Seat42f got the chance to head to Toronto to spend the day on the set of USA Network series SUITS. After screening the premiere we headed to the set for a tour and cast interviews. On a hot day in Toronto it was nice to head into the MASSIVE Las Vegas like air-conditioned warhouse where we found the cast and creative team busy working on the fifth and sixth episodes from season two. As we poked around the set in-between interviews I was amazed at the attention to detail. All of the computers on set worked. The books in the law library were real books. All of the boxes in the file room had different labels ( some of them pretty funny – Parker vs Stone, Anderson vs Cooper, Paris vs Achilles and personal favorite Skywalker vs Vader).
At the end of a long day there were a few surprises, a few revelations and more than a few new friendships made with some of the other media folks also on set that day.
Season 2 Of SUITS Premieres Thursday, June 14th at 10/9c on USA.
*Spoilers* There are some minor spoilers in the cast interviews.
Gabriel Macht : Harvey Specter
Q: How do you think your character has evolved from the first episode until now?
GABRIEL: He hasn’t. [LAUGH] How has evolved? He’s a little bit more complicated. I think there’s some more challenges along the way and he’s up against these huge challenges. He’s just trying to fight even harder and he’s got such a mentality of winning that it just makes him a little bit more complicated in being easy with what’s going on. So, I think it’s great for the character.
Q: Harvey’s moral life, is it constantly something that he’s fighting against or trying to make sure he stays on that on moral line?
GABRIEL: I truly believe that his moral through line is really strict, and I think he has a really honest, like, straight moral ground. His ways and his means of getting what he needs to win a case, or to protect his client is rogue and is, you know, it’s completely alternative.
But I think underneath everything he stands for what’s right. And so that’s what I think makes him so, you know, heroic in so many ways.
Q: …something is coming up for Harvey that might be emotionally hard for the whole entire firm, is that like a scandal or a personal crisis?
GABRIEL: There is a scandal, um, and, uh … gosh, I just don’t know how much I’m allowed to give. Uh … Well, let’s put it this way, Travis Tanner from the first-the first season, he comes back. And he sues the firm, and he tries to sue like a General Motors-type car company. There’s some information that may have been buried again, and so this question that Harvey’s been involved not once but twice in burying some, e-evidence is … comes into question, and the truth is … he didn’t bury it. It was looked over, and it does set you know this huge sort of house of cards to-to sort of crumble, which is great for the dramatic purposes of the show. I guess that’s as much as I can give you, you know?
Q: How do you play the relationship with Mike and how much of that is keeping him on the team versus him being sort of a brother or friend?
GABRIEL: I think it’s all of it. We’ve just done 12 episodes, right? And now we’re into Season 2, so there’s a lot of the similar things going on. There is the mentor thing, there is the big brother thing, there is the, you know, Harvey sees so much of himself in Mike. In this season you’re gonna see a little bit more of how Harvey used to stand up for people behind their backs, and now he’s doing a little bit more in front of them, so he’s saying, “You’re not gonna get called out on my watch,” or “You’re not gonna get fired.” He is gonna stand up for him (Mike) more so, but he’s also you know, if just… if one thing, upsets Harvey, or rubs him the wrong way, like you know, he’s in my office and he looks at one of my records, and he sort of makes fun of one of my records, I’m gonna give him to Louis like that. You know?
So, there’s some-there’s some playful things as well that will continue …
Q: Are we going to be able to see anything of Harvey’s backstory, what made him this fight-to-win guy?
GABRIEL: You know, this is what I ask Aaron Korsh all the time, whenever I talk to him. I would love to see more and more of his personal life. Aaron has always felt that-that Harvey is such a unique guy and-and mysterious in so many ways, and that’s something that he loves to sort of tease with the audience, like, he just gives a little bit here, and just a little here. I understand that, and I think that’s really cool. I love to play some of the emotional stuff and the stuff that I might be personally connected to that is just as challenging as spitting out exposition. So I think there are some things that are gonna arise in this this season, we haven’t really gotten there yet. But I did read in an episode where some of his family comes and is referenced and it moves Harvey in a different way when his family’s referenced. So, I think we’re gonna see some connection to that. And I am so excited for that.
Q: With Mike’s secret being out, is Harvey more confident this season or less confident?
GABRIEL: 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 … 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. Again, you know, 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.
Maybe when his family comes into question, or if we see some of his family, or see where he comes from, we can peek into, you know, why he is the way he is. And again, I look forward to that. There are times though I think in his relationship with Jessica, where some of the mask sort of falls, and you see a bit more of his insecurities. I don’t think he tries to let anybody else see it. Donna, I think sees it. We’re gonna see some really, really interesting things happen with Donna’s character, and some of their past, and how she makes her successes and her failures along the way, which is gonna be really quite dynamic.
Q: Harvey’s gonna have some kind of repercussions with Jessica over how far he went to defend Mike, what are some of those repercussions gonna be?
GABRIEL: He’s not gonna be allowed to take the limo to Atlantic City. [LAUGH] Look, she loves Harvey and he is her right-hand-man, and maybe at the end of the day it could be trust. I might lose her trust by doing some of my actions … by some of Harvey’s actions and that I think is huge for Harvey, because I think, you know, she in many ways is his mentor. I think that you know that’s scary territory for him. Because I think he is her like, he’s grounded, you know? He becomes grounded by her. And so, he doesn’t want to do that. So, he’s gonna make up for his mistakes with her, but there is a lot of this with Jessica and Harvey this year. There is, “You’re doing it your way, and you shouldn’t be doing it that way. And you got to calm down.” Just almost like she’s got to put a leash on him, you know? But … he’s not gonna deal like that. He doesn’t wanna, you know, lose her trust. That’s huge.
Q: Does the can opener reappear?
GABRIEL: In the webisode. Is it talked about, discussed in the webisode. We shot 10 webisodes. It’s not revealed, but it will be revealed before they cancel our show.
Q: Are we gonna get more of Harvey’s love life?
GABRIEL: Gosh, I wish, you know? I really wish. I’d love to see him, you know, again, like, Scott … you know, it was a great episode last year with the Scottie character and you know she went off to go marry her whoever it was, and-and, uh, I think it touched Harvey that she was actually moving on … um, you know, he is-he is a workaholic, um, but he likes his fun, and, um, but I feel like in order to grow and to become a full person, uh, I don’t know … I think, oh gosh, I can’t go there. Um, 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, uh, I think in a couple episodes, I haven’t read the scripts, that he, um, 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, or …
Q: Somebody mentioned something about flashback scene, right?
GABRIEL: I don’t really know much. All I know is that I-I think as-as-as it stood a month ago, and this could com-completely change, is that Harvey was on a train, and there was some flashback. It was like an episode where he’s on a train. He’s just thinking about a bunch of stuff, and there’s some flashbacks and stuff. And where-where he ends up is a pretty emotional place. So …
Q: What are you shooting today, you look so handsome? ( Gabriel showed up for the interview in a tuxedo)
GABRIEL: This is how I wake up and … this is how I dress. I mean … uh, [LAUGH] I get my makeup and hair done every morning. 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-he’s going Atlantic City to give a keynote speach at a conference. And there’s something that tells me that he’s in Atlantic City, how is he not gonna have a drink, and how is he not gonna play poker? And 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.
Q: It’s been hinted that how Mike and Harvey’s path started out were kind of similar in some ways, do we delve into that past?
GABRIEL: Gosh. No. [LAUGH] No, I wish, I really wish. Because I mean, that’s my backstory that I was messed up, and I screwed up along the way, and I ran into a bunch of problems, and somebody picked me up and said, “You know what, you got a shot, you’ve got some street smarts, and you’re quick on your toes,” and you know, that’s what I saw in Mike. And so I’m like giving back, that’s my way of giving back. Because I didn’t want an associate, Harvey does everything on my own.
Q: Did Harvey’s confidence come from you as a person, or do you just put on a suit and just instantly become Harvey?
GABRIEL: I think it’s a combination. I was talking about this like whole overconfident thing. There are times when you’re younger when you go into a room, and you’re auditioning, and you’re meeting with a bunch of people and you’re nervous as all hell, and it’s scary, and you don’t know what you’re doing, and you’re hoping that you’re gonna make an impression and all of this stuff, and you know there’s this whole like Hollywood thing that people have, and that’s just their overconfidence because they’re insecure inside. They’re just trying to make it look like they know what they’re doing. So, a lot of it is just a complete act. I’m doing it right now. I’m totally terrified in front of all of you guys. Um, so … I mean, [LAUGH] it’s a combination of it. You know? Putting on a nice suit and having someone, you know, get rid of all your blemishes and all your stuff, it totally helps. So, right before I go on a set if I can just feel confident, then it really helps. It goes a long way. But it’s all bluster, it’s complete just smoke and mirrors. None of it’s the truth.
Q: You can’t escape Harvey’s personality, and yet he has these different relationships with Mike and Louis and Donna, as an actor what are the conscious decisions or nuances that you try and bring to each … ?
GABRIEL: I take as much as I can from the story, from the bible, from Aaron’s script. And I try and expand on whatever I’m getting from the scene, and the nuances that are written in the scene. Because Aaron’s very much like Aaron Sorkin. And he doesn’t like us to change the dialogue, because there is a syntax to Aaron’s writing, it’s a very different thing. It’s not the most naturalistic writing. As much as we try and make it as authentic as possible, it is very difficult to compose within your mouth and then add on a bunch of legal jargon, it’s-it’s really difficult. Basically you don’t have any patience for Mike when he’s acting stupid, so if I can get into that sort of hook it’s a way in for me. Donna, I have to deal with her you know … stuff. But I love her for it, and she’s like so specific on taking care of Harvey’s life that I put with all of that. And she puts Harvey in his place. So I respect her for that.
And Louis, they do have a big history together, they did come up together as assistants. And I think they do respect each other, and admire each other, even though, my God this guy’s such a pain in the ass. Harvey lets him have it. And a lot of it, most of the time that Harvey is pissed off with Louis, it’s really just sort of like that bravado that guys on the basketball court give each other and when I can key into whatever Louis’ neurosis are, I think it’s fun to play those up, you know? And so, that’s sort of how I get in with him.
But in-in all seriousness, Rick Hoffman (Louis) is so specific in what he’s doing as an actor, whether he’s being broad and funny, or simple and you know like innocent as his character is at times with all his other stuff, I am like in awe of what he’s doing throughout. And both him and Sarah and Patrick they bring my game up. I mean, with Rick, I’m having such a hard time keeping a straight face, because as an audience member I wanna laugh, you know? Because he’s so funny to me, so hilarious. And there are many times where I tell those guys like, “Will you just tone it down on my side, you know?” When the camera’s behind their heads, [LAUGH] and they’re doing like the toned-down version, because I will laugh. I say, “Just tone it down. Don’t do it your usual. And you’re not even on camera now. You’re not on camera.”
Q: You said that Harvey lets his insecurities show in front of Jessica and Donna …
Q: Do you ever think there will be a moment where he will let that happen in front of Mike or he will trust Mike enough?
GABRIEL: The funny thing is, I think he trusts Mike more than anybody else. And so, he … whether or not he tells him that is another story. But I think he absolutely will, and I think it’ll create a lot more interesting moments for the show and when he is able to reveal a little bit more of himself. Yeah, I look forward to that.
Patrick J. Adams : Mike Ross
Q: Your character starts out as definitely part of the cliffhanger and then we jump right back into things. Talk about his journey for this season with the firm, with his love life.
PATRICK: This season, well, we’re just figuring it out. I mean right now we’re shooting 205 and 206 in different orders so you know, right now my journey is picking up right where we left off.
Q: You and Gina Torres are in her office.
PATRICK: Right, and – and so you’re getting the impression she’s going to kind of let me stick around and now she’s on our team because we need to keep ourselves safe from Hardman. So now that we have Hardman there and Gina’s on our side I think for a little while we feel safe in this world and we haven’t so far really. The stakes of me getting kicked out kind of settle for a bit because we know we have a stronger team with Jessica on our side. Now we head down this path, there’s a great story line with Harvey and him dealing with this sort of past thing that’s coming up to haunt him again and so we’re all kind of rallying around him. I’m spending a lot of time being an associate for the first few episodes and just doing what I can to help him out.
The love life, the personal life, I think, comes into a little clearer focus in the first few episodes. Grammy’s coming back and I’m spending more time with her, which I’m happy about. It’s a really important element for Mike and the love life heats up a little bit, but I won’t speak too much to the specifics.
Q: How long until Trevor is dealt with?
PATRICK: Not long. It’s going to come to a head obviously. I mean he really betrayed Mike’s trust and if there’s one thing that I’m screamed at on the street about most often it’s to get rid of that Trevor guy. We definitely deal with it in the coming up – we actually just shot a scene in New York.
So coming up it’s dealt with and 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. There’s a good thing coming up with me and him and obviously something’s coming to come to a head and hopefully the fans will be pleased. There’s some people who love him. Tom Lipinksi and I have the best time in the world. So it’s hard because everybody hates him or loves him.
Q: Have you ever had someone like that in your life?
PATRICK: Yeah, I’ve had plenty of bad influences in my life. I don’t think I’d ever let myself spend that much time with him. It’s hard, Mike’s, you know, it’s his only friend. Mike obviously has a lot of trust issues and that’s a lot of fun for me as an actor to play, but I think it leaves him ultimately very lonely. So you’ve got a character who doesn’t have anybody in his corner and even though he’s a really unhealthy influence it’s the one guy he’s got. And so I think that’s why he’s holding on to him. But as he’s getting more confident and becoming a new person and growing up a little bit, you know, he’s going to have to realize that this guy is bad news.
Q: So Jessica knows your secret.
PATRICK: She does.
Q: Is this something that she’s going to be holding over your head for the whole season?
PATRICK: I think in the first chunk we have to deal with this Harvey situation that needs dealing with because the whole firm is at risk about it. So we really need to all rally behind that to make sure that we can get it dealt with. That being said, it’s never far from it. You know, there’s this relationship I always have with Jessica on the show where every time I’m in a room and she walks in I bolt out the other door.
So now it’s funny because we have this relationship after the first episode, but we haven’t had a ton of scenes together, but now it’s still there. It’s like she still walks in a room and it’s like are we friends? Are we cool? No? There’s a great scene where we bump into each other and I think that maybe we’re friends and it’s like we’re not friends. I’m still the guy that’s lied and cheated my way here. So I think there’s always going to be an interesting relationship there and a struggle for me to impress her and even though she’s accepted me for the time being it’s because she was strong armed to it.
This is not something that she would have chosen to do and therefore I can still get into a lot of trouble with her. We’re not done dealing with it. Just because she’s sort of accepted me for now it’s because Harvey did his Harvey thing and manipulated all the pieces of the board so that I could stick around and not get taken out by the queen. But, you know, eventually if it comes down to it she would get rid of Mike. I get the impression she’d get rid of me if it’s gonna be good for the firm.
Q: Does Mike and Harvey’s relationship transform any further in the season?
PATRICK: We’re fighting for constant transformation and – and evolution, I think that’s what keeps things interesting so I think there’s a deepening, there’s two things always going on. There’s a deepening of friendship and I think the mentor thing becomes a mutual respect. In the first season I was falling all over myself a lot, dropping files and late, not figuring it out. I think in this season I’m becoming a little bit more confident in what I can do and what I’m capable of and he sees that and gives me more to do on my own hopefully moving down the road. At the same time I think there’s going to be an evolution of his way of winning and my way of winning.
I’ve always thought of Mike as like a moral character in a immoral world, you know. You’re sitting in like 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 and I think there’s always going to be a really interesting struggle there to – to keep what is him, but at the same time try and impress Harvey and do well and – and come up in this world.
So that, I think, is going to deepen our relationship and sometimes you have to separate it because even in the first season we had a lot of moments where it put us on two sides of the fence where I said I don’t want to be your kind of lawyer, I don’t want to be you, you know, all those moments. I think that’s always going to be an element of the relationship.
Q: Going along with what you just said, in the premiere we saw Mike actually trying to be a bit of a hardcore, serious corporate lawyer and take the rough road. Is that something that we’re going to see more?
PATRICK: It’s a struggle in this show because there’s so many people and we are lucky enough to have an incredible cast and this year a lot of the people are getting a lot more time which we all fought for because we have these incredible women on the show that last year didn’t get showcased enough so we’re spending a lot of time like let’s get them in there more, let’s integrate everybody.
I don’t watch a ton of TV, but like a show like Lost where it’s like this is this person’s episode and this is this person’s episode. We kind of have to start shifting it around a little bit and this person’s going to play more of a role in this episode. So I think I’m definitely going to get my moments where I get to be in control and get to be the corporate lawyer and get to do the maneuvering and get to kind of show off how I’m good at what I’m doing. But it has to be picked, you know, we have to pick and choose.
We can’t do it every episode because then what happened last year, which is that you don’t get to see enough of everybody doing their great thing. And we’re so lucky to have so much great talent on the show that we have to showcase all of it. So it’s good because this year it’s more specific. Now we’re dealing with Harvey, we get to see Harvey do what he does best. And now you get to see Louis. Louis has got a ton of great stuff this season and Rick is one of the most insanely talented guys, I mean insane, [LAUGH] I’ve ever met so he’s getting a ton of great stuff to do this season.
Rachel is coming up. She’s getting a lot more to do and she’s taking on more responsibility. So all of us are going to get more of that stuff. I shot for the first time in our courtroom set last night and it was a scene where I was an associate and having to just sit there and watch Harvey be the lawyer and I’m sitting there going, I want to be the lawyer, but this episode we’re shooting now I’m going to have my first sort of lawyer scene in there so it’s, you know, everybody takes their turn.
Q: Speaking of Louis, in the premiere Harvey kind of asks Louis to back off of Mike a little bit. Is that going to remain?
PATRICK: What do you think? [LAUGH] They are writing incredible stuff for him this season. He’s such a great actor and he makes such bold choices and I think the writer’s room and him have synced up in this amazing way where they’re just going to run with the ball that is Louis now. They’re making some hilarious choices about his character, who he is, and he’s just the kind of guy who can you believe anything about.. I mean he just goes so far to the ridiculous. As a result – we’re tied together a little bit more.
We’re all kind of banding together to make this thing work this season because Hardman comes in and we have this presence that could be potentially threatening to everybody. But obviously Louis kind of walks the thin line between both of those worlds, right? Louis like there’s a part of him where it’s, you know, he could maybe head off towards Hardman, I think. There’s – where – where’s he going to stand on either side? He’s been used and abused by Jessica and Harvey for so long and obviously I’m there kind of where I’m Harvey’s, you know, protégé so as a representative of that he’s always going to treat me with that sort of disrespect. And I think it makes for a lot of really funny, funny scenes. And actually a couple of touching ones.
We had a good episode recently where him and I are kind of paired together for the whole episode I think as a result of a bet from the first season that he never made good on. So that sort of happens coming up this season, too. And we sort of connect with him in a different way. So again, it’s not black or white. It’s great because we can be enemies one episode then we can be, you know, friends the next.
Q: As far as Mike and Hardman, you both kind of have an attitude. Are they going to use Mike in the capacity of kind of being their inside guy to kind of take down Hardman?
PATRICK: I hope so. That’d be cool. All of that stuff is still coming to head and we have a lot of stuff to read and even if I knew you wouldn’t want me to tell you anyway, but I can say that me and Hardman have some interesting stuff together. Obviously the biggest threat to all of them, besides this sort of case that we’re dealing with that is kind of coming back to haunt Harvey, is the fact that I exist, that I’m here, that I’m in these hallways.
I’m like this ticking time bomb still that if Hardman who’s a very smart, shrewd, incredible lawyer, who can, if he has the opportunity could blow us all up and take over everything. I’m the key to all that so they have to protect me. But at the same time, he’s a great lawyer. We haven’t had any scenes where like I think Hardman is like an awful person. He’s such a great actor.
In fact, he seems like the nice guy. He’s dealing with some serious life issues. And again, we just kind of skirt that issue where it’s never quite one thing or the other. It’s not like he’s Darth Vader and we all just want to destroy him. I mean he might actually be in the right. Let’s face it I didn’t go to law school, I’m a liar, I’m in this office in a capacity that is not, you know, entirely legal and so I think there’ll be a lot of interactions. Will I I be used to take him out? I don’t know. I don’t know. We’ll see. I hope. Tell them. Write them. I’ll get them on the phone.
Q: What can you share about Mike and Rachel?
PATRICK: They’re writing a ton of good stuff this season. I’m really happy with that story line this season. I don’t want to go into too many specifics, but they’re not shying away from it. I know that from what they’ve seen of what we’ve shot I know that Aaron had some ideas about it. We all watch TV, we all know that this like relationship that you love and you covet and you want them together, but you don’t want them together too fast because then they’re together and then what, you know, you’ve got to find that perfect timing like in life when two people can come together and it actually works. It’s not rushed, but it’s not too late and they’re doing it I think really pitch perfectly.
I think they’re building it. In a high stakes environment like this relationship’s a hard thing to make work and I think that these two characters are so interested in one another, but don’t want to forfeit what they’ve worked so hard to attain, which is this. And especially for Mike, he’s in a difficult situation because he didn’t attain this in the typical way and he can’t share that with anybody. So that’s going to create a lot of conflict in him to be able to enter into a really loving true relationship with someone if he is kind of all based on a lie, you know.
The writing for it’s been terrific and I think they had an idea of where it was supposed to go this season, but just by virtue of the chemistry that Meghan and I have and the scenes they’ve already seen shot I’m getting a lot of response like, we can’t drag this out for too long. It’ll be a problem. I think they don’t actually even really know. I think that they’re kind of scrambling to figure out the best way to see that this happens.
But there’s no rush about it. I’m excited to take my time because it’s those scenes that are the best to play, those conflicting like what’s going to happen, oh I want this, but we can’t have it because of this and I think those are the most fun.
Q: The kind of starts with Mike helping out his friend. Season two we see Harvey step up and have Mike’s back. I was curious about the loyalty that’s developing between these two characters and if that was tested down the line how you think Mike would act?
PATRICK: How would that fair? Like the loyalty of – of Mike and Harvey?
Q: If Mike were in a situation where it was maybe his job, his future, his whatever or Harvey?
PATRICK: It’s a good question. I don’t know. It’s a complicated relationship, it’s a complex relationship. I get the impression that we’re getting to the point where they’re both just so embedded into each other, they’re involved in each other’s lives for better or worse now that it’s kind of like one goes down the other goes down. Like it or not, you know.
They have found something in each other, like a real mentorship, there’s a mutually beneficially sort of symbiosis going on between these two guys. One is seeing something of himself and he’s getting the pleasure of teaching and bringing along in somebody. I’m playing the other side of it. I’d imagine when you’re that older guy and you’re getting to share your life’s experience and at the same time learn from witnessing someone young make mistakes that’s great for him. For me it’s the sole reason why I can exist in this place and have become the person that I always dreamed that I could be.
There’s just this mutual investment in one another and then there’s the legal side of it that his fate is attached to mine. If it got out what I’ve done then he’s kind of screwed himself. He’s emboldened by that at this point. Before it was a fear and this season there’s a change in him to go, you know, I’m going to take the bullet for this kid.
Now being Harvey, that’s probably mostly selfish, but that’s why we love him. I think the friendship is definitely deepening though and I think there’s a closeness and a side of my emotional life that we’re kind of exploring this year with Grammy and with Rachel and all those relationships. You’re seeing him get involved in my personal life. Not involved, but suddenly taking stock in a way that a friend might rather than just a colleague and I think that’s going to help grow that relationship and create something where we’re really going to look after each other as best we can.
Q: Mike has a lot of movie references. Have they stumped you with any of them?
PATRICK: Are you kidding? I’m terrible at them. [LAUGH] Oh, you mean like – like I don’t even know the movie?
Q: Where you don’t get the movie reference and do you have any favorites?
PATRICK: I’m pretty good at the references, but I’m terrible – I mean the Sylvester Stallone thing, that wasn’t like hey let’s pretend I’m bad at doing a Sylvester Stallone. [LAUGH] That was like legitimately me on the phone in New York shooting that scene going I don’t know how to do this, I can’t do this. He’s like just do it. And then it became like this banter between us. I’m usually good at knowing the references. I’m like kind of a cinephile and know that stuff, but I’m not good at repeating it or making it happen. I’m trying to think if anything has stumped me.
A little tidbit, I’ve never seen Casablanca and I’m giving Rachel crap in that episode [LAUGH]. Not really a stump because I know what it is because everybody knows what it is, but I’ve definitely come across some things that I’m ashamed to admit [LAUGH].
Q: Things that you got to do that you really enjoyed.
PATRICK: I ended up loving the Sylvester Stallone thing. Again, I thought that was a perfect representation of the show, which is you don’t have to be good. Mike doesn’t have to be good. I’m never going and talking to the writers going, make me better, make me a better lawyer, make me more capable of things. It’s like that will come. I’m not interested in that.
I think it’s more interesting to play somebody in housing court who has no idea how it works. Like that’s fun to play. I like playing a character who’s lost in a world. I think it’s way more interesting. And TV is so full of people who are amazing and everything and I think it’s less interesting for people to watch. For me, I don’t relate to that when I’m watching TV. I don’t feel anything. So I’m always focused on the things I’m not good more than the things I am.
Q: Of all the cases that your character worked on which one did you learn the most from and do your friends ask you for legal advice?
PATRICK: I have a friend who’s like a good lawyer. He’s the kind of lawyer when he told me what kind of law he practices I had no Idea what he does – I couldn’t tell you now. Like it made no sense to me. That kind of complicated lawyer. He loves the show. I saw him at a wedding this past weekend he was like, it’s a terrific show, love it, it is the worst legal show in the world. Like there is nothing about anything you do that even remotely comes close to what’s going on in law. So no, I’m not getting asked for legal advice.
Harvey’s this master chess player basically and he knows how to move the pieces around and Mike’s getting really good at it, too, because he was a con man before, he’s taking the LSAT’s for people and I think that’s why this all works. It’s not because I’m smart and can remember everything in a book, it’s because we think outside the box. We’re the Captain Kirk, we’re like to move this around and go over here and nobody will have ever seen that or we’ll change the rules of the game in the middle of the game. That’s the stuff that I love playing and I love learning from. I feel like I’m getting better at manipulating everyone in my life, you know. And that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
Q: With Jessica knowing Mike’s secret how do you make sense of who he has to be this season?
PATRICK: We’re still figuring it out. The stakes have changed, but like not really because she knows and so there’s some safety, there’s like a new safety blanket on it, but in a way the stakes are higher because now she knows and now it’s like I think for me, like I said, we’re not spending a lot of time playing those stakes right up front because we’ve got this big case coming. Mike has to get to the point where he accepts that this is his situation now and he has to do his best job on a day to day basis.
Just like me doing the show, you know, it’s like he’s got so much work to do, he’s up all night, he’s working on these things, he’s working on these cases, he can’t spend time worrying too much about the things that he has no control over. I don’t know a better answer than that. I think he’s always operating under massive pressure and he’s getting better and better at working under pressure because again he’s learning how to move pieces around and Harvey is teaching him things like don’t worry about that, you can’t control that now, we got to focus on this. He deals with each problem as it comes up and I think eventually that problem’s really going to come back and we’re going to have to get very creative.
I’m fighting to see that this is always dealt with. If we’re lucky enough to go, you know, three, four, five, six seasons, I think that people need an answer to that situation. So I think everybody is on board that we don’t want to keep that going forever, that it needs to be answered, we need to deal with it. But for right now there’s a lot of the daily law thing that we need to focus on.
Q: Are we going to see any flashbacks about what happened five years ago? And how is that going to work out?
PATRICK: I heard a rumor, I haven’t read a script, I hear rumor that there’s going to be some sort of flashback situation, later on. I don’t know anything about it, I just know that I’ve heard rumors of it, I haven’t seen any scripts, but I do know that they’re toying with the idea of playing with some going back in time a little bit and seeing what happened before the mythology of the show. Go into the mythology of these characters before you actually got to see them.
So I’m really excited about it because it would mean we’d get to delve into some interesting Trevor and Jenny stuff and we get to see Harvey pre what you know him to be, pre senior partner. I think it would be fun. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. But I can neither confirm nor deny. I just know at this point they’re having a conversation.
Rick Hoffman : Louis Litt – Meghan Markle : Rachel Zane
Q: We’re hearing they’re giving the supporting actors a lot more story this year. Are you guys seeing that?
MEGHAN: Big time.
Q: Can you talk about that a little bit?
MEGHAN: Yeah, I would say that definitely in developing Rachel and Louis’ dynamic and a lot more of Rachel and Donna’s friendship, which is a lot of fun, I think that they’re playing off of the friendships that we have in real life and just sort of letting that come to light on the show. So between those two, for me to be paired up with it’s a lot of fun.
RICK: 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.
Q: One of the things I was curious about in the first season Louis and Harvey had these bets going on and we never really knew what the usual amount was? Will we get to know what that was?
RICK: We talked about it, Gabriel [Harvey] and myself. It was big, we knew that. There was never really an amount. We knew it was huge. This year the dynamic in the office is quite different so far, the first five episodes, especially what’s happening with Harvey, Louis, Mike and I. One key word I would say that’s makes things a bit messier this year is leverage. Things are risky for everybody this year and people use leverage against one another in many different ways and it might just be about a wager or it’s a little bit more than that I think.
MEGHAN: And we have Daniel Hardman this year, too, which puts a whole different spin on what’s going on at the firm.
RICK: I you think Louis is not such a nice guy, Hardman is an …. well, we don’t want to spoil anything. He’s not a sweet man.
Q: Your character is someone we wouldn’t think would maybe like ballet. Are we seeing the softer side to him?
RICK: Well, last year he had gotten tickets a couple of times throughout the first season, one from his boss, another time was in the finale where has been tempted Donna in a really awkward way so he has shown his interest in the arts from the very beginning. I’m not going to say anything else. There’s something else in the next episode that has to do with an animal.
Q: Can you tell me how you’ve come to have a better understanding of your character as compared to last year?
MEGHAN: Certainly in 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. This season because we’re exploring the other friendships that she has with Sarah Rafferty’s Donna and this new dynamic, we’re meeting a lot more of who she really is and I would say just trying to find a way that Rachel can become a lawyer. Which is my hope for her, at the firm. 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.
RICK: 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. He can be hated, but yet this particular this season we found this kind of real human area that wasn’t covered last year that is totally covered this year. It’s just great writing what they’ve got going on with this guy. They’re really making him a whole human being.
Q: So that means we’re going to get into the personal life a little bit more of Louis?
RICK: Through the law firm you kind of get to know him a little – a lot more of who he is and what he believes in as – as opposed to just walking around being a dick. So it’s fun. I mean I cannot complain about it. This is the best job I’ve ever had. Flat out. Yeah.
Q: I want Louis to find out Mike’s secret because I don’t think that he would really like sell him out at first because that would be so much leverage over Harvey and Mike. So do we see that happening at any point?
RICK: I think there’s a big detour that I won’t say what it is, but is sort of shifts everything else and it makes everything a little bit more dangerous for everyone in the firm.
Q: How steamy does it get between Rachel and Mike this season?
MEGHAN: Oh, I don’t know. I’d be a fan girl over this show even if I wasn’t on it and get so excited to see what’s coming up. So I have no idea how they’re going to keep it interesting, but they do. We’re lucky. We have the best writers and Aaron, of course, our creator, is just amazing. So we can keep playing this cat and mouse game until who knows what will happen, but I’m certainly team Rachel, though I’m partial.
Q: So there’s a moment in the premiere where Harvey kind of asks Louis to back off of Mike a little bit, but that’s not going to continue right? They’re still going to have that adversarial relationship?
RICK: Tthe only thing I can say without giving up anything is it’s really cool what they have going on. Like for instance for Rachel and Louis to be working together you really wouldn’t think they’re going to be working on a case. With Mike there’s something really cool that goes on in this season between all of the characters that changes up the dynamics a little bit, but somehow everybody’s still – people don’t change. Let’s put it this way, it definitely adds levels of dimension to everybody’s relationship. I’m trying hard not to tell you. Me and Mike get married. [LAUGH] Darn, I said it.
MEGHAN: I know the girls, we all joke about the spinoff will be skirts. It’s just [LAUGH].
Q: So are the ladies going to have a little bit more of a lead role this season?
MEGHAN: We’ve been lucky from the onset. They write so well for the women that we have a lot of layers and they’re all strong and Donna knows everything. I have yet to have a scene last season or this season with Jessica, so maybe there’s something in store there to play with especially as Rachel’s becoming much more involved in the firm and the cases to a greater extent than last season. Definitely we have a lot of fun and there is a scene coming up with Donna and Rachel drunk in a bar together impersonating. There’s a lot of fun stuff going on for the gals.
Q: How much are Louis and Rachel aware of what happened with Hardman before he left the firm on his extended leave of absence?
RICK: I know Louis was fully aware. I’m not sure, depending on how long Rachel had worked at the firm, it’s – it really has a lot to do with the history with Jessica, Harvey mostly and Louis has a very clear idea of who this guy is.
MEGHAN: So does Rachel. There’s a very specific context in which Daniel Hardman left the firm and it personally affects Rachel because of something you will see.
Gina Torres : Jessica Pearson
Q: We find out that Jessica finds out what’s been going on with Mike. Is she more angry that she wasn’t let in on the game or is she more angry because they put the firm in jeopardy?
GINA: I’m of the opinion that she’s angry that they put the firm in jeopardy. This is her life’s work. This is her baby. All that we know of Jessica is that she’s very driven and that she has dedicate herself to this firm. Her name is on the letterhead, is on the door and so it is a direct reflection of her. And this coming from somebody that she trusts so it’s a big blow.
Q: The final scene of the premiere episode shows her wanting to figure out how Mike persuaded Harvey to hire him and it kind of looked a little more playful?
GINA: I don’t if it’s so much playful. I think she just she really wants to know what his value is. She’s also not someone who will show her cards so easily and she doesn’t know Mike. So there’s no reason for her to let Mike in on how she’s feeling really.
Q: So do we get to know a little bit more about Jessica this season?
GINA: I hope so that’s always my hope. Like any good television series that’s written well you know there’s a slow reveal. Once we understand that, that we hooked you, we don’t want to give it all away. You do see evidence of that I think with everybody on the show this season. There’s another layer that is revealed to Jessica. You see a little bit more of her interior life and so you can only hope that more of that is exposed as the season goes on.
Q: We saw the premiere so now we know that Hardman is returning to the office. How is that going to play out over the course of the season?
GINA: We do get to see a different part of Jessica. We did get to see her shaken up a little bit. There’s a white-hot spotlight on her at the moment and there’s a lot going on. So we’ll see. I’m not so much being coy as – as I honestly don’t know. We haven’t gotten to the end yet.
Q: She doesn’t care about Mike the way Donna and Harvey do but do you ever see that day that that might happen?
GINA: I think so, but we have to be careful about it as I think the writers will be. I believe one of Jessica’s strengths is that it’s very clear that her respect has to be earned. She’s not just taking on anybody on the whim, there’s too much at stake. The stakes have been established as being very high this season. So if that happens, if and when that happens I think when it moves from amusement [LAUGH] to caring and respect I think it has to be very well written.
Q: Last season it was revealed that Jessica had a secret are we going to see more of Jessica’s secret this season? Maybe some romance?
GINA: Oh wouldn’t that be great. [LAUGH] She’s in the office all the time. I jokingly on one of the red carpets last season joked that maybe it was this season that Jessica was finally going to get some. [LAUGH] And hey she’s tense. [LAUGH] It would be nice. You know I kind of tease Aaron every season with “so are we building her house this season” or you know is there a standing set. We’ll see. It’s got to be worth it. You know it’s got to be somebody good. I don’t think anybody would buy it if Jessica had somebody just kind of show up in her life.
It was great having Russell Hornsby be here because it was just at the end of that that particular episode seeing what their relationship was and that you saw another playful side of her that maybe she could be somebody’s partner in life.
Q: If you could take on another character regardless of gender who would you want to play?
GINA: I’ve said this before and I mean it with great sincerity. I would love to play Donna. For a myriad of reasons. My high school James Bond fixation being I always wanted to be like the Money Penny. Not just the Money Penny that was pining for James. The Money Penny that was the woman behind the man and made everything run. Sarah is brilliant at portraying that and walking that line. I think she’s written beautifully.
Q: With Hardman coming back are we going to see any changes in Jessica’s role within the firm?
GINA: Like brooming the conference room. [LAUGH] Watching the phones? We’re really not that far into it. I honestly can’t tell you because we’re not past the first big hump as is established. Now you just saw the first episode there’s another hump coming. Right now she’s still in charge.
Q: There’s kind of a hint or two where it seems like you and Harvey have that same relationship Mike and Harvey have?
GINA: Yeah more than hints I think. I remember when we shot the very first episode that she really she laid it out. She laid out everything she did for him to get in to that point. And I like to think that I taught him how to dress as well. [LAUGH] They didn’t write that in. This very long intimate relationship between coworkers. How the cart gets upset if you will in the beginning of the second season it’s a the ripple effect of that and the ripple effect of insight of our relationship with Jessica’s relationship to Harvey and I think it’s something to watch for. Yes.
Q: Do you think Jessica will inspire other girls to go into law that are watching?
GINA: I hope so. I hope so. You know just just like anything that we put out there you hope it reaches you. You never know what, you you never know how, what you do as an actor is going to catch anybody, affect anybody how it is you knowwhere they are in our lives when they watch you. You know certainly doing my time in the fantasy realm I you know I dismissed so much of that while I was doing it and then having some distance from it and hearing from um girls who watched me when they were younger. [LAUGH] and how that affected and then seeing a strong woman and seeing a woman in power that’s awesome. Just the other day a woman stopped me and said I am so glad that you’re on television and that this woman is being seen because I’m a lawyer and I have my own firm and nobody believes that about me. And you can’t ask for more than that really, that what you’re putting out there is positive. So yes absolutely. I hope that happens and that that’s where they find their happiness not just because I dress well.
Q: Especially for us Latinos because we don’t have very many people playing roles like that to look up to?
GINA: No I agree I absolutely agree. Since we are taking over the world and it’s going to be ours I want to see some Jessica Sanchez’s there doing their thing. That would be awesome.
Q: Given that Jessica knows about Mike does she trust Harvey less and began to trust Mike more?
GINA: I think that’s a matter of circumstance. All of that really has to play out. And it’s – it’s early in the game.
Q: But her trust issue is with Harvey and not Mike?
GINA: Well they’re going to have their dance. They’re going to have their thing you know. Harvey yes. Yes absolutely.
Sarah Rafferty : Donna Paulsen
Q: We’ve been told that the supporting characters are getting bigger roles this year and we’ve going to learn a little bit more about them. Can you talk about what we’re going to see with Donna?
SARAH: Well, I was surprised to find out that Donna who I like to say is always right and I enjoy that aspect of her, she’s not always right.
And I have to stop right there but its big time. We were at a cast dinner with the writers in L.A. before we left and the producers and I made some joke, you know. They were talking about Donna and I was like, well, Donna’s always right and all the writers looked at each other and was like mm hm, except when she’s wrong. [LAUGH] And I got like my back up. I think I turned red and was blushing and was like what, what, huh? How dare you? Like there’s no way that she can be wrong? And they were like you don’t know how wrong she’s going to be. [LAUGH] So it’s good, it’s good wrong. It’s right wrong. [LAUGH]
Q: We found out earlier from one of the producers that there might be something between Rachel and Donna and that there might be some friction that develops…
SARAH: Oh, that’s good to know. [LAUGH] You just totally revealed stuff to me. Thank you. Thank you. You know what, that makes, that absolutely makes sense to me. Megan and I as people were really excited this season that they kind of picked up right where we left off. We were in Harvey’s office and we were drinking and talking about boys and we were really excited about the girlfriend relationship that they developed. I was excited last season about all of the relationships that they developed. Donna could have just had a relationship with Harvey and that’s it but by the end of the season I had had really specific fun, sometimes deep interactions with each other characters. That’s really fulfilling for all of us. Like Gina and I were excited the first day that we we’re in a scene together.
Q: With Hardman coming back to the office how is everything going to change?
SARAH: The power, the balance of power gets thrown off. With Hardman there for Harvey and Jessica it’s complicated. Everything becomes so much more political and so much more delicate and you have to really try to understand where people’s allegiances are. Louis’ character is caught in that in a way that’s really dynamic. In introducing Hardman it just makes all the relationships more dynamic in a way. I think it’s really exciting. It’s really exciting to have David here, he’s amazing. He’s amazing.
Q: Donna has Harvey’s back all the time…and will do something that maybe Harvey doesn’t really want her to…so we’ve been told that Harvey kind of has another incident coming up in the second season where his integrity is questioned. How does Donna play into that?
SARAH: This is another thing that I think is really great about Donna. Sometimes a person’s greatest quality can be their biggest flaw and she’s intensely loyal and brave in her loyalty. Sort of doggedly loyal. She knows Harvey better than anybody and knows how he’s going to behave, understands that he’s a moral guy. Understands how loyal he is and what he will do on behalf of his friends and loved ones. So there is a there is a situation where her loyalty is thrown tremendously into relief and tested. She goes as far as she possibly can to protect him and that can maybe cloud her judgment a little bit.
Q: How long has Donna worked with Harvey?
SARAH: Yeah, they go back. They go way back. They go back to the DA’s office.
Q: As you said the female characters are really strong characters on the show. What’s the fan reaction to your character?
SARAH: Everybody’s nice on Twitter. [LAUGH] It’s really nice when you hear people say I work in an office and I wish I could be that confident or that strong. I think that’s great. People are connecting to her or her sense of humor; her wit. I wish I could think as fast as she can. She’s just quick. She works in a man’s world but she doesn’t feel like she’s competing with men. She’s who she is in, in this world. People are connecting to her, her wit and her confidence. That’s kind of got it’s own sort of sexiness, you know. That kind of lstrength and going toe to toe with anybody.
Q: And speaking of the dialogue…the whole dialogue has this Sorkinesque kind of pace. It’s really quick. Is it helpful for you as an actor to have that kind of really quick pace to just kind of hammer through everything?
SARAH: You can absolutely tell when something is written in a particular rhythm. And it’s so funny, this is going to be super geeky but, Aaron Korsh, our creator and I were having a conversation when he was up here about a scene that’s he’s written. And I was like Aaron, this is like Shakespeare. You finish the lines and it’s like – and he just sort of looked at me, what are you talking about? I was like, oh, Shakespeare tells you exactly the pace that you’re supposed to say your lines in a scene. My line has four beats and the next line has six beats then we’ve got a whole line, we’ve got to share, we’ve got to cut each other off. That’s what’s so great about the writing on our show. It’s just all in there. All the writers have such a strong ear for the voices of the different characters. And it was so obvious in the pilot whether the, the role was large or small, it still had a really specific voice that you could hear when you were reading it. It wasn’t like you can’t really tell who this person is. It was like she has five lines and I know exactly who that person is, you know?
Q: It was lightly touched upon, when Donna had a conversation with Rachel about going there in their relationship with Harvey.
SARAH: You never go back…
Q: Would you like to see someday like something evolve between those two characters?
SARAH: Oh God, I don’t know. That might be a jump the shark thing, right. [LAUGH] I think anything’s possible. I think we have learned that there might have been something so I think that leaves the door open. I leave that to the the powers that be. It would be really awkward for Gabriel and I. [LAUGH]
Q: Why would it be awkward?
SARAH: Because we’re like best friends from 20 years ago. Our kids are best friends. [LAUGH] We laugh when we have serious scenes, we’re just laughing. It’s a long day when we have to talk to each other seriously. It’s almost easier to do comedy with each other than drama..
Q: Is Donna sort of inspirational to play?
SARAH: I love her. I love playing her. I’d like to be more like her. I’d like to have her wit and her pace and sometimes I do. But, I also have two kids and sometimes I really don’t [LAUGH]. She’s really a joy to play. I’m really grateful for it. I think she’s a cool person so it’s really cool to get to play her.
SARAH: And I really admire Aaron for creating her, you know.
Q: What do you like about where she’s going this season?
SARAH: I’ve been told that this season things get more complicated with the relationships. Our show has really interesting plots and situations and things like that. But it’s really about relationships. It’s exciting that in the second season that they have the time to not have it always be neat and tidy, to have conflict.
Q: Are we going to see a bit of Donna’s personal life this season?
SARAH: That’s a great question. I wonder the same thing. We do leave the office, Rachel and Donna go out for drinks.
Q: So Donna and Harvey I think are kind of similar in that they like pretend to be detached but they actually do care about things a lot, but Mike seems to have gotten under both of their skin, he’s found their weak spot. What do you think about him is so appealing to them?
SARAH: Oh, gosh. I think at first, you know, Mike – at first you’re drawn to his talent, to his, his brain and his talent and he’s very charismatic. But he’s right, like he does see through, you know. I think for Donna he has like a little brother quality and also Donna gets the opportunity to see a little bit of Harvey, in Mike, from the past. There’s some qualities that they share. Also Mike and Donna can share an understanding of who Harvey is together.
Q: Who do you want to see come in as a guest start to play a love interest for Donna?
SARAH: Brad Pitt. [LAUGH] George Clooney. Is he free? [LAUGH] I don’t know but when that day comes you can be sure that I will be in on the casting. [LAUGH]
Q: I love the relationship between Donna and Louis. Are we going to see more of that this season?
SARAH: Definitely. Yes. There’s a lot of fun stuff between Donna and Louis. They love playing with each other and there’s even a really fun couple of webisodes.
Q: Does coming back for a season two create more pressure or is it a little less because the show is doing well and people are watching or is it a different kind of pressure than season one?
SARAH: I guess it would be a different kind of pressure because you want to not f*** up [LAUGH]. You want to live up to and surpass the first season. It’s really exciting to come back because there are fans that are watching and you want to deliver. It’s totally motivating in that way and it was very exciting.
But you know what’s so exciting, the really brave writing. There’s so much we can do and we’ve got so many big plans, we’re not afraid to like put it on all in this one script because the next one’s going to get better and better and better. That’s what’s really exciting about being able to be on this show because we read the scripts and we’re like what, what? No way. You know?
Q: Is it always a surprise or is there some creative input with your character, how she might react in specific situations?
SARAH: Plot wise it is always a surprise. It’s always a surprise. Input wise, I don’t have any input where the character’s going. It was actually fun to sit down with Aaron while we were shooting the first episode to say what’s happening? We are doing some interviews and I literally have no idea what’s going on. So he told me a couple of things that were going to be happening. The only thing that sometimes comes up is while you’re shooting something you might grab the writer and the director about a little moment and say this isn’t ringing true for me, I think she would say this or I think she would say it like that. But it, it’s so rare. And a lot of times what’s really fun is when we shoot what’s on the page and then they say and play a little bit. Some things are improv’d and like even the little scene last year with Rachel when we decided to go drink, that like, we should have a couple drinks. We should barf. We just made that up, you know. It wasn’t there. It just was something that happened and they were open to it which is really cool.
Q: So they let you play a little bit.
SARAH: They definitely let us play. They definitely let us play and encourage us to which is great.
Q: As important as the fashion is to the men, it is also for the women because you guys are great dressers. Do you have fun with the fashion that Donna wears?
SARAH: Yes. And I get excited about it. Our costume designer is amazing and she actually has her own line of clothes and jewelry and she has such a great eye. I feel like I’ve learned a lot too about how to dress. She, always says this frames you up, this frames you up. [LAUGH] She picks beautiful things and things that are right for the moment, you know, for what’s happening emotionally in a scene. It’s important that they match.And that the dress that you’re wearing isn’t wearing you.
Q: So are you taking some of Donna’s style and incorporating it into your own style?
SARAH: Yes, it’s fun. I’ve been able to go a couple of times when she’s been shopping for things. I have had the opportunity to borrow some of Donna’s clothes for engagements that we have. So that’s really fun.
Q: Donna’s so unflappable. Do you think there is other situations like with a new love life or something like that that we get to see a different side of her?
SARAH: Totally. Episode five. She gets it wrong. She totally gets it wrong. And I think that’s incredibly confusing to her. I think she’s just always been right, always dotted her t’s and crossed her I’s. [LAUGH] She’s really, really thrown by something that happens. I was told by one of the writers that it doesn’t really resolve for, for a few episodes, that kind of lingering confusion and doubt and remorse are there. So that’s great. It’s a good opportunity for that mask to kind of fall. Donna loves putting on different masks. She’s an actress. She likes role playing in that way, in an actory way. You get a chance to see that fall away.
Q: That’s the wrong is right…
SARAH: Yeah. And its weird, it was weird to read that script too because I was like there’s Donna putting on some Donna face, whatever kind of like the sassy secretary thing or whatever. There’s not an opportunity in this episode for that because it’s just stripped down. It’s really exciting.
Q: She goes in and finds out what he told Mike because he’s supposed to fire him. And the scene between those two characters was kind of intense and it was intimate and its so fragile at the same time. What was it like for you guys to film that?
SARAH: We had to get through laughing a lot. [LAUGH] I thought it was just perfectly written I never really thought what it was like. I think it just sort of happened.
Q: It was fragile. She didn’t know what Harvey had told Mike.
SARAH: Well, she didn’t. I mean, that’s absolutely true. So she comes in saying what happened because she had just left saying how are you going to do this. That’s the first time she hasn’t listened in because she couldn’t. She knew she was going to lose it, that she was going to cry all the way through it and he would walk out and see her crying and the whole thing. So when she walks in it’s like just rip the band-aid off. Just tell me, just tell me quick because it’s going to be hard.
And then all of a sudden he’s like back peddling and she knows him so well. So she says, oh my God, you, you, you couldn’t do it. [LAUGH] You’re a bigger wuss than me, you know. And then he turns the tables on her and, and she’s like, okay, fine, no, you can’t turn the tables on me.
But I think the thing that’s fun is that they’re always able to turn the table. They’re so well matched. They’re always able to turn the tables on each other. I like to think Donna always wins. Sarah definitely always wins with Gabrielle. [LAUGH]
Q: I was wondering is there anything challenging that you find about playing the character. It seems like you obviously really love her…but is there anything else you find kind of a challenge with her?
SARAH: I think it’s challenging to embody her, the confidence all the time, the being on top of it. What else? This is going to sound really cheesy but our cast is so incredible and the other actors are so amazing so that when you find yourself shooting something that you’re not totally clear about or you’re not totally confident about or anything like that, you just get to zero in on Rick or Gina or Patrick or Gabriel and, you know, feel safe. I think that’s what’s great about the fact that we’re all such good friends because that comes to work. You feel safe. You feel collaborative. You feel like you can try things and you feel like you can ask your friend like the – what do you think of this moment, what’s this about, you know. And that’s like a real gift to this particular show and it sounds cheesy. [LAUGH] Desperate cheeseyeater.com. [LAUGH]
Q: It makes for a better show though because I think that’s why it does have a fun base, it translates.
Q: What it was like watching yourself play Donna and if there was something that you could change to the character Donna, yourself, what would it be?
SARAH: It’s always horrible to watch yourself. Don’t, do you remember hearing yourself on answering machine for the first time, being like, oh, that’s not me, that’s not me, right? It’s like that times a million. So it’s fun to watch her and no there’s nothing I would change. I’m so just in awe of what Aaron Korsh created and how they have let her grow that I just like to sit back and shut up and say, say the words, you know.
Max Topplin : Harold Jakowski
Q: Theres going to be a lot more going on with your character this season.
M: It seems so yeah. Basically I’m an associate as is Patrick (Mike Ross) at Pearson Hardman and I take a lot of abuse from Louis Litt. The characters grown kind of into the class clown of the office unfortunately; you know. So like they were shooting a scene with me doing pirouettes and all sorts of ridiculous things.
Q: … you were starting to tell us about all the stuff that he’s going to be getting into this season?
MAX: Yeah, all sorts of shenanigans. Let’s see like for instance uh I mean ordeals with cats he might be allergic, I’m not saying anything. Uh what else again dancing we were just doing dancing. Last episode I mean it’s always something crazy with Harold. Like he is – he is like I said before the class clown that he takes himself very seriously and he tries really hard. But you know he went to Harvard he – he’s a smart guy but he might be a little socially awkward and not necessarily able to keep up with the rest of the associates and the rest of you know everyone else in the office. So yeah.
Q: Do you get to see how competent he actually is a lawyer?
Q: Do we ever get to see him shine as a lawyer?
MAX: Not yet. Hopefully soon. Like in this episode that were doing right now I get started on the case and then I totally make a fool of myself and the case gets taken away from me and given to someone else. I mean it’s a lot of that and hopefully that it will work towards a “yes I’m a full-fledged legal associate hear you roar”. But until then know it’s mostly getting kicked around. [LAUGH]
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of working on the show now that they’ve expanded your role and added some more fun things to do?
MAX: The improv, we’re given a lot of leeway and more than any other show that I’ve ever worked on including some really raunchy crazy comedies. The leeway that we’re given just with going with the flow and – and – and you know creating dialogue that didn’t previously exist and they just allow us to play which is really nice. Especially between me and Rick me and – and Louis Litt they really allow us to go places and with webisodes like we were – we were getting crazy with – with some of the like my goodness there was just some F-bombs thrown and I mean all kinds of things. It was getting it was frisky. Yeah my God. Um so yeah that was that’s – that’s probably my favorite aspect. And the writing is so quick it’s so, it’s smart that it doesn’t — it doesn’t leave the audience outcast and if they don’t understand because maybe some of the characters in — in my case maybe we don’t understand the dialogue ourselves either. Not — not me as an actor I mean let’s be honest I get every word I say. But as the character Harold you know you can it’s — it’s fun it’s I mean it’s a great show. Do you like the show? You better. Good. Um yeah any other questions?
Q: Is it just Louis that’s going to be kicking around this season?
MAX: Um I think you know um Mike gets can get I mean Mike is my – my confidant and friend that he can — he can get a little aggravated with me at times just because you know I’m not moving as fast as he — he would like maybe. Um but uh and then Rachel I think she feels bad for like oh I was hitting on her last episode real hard. And uh you know just awkward stuff. You know making weird noises with my teeth and just like things that I wouldn’t do in real life. And like but uh yeah, yeah so you ne and let’s see Donna, Donna has Donna had much inter we I catch Donna I can’t say – say where that would give something away. But I catch Donna doing something and there’s a fun she — she — she treats me like a little boy you know and she’s kind of the mother figure I think around the office anyway. So to have you know I — I think I am technically a little younger than most people on — on the show so I think she treats me — she treats me that way. So yeah. And it you do not so much with the — with Gabriel with uh I don’t know if I’ve ever had a scene with Gabriel actually. Yeah Gabriel and Gina I get to uh I guess Pearson and obviously you know Gabriel is Gabriel [INAUDIBLE] right. Uh but no yeah I haven’t had any scenes with – with them but you know everyone else kind of takes me around. So help me you know I might be a punching bag for them soon knows. I’m hoping you know. Let’s bring it on let’s go. But yeah. [LAUGH]
Q: How has the show helped to raise your game?
MAX: I saw this promo the other day, it said twenty-four million viewers last season. How could that not help my goodness? You know I’m used to you know I don’t want to say crappy Canadian TV but a lot of crappy Canadian TV. Um and we get you know at six hundred thousand is like that’s like ooh you know we made a guys you let the Burger King we can treat ourselves. So um yeah I like thirty-nine cents bring it on baby. But uh Jan know so I mean obviously just the when dealing with — with the ma – mass populace viewing the show that can only — only help a career. So it’s been good. It’s been — it’s been good and I have uh some other projects I’m working on at [INAUDIBLE] I can’t tell anyone about it but [INAUDIBLE] which in kind of you know it all builds towards you know something greater. So yeah.
Q: Do you see your character stopping to be the punching bag at some point?
MAX: Funny you should say such a thing. In of the webisodes I get to give it back to Louis. It’s a really fun segment where I kind of you know say hold on a sec he gives me the leeway to do that where it’s a role-playing uh exercise that he does with me. And I kind of you know step up to the plate and say you know what screw you I’m — I’m done with you as another character so not as Harold right. So I can get out get — get up and do that. But then he put me back in my plays at the end of the webisode. So you know uh hopefully soon uh he won’t have to put me back in the place at the end after I [CLEAR THROAT] you know it’ll – it’ll be good so. And hopefully a love interest you know that’s what I’m hoping for. Because he tries with every — every lady. He’s — he’s going for it. And we were talking earlier like Team uh Team Rachel versus Team Jenny Harold is just Team Women. Like he just, he doesn’t care you know bring on Team Jenny, bring on [INAUDIBLE]. Come on let’s go.
Q: Do more people find out about Mike’s past and the fact he didn’t go to law school?
MAX: No, I mean as far as I understand I am not aware of that. I think that in season two we will find out a lot more about where we’re going with his whole secret. So yeah watch out .
Q: How will the addition of Hardman he change the mood around the office?
MAX: I think definitely the intimidation factor is there and even with someone like Louis Litt because he’s not a partner yet right he can be put in his place by Hardman. It changes the chemistry in the office. Jessica also sometimes has to sidestep because now she is not the only person at the top of the food chain. It’s a great addition to the cast. He’s fantastic, I mean on Breaking Bad he was so freaking awesome and scary. He’s a good actor, he’s really cool so I’m glad he’s on the show.
Q: Max seems to me to be like a Louis. Don’t you get the impression that Louis was also the punching bag?
MAX: Absolutely. I mean let’s look at him, he definitely was bullied. Just kidding, that was a joke. Uh but — but yeah no he I think that’s – that’s kind of you know the cycle. I don’t think — I don’t think Harold will well I hope to say that Harold would never treat people like that but uh that is probably the cycle and yes he – he you know he’s worked up the ranks. And in — in an episode I think it’s episode three you’ll — you’ll see him um go back to the grunt work and show everyone where he started and how he got where he currently is. So yeah that — that — that is to answer your question good question. Let’s see alright ooh. No not a [INAUDIBLE].
Q: In the premiere episode we saw this great scene with Harold and Louis and a cancer ribbon. It was funny, but then you felt bad for Harold because the ribbon wearing was coming from a good place.
MAX: Harold is a genuine guy that cares and that’s why he gets sh** on so much. He’s not necessarily playing the game like everyone else. That’s also where a lot of the comedy comes from is that you put Harold in the situation where you let me think of a good situation. What if we just do? Like for instance just now we were shooting this scene where are you know 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.
Q: Do the webisodes actually lead into the season or are they just totally peripheral?
MAX: Probably a little bit of both. They definitely are peripheral and you don’t need to see the show to enjoy them, but there are some pullbacks from episodes that we’re using.
Gene Klein : Producer Suits/Covert Affairs
Q: The Louis Litt endgame is being senior partner. Is he going to try to play both sides of the season 2 partner clash?
GENE:I think it’s safe to say that different people try to take advantage of it at different times. So you know. I’m trying to tease without telling you anything but I think that you’re picking up on the seeds that were planted in the pilot.
Q: Were the webisodes developing since season one?
GENE: USA does webisodes for most of their shows or some sort of web effort. They’re not always webisodes. This effort that we’re making on Suits is a lot different than Cover Affairs for example. I think Aaron’s approach to it was like I don’t want to do them unless they are awesome. [LAUGHS] I think that the general idea was to use the awesome funny scenes that for whatever reason didn’t fit in an episode. Most of them were generated by the writers thinking wouldn’t it be great if we could? And then you know the webisodes gave them an outlet. They’re all ridiculously funny. They’re that good.
Q: How much of a challenge is it to kind of balance the different tones to the show?
GENE: I think that it it’s something we’re very aware of. We work a lot on the cuts where we’re editing the show making sure that the transitions from scene to scene work in the scene are in the right order both to tell the story and does that scene flow along right up against the other. Sometimes comic relief right after something very dramatic is exactly what the audience needs and other times it doesn’t seem appropriate. AWhen you get it right, that’s what people love about the show.
Q: Was it always planned to have Mike’s secret revealed where it was?
GENE: The answer to that question is really inside Aaron Korsh’s head. What we ended up doing seemed to be exactly what he had in his head the whole time.
Q: How did you feel about it?
GENE: I thought it was great because you know there’s only so long you can do that tap dance around when is someone going to find out? And really at the end of the day we’ve let one person in on the secret. And there are still many, many more that we we can let in. So we’ve let the cat out of the bag a little bit but I think in a very honest way and so then it still leaves a lot of places for us to go. Personally as a viewer of the show I’m looking forward to the day when Rachel finds out.
Q: Is there a big picture in mind as far as Harvey and Mike’s evolution of their relationship?
GENE: The biggest idea we’ve talked about since the pilot has been that this is Mike’s journey because the pilot is his point of view and so much of what happens in the firm you see through his eyes. I think the series questions are in general like for Mike what’s going to happen to him? And I think for Harvey because of the kind of guy that he is you don’t really question whether things are going to work out for Harvey or not. It seems on the face of it that things always work out for Harvey. I think what you wonder about Harvey and what made him this way and I think that’s the fun. Going forward I think you will find out a lot about the relationship.
Q: They were talking about flashbacks?
GENE: There is a flashback. [LAUGHS] You know it’s hard – it’s hard to characterize it fully because it’s a script that’s being written right now. I don’t know everything about it other than what was in the outline.
Q: Is it over one time period or multiples?
GENE: I don’t really want to answer that. [LAUGHS] let me say you get glimpses into the past for both Harvey and Mike.
Q: Will we find out more about how Rachel and Donna became friends and will they seem to be more confidants with each other more than last season?
GENE: Tthere is a lot more going on between them this season. It’s safe to say as a viewer you’re seeing the evolution of their relationship. They’ve worked at the firm together but the fun part about the relationship is that you’re seeing it unfold. There’s not a huge back story there, this is it’s happening in real time. There’s some great stuff between them.
Q: Is Donna going to become like a mentor to Rachel or will it stay more of a friendship?
GENE: Donna certainly sort of an elder for Rachel. She’s got the wisdom to impart. But I think we have are our story reasons why that’s not fully possible in the early part of the season.
Q: Do you see that the relationship between Donna and Harvey over Mike especially in the premiere when they were talking about who was more upset do you need a tissue, do you need a tissue it almost came off almost like parents of him is that how you’re looking at it?
GENE: I – I do. [LAUGHS] they – they both they both like Mike for different reasons. I mean I think it’s – it’s safe to say I’m the first you know it’s – it’s complicated for both of them that on the surface like you know Harvey likes Mike for his raw intellectual horsepower. And – and Donna you know Sin to more of the empathetic part of Mike but you know their you can’t really separate them, it’s all – it’s all one guy.
Q: Is Mike going to help Rachel take the LSAT?
GENE: There is definitely a story about that this year. [LAUGH] It’ll be first with the LSAT and then the bar. [LAUGH] There’s a reason why we they planted the seeds last year. There’ll be more on that this year.
Q: What you think is the secret to this show’s success because it is so popular?
GENE: We were talking about it this morning. 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. 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. It’s becoming the ensemble that’s really fun to watch.
Q: There’s a great scene in the season one finale where Rachel asks Donna about Harvey and it’s like she would go there but you can’t go back. Have you played that out yet where Mike might ask Harvey about Donna?
GENE: I’ve had lots of philosophical questions about it with Aaron, because it I love the way that was phrased in the episode because it tells you so much but it doesn’t tell you exactly anything. He won’t even tell me exactly what it means. [LAUGH] Every time I ask him like what exactly he says what do you think it is. And as with so many little dynamics in the show Aaron says this all the time. “You know you don’t really want to know you want to want to know. If I tell you what it really is it might not live up to the thing that you have in your mind.” And so he chooses to reveal it to you and then whenever he does that he has a tendency to pose some other question at the same time.
Q: How much does Mike want to be Harvey and vice versa?
GENE: I think that’s one of the central questions of the show. I really do. I mean if I said anything to you it would be my own opinion about that. Mike being a young kid is struggling with exactly that question. Personally I think Mike needs to be Mike. [LAUGH] But I mean the question is how much of Harvey is in the real Mike? But I don’t think on the show you’ll ever see him just turn into Harvey. I hope not.
Q: The real Harvey is like Mike.
GENE: [LAUGH] And they like different kind of music. Do you guys like the music on the show?
Q: Yes. I’ve tried to decipher what he’s saying but?
GENE: Did you Google it it’s out there I think. [LAUGH]
I’ll share you a secret from the writers room. When they pitch a story to each other one of Aaron’s favorite things is to have them finish telling him a teaser for a new episode and there’s one particular writer in the room who hums the theme song. So when they finish pitching the teaser you’ll hear this little voice go [Sings] [LAUGH] I love the music in the show.
Q: How much thought goes into the music you guys use?
GENE: There’s a couple of instances when I see examples of songs that are in a script. But both of the times that I can think of where that happened it didn’t end up being the song that was in the show. For the most part Aaron’s process is that he knows it when he sees it. We have great music supervisors and they feed us lots of music that then gets tried in the spots where we want it until it’s sort of clicks. We all pick songs because we’re all music geeks and all that kind of stuff. But the people who have the biggest influence on that or our editors because oftentimes the right song goes in first time they cut the show and then nobody wants to lose that song because it just works so perfectly.
Q: In terms of the Suits that everyone wears is there a particular designer?
GENE: Harvey generally wears Tom Ford suits. And Mike bounces around a little bit. Harvey finds something he likes and just sticks with it.
Q: Do you have any teases from Covert Affairs?
GENE: Well you know one of the creator’s is in town. They were shooting in the studio right over there. Let’s see. Well you guys know there’s new characters this season.
There’s a new character played by Sarah Clark. A new boss for for Annie and she’s actually over there shooting her first day today. There’s a story that begins in the season premiere that takes all season to resolve. USA Network air pattern is planning a very short break this year and not the normal few months in between.
Q: It’s a three week hiatus.
GENE: Yeah it’s a shorter break this time. So more than ever episode eleven picks up right after where ten left off. It’s a cool cliffhanger as it stands right now.
A surprise visitor! Christopher Gorham : Auggie Anderson : Covert Affairs
Q: What can you tell us about the new season you’re shooting now as far as overall themes or arcs?
CHRIS: It’s the same show, but the storytelling is really different. It’s much more serialized than it’s been before. We have one mission that everyone’s kind of working on in their own way that lasts the whole first 10 episodes. Annie’s working an op on a guy and that operation lasts for the whole first ten episodes of season. The show has turned into really something that you’re gonna wanna watch live, that you don’t wanna miss, because at the end of every episode there’s this huge revelation. And everything feeds into everything else. Our writers, Chris and Matt and the whole team, really took a lot of time in the off-season making sure that all of the pieces fit and that everything fits together at the end, and everything happens for a reason.
So plot wise everything fits together and is very serialized. The other thing is it goes deeper than we’ve gone before. All the emotional stuff is bigger. There’s an urgency to this year that we didn’t have as much last season. We kind of opened the door to the Annie and Auggie relationship at the end of Season Two, and so we’re exploring … I mean, we ex-explore that, and to me in a way that’s very real for who those two people right now and they’ve both have very complicated lives. The fact that Auggie’s blind has allowed us to play with the relationship in a way that-that you can’t do with any two other characters is a lot of fun for us to do. Auggie goes off to Africa and we have to see what happens with his relationship with Parker.
We have a big episode, Episode 3. It’s a big Auggie episode. Big relationship stuff there.
We have pirates … [LAUGH] I felt like in the second season we were really trying to make everything bigger and in the third season I really feel like we’re just trying to go deeper with everything and get more complex. Which I think makes the show better. It’ll be interesting. I mean, the first episode is huge, and kind of changes everything, and changes everything for the entire season. So it’ll be really interesting to see what the audience reaction is and how they respond to the new tone of the show. I mean, one of the realities of the CIA is that it’s a dangerous place to work, and anything can happen, and there are consequences to your actions. And so we really see that this year.
Q: What’s going on with Auggie and Jai, their relationship seemed irreparably damaged at the end of last season?
CHRIS: It’s really interesting. Their relationship at the end of last season had really fallen apart. It’s always fun for Sendhil and I to play together, because with those two characters they don’t really like or trust [LAUGH] each other, but they do have a respect for each other. So it’s been fun, and yet at the end of last year, Jai poached two of Auggie’s top guys and basically burned that bridge. We do have what I think is a really interesting follow-up to that reality now in this season. It’s good. There’s a price to be paid for the things that happen. At the end of the day with the Auggie-Jai relationship, and with Jai in general, it’s not always what it seems. So, there are surprises there. I don’t even know all the details about it even yet, but i’ve heard enough rumblings that I think it’s gonna be an interesting resolution to what was started last year.
Q: What are you shooting today?
CHRIS: I’m working on the webisodes. And the webisodes are a prequel. The webisodes take place a year before Annie comes to the CIA, and follows Auggie on one of his early missions as a handler. Like right after he’d been promoted by Joan to his current job that we see on the show. So he’s not quite as good with his brail and his laser cane, and all of the stuff. He’s learned very quickly, but he’s only a little over a year away from recovering from his injury. He’s doing what is still a very new job. It’s been fun kind of going in and finding ways to show where he was a year before Annie joined us, and where we first met Auggie. So there’s gonna be a lot of little details that we have in there that are gonna be fun for fans, and fans of Auggie for sure.
Q: How soon are the webisodes gonna be available?
CHRIS: There’s five of them, and they’ll be aired with the first five episodes. It’s branching narrative. It’s interactive … it’s like, kind of like a choose your own adventure thing. Within each webisode there are two points which the audience can choose where the story goes.
So that’s been kind of fun. And then at the end of those five weeks there will be a linear version that’s gonna be available on Video-On-Demand.
Q: Since you’re going to Puerto Rico, are we gonna see Auggie-Annie beach scenes, bathing suits?
CHRIS: Do we see beach scenes? Yeah. Do we see bathing suits? We do. Yeah, Episode 3 is bathing suits on the beach, Episode 2 is Annie and Auggie in a hotel room. [LAUGH] Let me see, like what are the major themes here? Episode 4 is Auggie’s apartment …
Q: Is he going in the field this season?
CHRIS: He is. Let’s see, in the second episode, Annie and Auggie go on a mission together.
I tell them about the cover for that, which is kind of interesting. They go on a mission together and have to pretend that they’re married. That’s their cover. So that’s fun. [LAUGH] That’s the stuff that we shot in Barcelona. So far we’ve been to Morocco, which was for a couple different episodes, and the Barcelona for the second episode with Piper and I..and then Puerto Rico. This season the show’s gonna be in Cuba, we’re not shooting in Cuba.Apparently, there are a few restrictions that might keep us from filming in Cuba … the show. And Russia.
It’s another big year. And the international shoots are great, because they’ve just gotten bigger and bigger. We kind of took what we did in Istanbul last year and just copied that over. We’ve been able to really kind of settle into these cities, and shoot two, sometimes three full production days. Do you really get a feel of where we are. The added advantage of us being in Barcelona for the main show was we were able to shoot three days of the webisode stuff also in Barcelona. Which was great and the scope of just our webisodes is gonna be pretty impressive.
Q: Since you guys are sharing a stage together has there been any crossover talk for Suits and Covert Affairs?
CHRIS: I’ve only been told that I can’t sneak in and be background like I’ve planned on. Apparently my wardrobe isn’t up to Suits snuff. [LAUGH] Yeah, no serious talk that I’m aware of. But it would be great. Because these guys are great.
Patrick’s fantastic. It’s just nice having people around that we see elsewhere. Patrick and I had a really nice dinner before we started production this year to just kind of compare notes on what it’s like going into Season 2, and talking about you know, just lame actor-y stuff aside from just fun. He’s a great guy.
Q: Is it fun to have another production right across the hall?
CHRIS: Yeah, well, it’s funny … you’d be surprised how infrequently we’re both here at the same time. Because we both do location stuff quite a bit. I think they actually on purpose try to schedule opposite each other, because noise can become an issue when you have of these crews and then you’ve got the church down the hall, and the flea market, and … [LAUGH] yeah, so it can get busy around here.
Q: Last year you mentioned working on an interactive project for the blind on the DVDs, is that gonna be on the Season 2 DVDs?
CHRIS: Yes, descriptive audio should be on all of them going forward and it’s gonna be on USA air. For originals and some of USA acquisitions. It’s like 50 hours a quarter across the USA originals and acquisitions.
Q: Chris Gorham changing the world.
CHRIS: Changing the world one network at a time. No, but a funny story on that note. I was reading an article recently that one of the frustrations of the blind community is in restaurants that they don’t have brail menus. So we’ve just been to Piper’s restaurant for breakfast when we were in New York, so I sent off an email, I said, “Consider yourself lobbied, restaurant owner…” [LAUGH] “Do you have brail menus?” And so, and now they do. Yeah, it turns out it’s not that hard. They have all these brail printers and you can find them online, and they can print something up.
Q: What’s the reaction been from the blind community?
CHRIS: You know, really supportive. Yeah, they’ve been really happy. I’ve never received any negative feedback. I can imagine that some in the blind community must’ve been nervous at the beginning, just because the track record for people with disabilities being portrayed on film and TV is not great. In doing my research one of the concerns was how they’re gonna do X, Y, and Z, like how are they gonna portray him getting around? Just physically how are they gonna do it? Is he gonna have, you know, big sunglasses on all the time? I was very serious about it from the beginning.
I think once the first episode aired and you could tell what we were doing and saw that we were taking care of this character, that he wasn’t a fool and he’s not the butt of jokes because he’s disabled. He also isn’t a superhero, there are things that he can’t do. I think as long as we continue to do that, and continue to try to portray it in the most honest way possible, I think we’re fine. I went with Chris McCumber to the AAPD Awards Gala because the network got a big award from them this year for their Characters Unite campaign.
It’s a great campaign. It’s really, really fantastic. And the head of the AAPD and everybody there was so happy that we were there, and so supportive. And I’ve got nothing but compliments and gratitude for the job that we’re doing. And it’s not even just for the-the blind community, you know, in my mind it’s really important to remember that Auggie’s a vet. You know that he was injured in service to his country in Iraq as you know thousands of our soldiers are every year. The last thing that I would ever, ever want would be to disrespect the very real-life experience of these men and women. The last time I was in D.C. we set up a-a visit to Walter Reed through the USO and you go in and you meet these guys and their families, and it’s just the things that they go through are so extraordinary.
And the thing that you hear more than anything is how badly they want to go back. The first guy that I met was a double amputee above the knee, and he walked up and he’s on these little prosthetic legs, like it’s kind of the first ones that you’re using. He’s probably three and a half feet tall. And, just completely present, like, seemed totally happy, and the first thing he said is, like, “Yeah, you know, I got injured.” And you know, “and I’ve got like another year or rehab. “Um, and I wanna go back. I wanna help, I want to be of service.”
It’s just so important to celebrate because that’s the kind of guy that Auggie is. You know, he’s the kind of guy who you know lost his sight and the first thing he did when he was back on his feet and learning to get around is he wanted to go back and be of service.
Which reminds me, we have an episode this year where we talk about and learn a little bit more about Auggie right after the accident. Where he opens up and reveals a bit about really how hard it was for him. That as together and accomplished as he is now, there was a point after he lost his sight where he was really hurting. So we’re gonna see a bit of that this season.
Q: So, we actually see like a flashback of that time or him talking about that time?
CHRIS: He’s talking about it and I’m hoping we’re gonna shoot some of it so that we can show some of it because it’s an idea that came from me, and visually it is pretty powerful. So yeah, I don’t I right now, but hopefully. Yeah.
Q: Do you guys have some guest stars coming up this season?
CHRIS: Yeah, we’ve got Sarah Clarke and Richard Coyle. and Devon Kelly’s back playing Parker.
Q: Does Auggie start the season in Africa or does he come back?
CHRIS: He’s been and comes back, and then he goes again. So we don’t see that first trip.
Q: Did he even talk about that?
CHRIS: Yeah, that’s the pirate episode. That’s Episode 3. It’s a heavy, Auggie-Parker episode. I can’t talk about it without giving away all the good stuff. [LAUGH] It’s a really good episode. Kind of like the Istanbul episode. He doesn’t go out on a mission, but circumstances require him to call on all of those faculties. With a very specific intention regarding Parker, who he is very much in love with and then there’s pirates.
Q: It happens.
CHRIS: Yeah, yeah. [LAUGH] That’s great. We shot our beach scene for that on the tiny island of Palomita in Puerto Rico, which apparently was the island that Johnny Depp left Penelope Cruz on. She’s not still there. [LAUGH] Trust me, I looked.
The new courtroom set.
Left over from Tommy Boy filming and now a part of the Suits set.
SUITS Set Visit : Photos : USA Network