This is the second part of our two-part feature following a visit to the set of USA's Suits. In Part 1, I shared some details about the set of the series, and a few things the cast had to say about working on the show. Today we have a more in depth look at the cast of the series, which includes Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams and Gina Torres.
USA was generous enough to fly me out to Toronto to visit the Suits set in anticipation of the second season. In addition to getting to step within the walls of Pearson Hardman law firm and see what Mike Ross' little New York apartment looks like, the cast took some time to sit with the press in the boardroom set to discuss the series' second season.
This article includes some spoilers from Season 2. Nothing major will be revealed about Season 2, but spoiler warning will be included for those tidbits about upcoming episodes, so feel free to skip past them if you'd prefer to avoid knowing what's ahead!
Gabriel Macht (Harvey) showed up dressed to the nines, sporting a dapper tuxedo. We know his character likes his suits, but this would be considered dressed up, even for Harvey. Why's he in a tux? It has to do with an upcoming episode involving Spoiler Alert Atlantic city! Harvey and Mike end up venturing off the isle of Manhattan and into Jersey territory to deal with a legal issue involving a bet made on a napkin…
We’re shooting a scene where, [LAUGH] a client of mine owns an energy company, and he has been told not to drink, and not to gamble, and I’ve been told that he’s in Atlantic City, or he’s going Atlantic City. He’s a keynote speaker at a conference. And there’s something that tells me - He’s in Atlantic City, how is not gonna have a drink, and how is he not gonna play poker? I just show up at Mike’s apartment, and I say, “Get your tux on, we’re going to Atlantic City. We got to chaperone this guy.” And it turns out, he is drunk, and he’s playing poker, and he asked somebody to back him on a little napkin, and he loses his entire $30 million company.
Yikes! Sounds like a job for Mike and Harvey! It's going to be interesting to see how they tackle that challenge. End Spoiler
Tuxedos aside, Macht had some interesting insight into the depth of his character. Harvey's a confident guy, after all and one who tends to land on his fancy-shoed feet without slipping. But from what Macht says, there are some insecurities there.
Harvey’s always confident. I think there’s a similar confidence. I also think that underneath, deep inside, there’s got to be a lot of insecurities that Harvey’s got, and that’s part of the reason that he’s sort of overconfident, you know? And that’s sort of how he feels like he gets things done, but I think we’re in a similar vein. Again, he comes up against a lot of challenges that shakes his confidence, but I think he’s a guy that really does believe in presentation, and to protect his clients and to protect his streak, he sort of puts up that front.
The subject of Harvey's love-life also came up. Macht offered some hints about what might be to come on the romantic front for his character. As I said, it's vague, but Spoiler Alert just in case!
I would love to see him fall in love. And I would love to see if he did fall in love, if he moves forward and she takes him, and she falls in love with him, or if you know, she’s the one who got away, and how does that manifest? There was talk that there’s someone in there that - I think in a couple episodes, I haven’t read the scripts - that Harvey was working in the office as an associate, there was another woman who’s an associate and they had something. I think she’s coming to play at some point, but I don’t know who it is, or what she’s here to do.
Interesting! I should also mention that there was frequent talk of a flashback episode in the works, which may give us a look at what Mike and Harvey were like in some "before" period of their lives, but no major details were given there.End Spoiler
Patrick J. Adams
If Macht showed up looking over-dressed, Adams fittingly compensated for that with a sort of casual, jeans and vest ensemble. In addition to giving us a tour of the set, Adams also sat with us to talk about what's ahead for Mike. As mentioned in Part 1, the second season premiere picks up by addressing whether or not Trevor may have revealed the truth about Mike's lack of legal certification. We won't give away that spoiler (tune in Thursday to find out!), but it does sound like there are a bunch of notable things on the horizon for Mike, including his status at Pearson Hardman, his relationship with his grandmother, and his love life. His relationship with Jenny is addressed in Season 2 premiere. And then there's Rachel, the gorgeous paralegal with whom Mike shared a kiss last season. Here's what Adams had to say on that front…
With any office romance there’s going to be trouble there so it’s not like we can just jump right into a relationship with Rachel. So there’s all sorts of conflicts of interest.
There's also the matter of Trevor and where things pick up between Mike and his old friend, who's the source of a lot of trouble for him. Adams spoke about Mike's relationship with Trevor and what's coming up for them in Season 2… Spoiler Alert
We got to shoot in New York and it was really cool. We were shooting in Washington Square and it was on location and it was really beautiful. So there’s a good thing coming up with me and him and obviously something’s going to come to a head and hopefully the fans will be pleased. I’m not sure. There’s some people who love him. I mean I love him. Tom Lipinksi and I have the best time in the world. So it’s hard because everybody hates him or loves him.End Spoiler
It'll be interesting to see how Trevor is dealt with in Season 2. Mainly, I'm curious to know how long the character will stick around. In many ways, he's the catalyst to this whole situation for Mike, considering Mike was doing Trevor a favor when he came into contact with Harvey in the first episode. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Trevor in Season 2.
Finally, Adams spoke about Mike's ability to adapt and progress in this legal environment.
I’ve always thought of Mike as like a moral character in a immoral world. You’re sitting in a corporate law firm, and corporate law firms are not always participating in the most moral behavior. [LAUGH] So I think eventually Mike, it’s gonna have to come up against that and he’s always struggling with how to remain moral and keep this compass that he has that is strong and it’s what makes him who he is, and at the same time follow his dreams of becoming a lawyer and being successful and doing well in this firm. I think there’s always going to be a really interesting struggle there to keep what is him, but at the same time try and impress Harvey and do well and – and come up in this world.
To state the complete obvious, Gina Torres is stunning. She's as (if not more) beautiful in person as she is on screen, and tall. She showed up with her hair down and dressed for work, running the show at Pearson Hardman. But as you'll see in the second season premiere, Spoiler Alert Pearson may not be the only person running things as Hardman may be coming back. The arrival of the second half of the firm's namesake in the Season 2 premiere leaves Jessica and Harvey shaken to say the least.
Everything that we come to learn about Hardman's disappearance and his return is very layered," Torres told us. "It's all very layered and it's another aspect to these characters that we haven't yet seen. I like to think of Jessica in the first season as being large, in charge, in control and kind of happy-go-lucky, this is her domain she just struts down this hallway and she's invulnerable. And now we start to see the little chinks in the armor and the scars. And any person who gets to that office has some battle scars and has some bodies buried in places. It would be ridiculous not to think so and so Hardman's reappearance, I think, speaks to the battles along the way." End Spoiler
Drama! And one that could be a real game-changer for the firm, depending on what happens and what this Hardman guy is really all about.
Meghan Markle and Rick Hoffman
In a seemingly random pairing, Meghan Markle (Rachel) and Rick Hoffman (Louis) sat down together, both looking ready for work, with Hoffman in a suit and tie, and Markle showing off a fitted white shirt. Markle's character Rachel is an aspiring attorney whose test-taking problems have held her back. In the meantime, she's working hard as a paralegal for Pearson Hardman. Meanwhile, attorney Louis has proven to be sort of sneaky and an occasional obstacle for Harvey and Mike throughout the first season.
Spoiler Alert As it turns out, the pairing isn't entirely random. As it turns out, the two characters will be paired up at some point during Season 2 to work on a case together. Here's what Hoffman said about the episode.
This particular episode, Louis and Rachel are taking care of the case together, which is first time they’ve really ever been working alongside one another. And there’s like this kind of cool mutual respect based on something that they both love, which is the ballet. So that’s what we’re doing right now.
I think Louis' appreciate for ballet was referenced at some point in Season 1, wasn't it? We'll have to wait and see how that factors into the episode he's referring to. End Spoiler
Both Markle and Hoffman spoke about their characters and where things are headed for them in Season 2. From what Markle says, Rachel's relationship with Donna will be explored, as well as her own vulnerability:
I think at - certainly the pilot, Rachel is a lot more hardened than she is at this point, and I think that vulnerability came out mostly because of Mike Ross I would say, but I know in this season because we’re exploring the other friendships that she has with Sarah Rafferty’s Donna and, of course, this new dynamic, we’re meeting a lot more of who she really is and, um, yeah, I would say just trying to find a way that Rachel can become a lawyer, which is my hope for her, at the firm, but also just that she’s more open to love, to friendship, to being vulnerable in a way that we didn’t see as much last season. So it’s kind of exciting for me and Rick.
Hoffman talks about the "human area" with regards to his character…
I’ve definitely said it to other people, that it’s like you can’t get a better role than what they’re writing for this guy this year. They’ve got him on a roller coaster of many different emotions. They’ve got him - this easily can be hated, but yet this particular season he seems - we found this kind of real human area that wasn’t covered last year that is totally covered this year and it’s just great writing, what they’ve got going on with this guy. They’re really making him a whole human being.
I like the idea of seeing a more human side to Louis. He's one of the most fun characters to watch on the series, as sort of an in-house sometimes-villain, always looking out for himself and trying to get ahead of Harvey.
As Harvey's trusted assistant, Rafferty's Donna is an intuitive, vocal character who's on close enough terms with her boss to tell it like it is whenever he's in need of some counsel. In person, Rafferty is gorgeous, charismatic with an animated, engaging personality. One of the of questions she was asked is one I'm sure many fans of the show are wondering; is there a chance Harvey and Donna's relationship might evolve into something more down the line. Here's what Rafferty said…
Oh God, I don’t know. That might be a jump the shark thing, right. [LAUGH] Um, you know, I think anything’s possible. I think we have learned that there might have been something so I think that leaves the door open for that door to open, or for that door to slam shut. So I leave that to the powers that be. It would be really awkward for Gabriel and I. [LAUGH]
Apparently, Rafferty and Macht are close friends from years back. Rafferty says it's "almost easier" for them to do comedy together than drama. While it doesn't sound like those of us who'd love to see Harvey and Donna fall for one another will get our wish anytime soon, the possibility is out there. Perhaps that's something that'll be saved until the series is closer to ending, which hopefully won't be anytime soon.
As one of Mike's fellow associates, Max Topplin's Harold is sort of a punching bag at Pearson Hardman. He gets pushed around a bit, especially by Louis, but he sure is fun to watch. In fact, he has a great moment in the Season 2 premiere, which shows off his sensitivity, and how easy it is to boss him around. Here's what Topplin told us about his character, which includes a vague reference to Season 2, which may qualify as a very mild spoiler…
Harold is a genuine guy that cares and that's why he gets shit on so much you know. Like he's not necessarily playing the game like everyone else, I feel. He cares and he's there to be the honest genuine guy in the office when everyone else might be backhanding… So I think that's also where a lot of the comedy comes from, is that you put Harold in the situation - let me think of a good situation. Like for instance just now we were shooting this scene where he asks an honest question since I'm not working on the case anymore can I date the dancers? And he truly believes that he can date the dancers. Okay Max dating the dancers let's be honest it will happen of course. Harold dating the dancers not so much. So yeah I think you know it's just the honesty and a genuine aspect of who he is as a person that that's where -- where the comedy arises.
Last but certainly not least, we got to speak with producer Gene Klein about the upcoming season. Among the things he spoke about was how the show will be branching out a bit in Season 2 to put a bit more emphasis on the supporting characters.
One of the things that I think is great about the show is that everybody has their a favorite character when they watch the show. And I think a lot of successful shows have had - if it's a single lead show you either that guy or you don't like that guy. But I think with this group of people that we have there's people who watch the show for Harvey, there's people who watch the show for Mike, there are people who watch the show for Louis. I think that one of the great things about this season is that you know all of those other people. Season 1 was about Harvey and Mike, it needed to be. Season 2 - it's becoming the ensemble that's the that's really fun to watch.
So it looks like we can expect to get to know all of the supporting characters a bit better in the series' second season, which is definitely a plus based on what we've come to know about them so far.
And that about wraps it up. We had a great time getting to know the cast, seeing the set and spending a whole day immersed in Suits. And in just a couple days, we'll get to see how things pick up for the show when it returns for Season 2. You can read some of the secrets about the set in Part 1 here.
Suits returns for Season 2 Thursday, June 14 at 10/9c on USA.