October 16, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Take a page from the criminals
To research his role, Bomer read Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale Jr., and watched films like The Sting and even Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Look out, Abe Froman coming through!

Improve his luck
”I’m the opposite of Neal in that anything I ever try to get away with, I get completely busted for,” says Bomer. Take the time he (as a 16-year-old) stole his brother’s truck for a joyride, only to get a flat tire: ”My dad was waiting for me at the kitchen table when I got home.”

Get used to the attention
A recurring role on Chuck — as rogue CIA agent Bryce Larkin — certainly didn’t hurt Bomer’s visibility. But now the actor is fending off even more stares, thanks to an aggressive ad campaign for Collar starring Bomer and his baby blues. ”Thankfully, we shoot in New York, so nobody cares. A New Yorker will elbow you out of the way no matter who you are.”

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