really about rejection, so don't

             take it personally.

K. Clark     Great, thank you so much.

Moderator    Okay, the next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with the

             TV Megasite. Please go ahead.
S. Lanoue    Hi. Thank you for speaking with us.

D. Carroll   Thanks.

S. Lanoue    It really is an honor to speak with you. You were mentioning Dynasty and

             I was wondering, some of your… have gone on to go back to daytime

             television and I was wondering if you'd ever considered, if there was a

             good role for you on daytime television—

D. Carroll   You know, it's very strange. I have never considered any daytime

             television role. I don’t know why. I don’t know, maybe it's because they

             do the same … thing over and over. I don’t know why. But it's never

             been stimulating to me and I could bite myself for saying that because I

             know millions of people fall in love with these characters and stay with

             them 15, 25 years, and that's wonderful. I don’t think I could do that well.

S. Lanoue    All right, well thank you. That's a very honest answer.

D. Carroll   Okay.

S. Lanoue    If there was one thing you could tell your fans from White Collar about

             your character that they would find surprising, what would it be?
D. Carroll   That they would find surprising?

S. Lanoue    Or interesting.

D. Carroll   I think the relationship with Matt is very interesting and it's something that

             I see in my life, constantly, and that is women who are no longer young

             seem to find young men interesting and amusing, whereas they were not

             as interesting and amusing when I was young, and I think that happens to

             most women. We can afford that kind of relationship at this age.

S. Lanoue    All right. Thank you very much.

D. Carroll   You're welcome.

Moderator    Okay, the next question comes from the line of Lena Lamoray with

             lenalamoray.com. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

L. Lamoray   Hi, Ms. Carroll.

D. Carroll   Hello there.

L. Lamoray   You are a role model, a pioneer in your craft, and have taken Joan Collins

             and cancer, and slapped them both. What else do you wish to conquer?
D. Carroll   Joan Collins and cancer and what else?

L. Lamoray   What else do you wish to conquer?

D. Carroll   What else? Well, I don't know, to tell you the truth. Living day-to-day is

             quite a feat, I feel, and I'm enjoying it and getting something out of it and

             putting something into it is a lot to do. I've been doing it now for—it will

             soon be 75 years, in July, and I'm pretty satisfied. I've also had four

             marriages that I went through, which is, also, difficult to do, so I don’t

             know. I'm feeling satisfied and so everyday—not satisfied to the extent

             that im not making—I'm still making the effort and the effort to do what?


L. Lamoray   Are we going to get a glimpse of your musical side on White Collar?

D. Carroll   I don’t know. We have thought about it. We've never brought that

             conversation to a conclusion, but it would please me. We'd just have to

             find out how and where it makes sense, if our writers can find that.

L. Lamoray   I would love to see that.
D. Carroll      I would, too and I trust them, because the writers are outstanding, and I

                would trust therm to find the right circumstances, which would make me


L. Lamoray      Yes. Thank you very much.

D. Carroll      Thank you.

Moderator       Okay, the next question comes from the line of Amy Harrington with Pop

                Culture Passionistas. Please go ahead.

D. Carroll      Hello.

A. Harrington   Hello, Ms. Carroll. Thank you so much for your time today. It's an honor

                to speak to you. I'm here with my sister Nancy, who is also my writing

                partner, and we were just wondering—you look as beautiful now as when

                you started your career and we wanted to know if you had any beauty

                secrets that you could share with us?

D. Carroll      Well, if I look the same as when I started, I would be very disappointed in

                me. That's a long time ago. I started in the fifties at twenty, and I don't

                think, that in 2010, that I look the same, however—secrets? I don’t think

                there are any secrets any more, for anyone's regimen. It's all been laid out

                there. It's every place. It's on the radio, television, our computers,
                whatever it is you're looking for, you can certainly find it today. If

                anything, there's maybe too much information, but, you know, taking care

                of your skin is not a secret, but it's very important. What you eat, I

                suppose, is the most important thing that I can say about remaining

                attractive and healthy. I would only say be very careful with the diet and

                make sure that you exercise.

A. Harrington   Well, thank you for that, and you've obviously had a long and illustrious

                career in theater, too when … you had any more plans on doing more

                theater in the future.

D. Carroll      I thought about doing theater and I don’t think Im going to be able to do

                eight performances a week. That's what's required and I know lots of

                women my age who do it with great ease. I don't know. Maybe, Im just

                too … or something but eight performances a week … but I do thank you

                for asking, you know, because I had a wonderful theater career. I enjoyed

                it very much and from musicals to straight drama, and that's not always

                offered, but I've had that experience, but I don’t know that that'll be again,

                in my lifetime.

A. Harrington   Did you prefer one drama over the other … drama?
D. Carroll       I can't say that I—it's not as demanding to do a … play, because singing is

                 something that … keeps the body as healthy as possible to sing well, and

                 that doesn't allow for anything except classes and exercising and, well, I

                 think you get the picture, but I like the characters. All of the characters,

                 but if I had to select a character, I would have to say that I did love the …

                 play. I did Agnes of God, and I played the doctor and she was a

                 wonderful experience for me. Just wonderful.

A. Harrington.   Right. Well, thank you so much for answering our questions today. We

                 appreciate it.

D. Carroll       It's my pleasure. Thank you.

Moderator        The next question comes from the line of Troy Rogers with the

                 deadbolt.com. Please go ahead.

T. Rogers        Hi, Ms. Carroll. Thanks for taking the time.

D. Carroll       Why deadbolt?

T. Rogers        It had a good ring to it, you know, locking down the latest.

D. Carroll       Okay. All right.
T. Rogers    Thanks for asking. I noticed White Collar has become a real hit with fans.

             I just want to know, what is it about the show that you think draws in the


D. Carroll   Oh, so many things and not only is Matt beautiful, and his partner Tim, is

             a very handsome man also, the writing is outstanding, I think, and the look

             of it, it brings you into it immediately. You want to know what is going

             on in that set and you want to know who these people are, that operate in

             that—it's a very—it grabs you, as we say on the … It's a grabber and, once

             again, I must make comment about the writing. It's really wonderful.

T. Rogers    Excellent. I also what to know, have you learned anything interesting

             about the FBI, or con men, since being on the show?

D. Carroll   No. I knew a great deal about that before, and in particular, con men, but I

             think every week, we all learn a little something, but more than anything I

             think the characters—who they are—is more important than the FBI.

T. Rogers    All right, and how much will June factor into the remaining episodes for

             this season and will she return next season?
D. Carroll    Well, we'll have to ask the person who … it … but, this season, yes she

              has some very interesting things to do this season. I'm not going to let the

              cat out of the bag. She has lots of things to do.

T. Rogers     Okay, thank you Ms. Carroll.

D. Carroll    Thank you.

C. Fehskens   Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to once again thank Ms. Carroll for joining

              us this afternoon, and, of course, remind all participants that you will

              receive a transcript of today's session within 48 hours. Don't forget to tune

              into White Collar, Tuesdays at 10:00, 9:00 Central on USA Network and

              enjoy your weekend, everybody. Thanks for joining us, and thank you.

D. Carroll    Thank you, so much. That was great fun.

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