Willie Garson is probably best known for his signature role as Sex and the City gay sidekick Stanford Blatch, but after chitchatting with him for a few minutes at an exclusive dinner at NYC’s Perla on Tuesday, it was clear the actor was more interested in being known for his current role as Mozzie, a paranoid-genius con man on USA’s White Collar. On the show, Mozzie is the trusted confidant of Neal Caffrey, played by recently out (and forever beautiful) Matt Bomer. Park & Bond threw Tuesday’s fancy feast to fete Garson and Bomer as two of “New York City’s Most Stylish Dads”—yes, Father’s Day is this Sunday (and, yes, they’re both dads).
The honorary title is half true in one respect: Garson splits time raising his kid in L.A. and shooting White Collar in New York (like Bomer), so calling him a New Yorker is debatable. What’s not debatable: his sense of style. The smooth shooter, who lives in the hipster Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, was straight ballin’ in a tailored suit and polarized Ray Bans. Yeah, he wears his sunglasses at night.
Check our talk with Garson below, and you might be more inclined to stop typecasting him as that nebbishy dude who had a big gay wedding in SATC 2.
Evan Mulvihill: So you’re best known for your Sex and the City role as the hilariously flaming Stanford Blatch, huh?
Willie Garson: It’s like Bonanza. It will never die.
Till death do you part–just like the vows you exchanged with Mario Cantone/Anthony in SATC 2, the movie. And there are rival Sex and the City fundraisers for Barack Obama taking place.
What’s the other one? I’m aware of Sarah Jessica Parker’s.
Darren Star, the creator, is hosting one here too. He’s gay, and I guess since Obama came out of the gay marriage closet he has to go to both of them.
I’m going to neither because I’m going to be at work. And I have a miserably long days this week. So I’ll be working until 10 o’clock all week for a little show on cable called White Collar.
How do you and Matt Bomer get on on the White Collar set?
He’s great. And it’s great to shoot in New York again. This was a shock, to get another show that shoots in New York.
Garson (center) with White Collar castmates Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer
Do you not want to go back to LA?
I live in LA, and I raise my kid in LA. So it’s kind of hard to commute, but to be honest I really wouldn’t want to shoot anywhere else. It’s been so long. We made the pilot for Sex in 1997, and I’ve been shooting with this show and that show since. That’s a long time for someone who doesn’t live here anymore.
Doing the movie, there’s always speculation that there will be a third sequel.
No. Nothing’s been confirmed, no one’s called us. No one ever talks about it. You know who talks about it? Journalists! [Laughs] That’s the only people who talk about it!
As a reporter, I’m offended you would besmirch my profession like that. Just kidding.
I can’t imagine what would happen in it. We’re going to have to be in walkers and wheelchairs soon…
And then there’s Carrie Diaries, the high-school version of SATC.
I don’t think anyone wants to see what the older version would look like!
What would a SATC 3 look like?
In like a cocoon… Sex and the City… meets Cocoon.
Garson with Mario Cantone in SATC2
Do you live in the West Village?
This year I live in Brooklyn, which, I’ve never lived in Brooklyn in my life. I’m in The Williamsburg—have you heard of it?
Do you take the L train?
I do. I try to keep a low profile on it. It’s so funny, because I said to Tim [DeKay], who’s also on White Collar. We came from work together and I said, ’this is great, because the subway’s right here and I can take the L train home.’ Look, I have my hat and my glasses, because I have to [have a disguise]. I’m a real believer in the subway system. I take it everywhere. I’m Mayor Bloomberg on the subway.
Do people recognize you on the L train? Do you get gay hipsters saying, “Hay gurllll!!!”?
Gay hipsters? I get all ages, sizes, creeds, genders, some who aren’t male or female. I get everything. And I have to say, very satisfyingly, right now it’s about 50/50 with White Collar and Sex and the City. It took a couple seasons of White Collar for anyone to ever mention it. Being on Sex and the City was like being on the Yankees or something. It’s ridiculous, especially here.
I read another story saying the real-life Stanford Blatsch is in a fight with Candace Bushnell.
Yeah, I heard that Clifford Streit had filed some lawsuit against Candace, or HBO, or both of them. It’s very interesting, because I’ve been in the same room as Clifford before, but I’ve never met him. And that was a decision, on my part. I based the character on an old agent I had—someone very, very specific. And I am playing this guy. And I never met Clifford. I just thought it would somehow be weird. I saw, because all this stuff came up online with my name. It was all because Clifford Streit had filed these lawsuits. In every article, it was like, “Willie Garson made it famous.” It was so bizarre. I hope he gets something, if that’s going to be his five minutes. Maybe he’ll get something out of it.
I think he feels entitled to the show’s proceeds because he helped Candace get it in the first place as her agent.
Yeah, I guess so. You have very sassy sneakers on. They’re full of sass.
Way to change the subject, Stanford.
Never call me that again!