September 8th, 2011 by thetvchick
Suits was one of the biggest surprises of the summer season for me. I checked it out because I love USA Network and I’m willing to give all of their shows a try, but I was absolutely blown away. The writing is fantastic and tight, and it truly breaks the procedural mold. But what makes this show absolutely stand out from the pack is the chemistry between the two leads — Harvey Spector (played by Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (played by Patrick Adams). I recently had the chance to speak with Gabriel Macht on a media call and he previewed the big season finale, talked about Harvey’s emotions (or lack thereof) and motivations and Chi McBride’s role in the season finale.
What do you think it is about the show that’s caught on to so many viewers?
You know, I don’t. You know, I guess there’s a bunch of reasons. There are so many, you know, first off, Aaron Korsh who’s the writer and creator of the show has such a clear vision of what he wanted to put out there. He, you know, and in collaboration with the executives at USA and finding their rhythm which has really been pretty efficient in their creativity, you know, in their collaboration, they have found a show that’s procedural that has, you know, some great witty banter and the relationships between the characters seem to be more prevalent than the actual plot. And they – I guess they – mirror each other in many ways so for the people who really want to try and solve the mystery of the week, they’re also so ingrained in the characters’ relationships to each other and how that mystery of the week is also sort of showing how these characters deal with each other. I hope that’s clear the way I put it but there’s also, you know, just this ensemble of actors that are so unique from each other and I feel like we all work so well together. We all really like each other off-screen and so it makes it a lot of fun to sort of, you know, take the piss out of each other on-screen, make fun of each other and relate to each other in different ways. I just think the chemistry is for lack of a better word has really found its rhythm with everyone and on top of that, you know, the writing has just been really solid and we’ve had some great directors. And I don’t know, maybe people are interested in, you know, seeing what good-looking suits look like and, you know, strong women, you know, all of our female characters are really, really strong and in many cases stronger than some of the men and so that’s also really solid, you know, to watch that. In my whatever 20 years of working in this business a little bit longer too – I was a kid and I dropped out – but there are so many people that are working in this business collaborating with each other and trying to find, you know, something worthwhile to either say, whatever story they’re trying to tell to make it just entertaining or, you know, or whatever it is, it’s a miracle when something comes out and people really enjoy watching it week to week or seeing that story for two-and-a-half hours on film, it’s a miracle. It’s almost like a baby, you know, it’s like it came out fully formed and there’s enough to consider while watching, you know what I mean? So much of stuff that I see out there is not that and this is the first time where I’ve been involved with something that sort of is that so I’m really proud of that.
So the noose seems to be tightening around the elaborate con that Harvey and Mike have setup. Are we going to see their so-called house of cards fall apart or shall it continue beyond this season?
Well, I can’t give anything away. I will say that, you know, it’s a constant threat and, you know, I think Mike’s character is a little bit more uneasy with it than Harvey. I think Harvey feels like you know what? This kid is too good to be true even in all his mishaps. He messes up along the way. He’s not thinking clearly at times but he is, you know, once again I think Harvey’s ace in the hole and I think he’s, you know, he’s willing to continue keeping the veil up as long as he can and if it drops and someone figures it out, I feel like Harvey is confident enough to, you know, work his way out of it.
So this is your first TV series regular role in quite some time. What’s it been like for you personally to come back to TV and to dig into this character?
You know what? It’s really great. I had not wanted to do television for many, many years, even before I did my last series. I, you know, the last series I did was called The Others that lasted 13 episodes on NBC and Steven Spielberg produced it and I actually went on the audition. I did a cold reading on sort of a Steven Spielberg’s producing this so I don’t know, maybe I’ll just go in there and just show them my face, you know, and then I ended-up getting the job. I didn’t really even want the job because I was doing a play at the time in New York City and I didn’t want to leave the play but I don’t know, that’s a long story but I ended-up leaving the show and two days later working on this series and I really, I mean, it was a huge opportunity for me. I really liked the writing of that show and they knew they weren’t going to pick it up and they ended-up killing every one of the main characters which I thought was just a really classic way to end the show and then I got a film and then another film and another film and I just started working in film. And I’ve always really liked the idea of changing a character, you know, from movie to move and trying to stretch as an artist and see where that can take me and that, you know, I had a pretty good run of it for 10 years and then I just started to find that like, you know, I was getting some really great opportunities but not like the best opportunities and I thought you know what? There’s some terrific writing in television and why not go back in and see if there’s something where I can, you know, challenge myself and play a character that I haven’t played before and this came along and, you know, Harvey is just a great character. I love the wit that Aaron has brought into the writing and I thought, you know what? This could be really challenging and see how this goes. You know, why don’t I look at this as an opportunity to really get really, really deep into a character. I mean, I haven’t gotten I don’t think as deep into a character in a long, long time and the idea to do it over and over and have a break and maybe go do a movie and, you know, step away from him – from Harvey – and play somebody else and then come back to him and get another shot at it, I thought you know what? This could be really cool. And it’s turned out to be that. I admire Harvey. I like to see his weaknesses and, you know, as we delve further into him and his back story and as we move along to Season 2, you know, I hope that we can even crack the armor more. I had a really interesting conversation with Aaron Korsh a month ago. We were talking about characters in television as opposed to characters in film and, you know, I’ve always approached a character in film where the person starts out at, you know, in let’s say Place A and goes through B-C-D and finishes at E or whatever for lack of better letters. The change happens over a two-and-a-half-hour period in a film, you know, you got to see the character change and you have to see the arc of that character and some of the traps that I was coming into as far as working with, you know, as Harvey on this show was I was starting to make the character arc a little bit too soon in some of my performance here and there. And it was really interesting to see that like Aaron sort of opened this idea to me that like characters and television really move very slowly. They don’t move as fast as television because, you know, here we are with 12 hours I guess of television or 13 hours as far as the 13 episodes but they move slowly. They grow slower in many ways and I thought oh, that didn’t stink. So maybe Year 3 he’ll start really changing, you know, or he’ll start learning more about himself in a way that he didn’t in, you know, Year 1 so I’m interested to see how that works over the next few seasons if USA is, you know, nice enough to let us continue, if we’re all sort of doing good work and the writing still says solid and, you know, people are still responding to us so that’s I guess that’s where I’m at with that.
So I wanted to know if where you said we’re going to learn a little bit about Harvey’s past. Are we going to see Harvey show any emotion?
Good question. You know, I think so. There, you know, he likes to say that I think the line was something he doesn’t like having emotions but he’s not about to stop using them when he needs to. Look, I think Harvey is a very – I think the bottom line is this – I think Harvey is actually a really emotional guy. I think he’s been hurt and I think he’s been broken and I think the way that covers for that is he’s created this incredible armor and just as he stands up for people behind their back, if you look around, he’ll stand up for Mike but behind his back. He’ll stand up for Louis even though Louis drives him crazy. He’ll stand up for him behind his back. His emotions sort of come out when somebody’s back is turned. I think that’s how he sort of operates. There was a moment that he gets emotional but I think he sort of catches himself when he’s with Jessica. He really respects Jessica. He thinks that, you know, she’s had his back all along and she will continue to have his back and I think he is able to show his vulnerability with her. I think he just has a thing of like trying to cover, trying to cover, trying to cover. I don’t know if we’ll see him as vulnerable as, you know, the audience or as you might want to see him or as maybe I want to see him but at some point we will. Some point we will.
Can you tell a little bit about your interactions with Chi McBride’s character and Harvey? It said that he sort of comes up against him. He’s the new district attorney.
Yes, Chi comes in in the last episode. He is the interim district attorney because not to give anything away, something happens to the present district attorney and Harvey wants to write a wrong that happened when Harvey was, you know, an assistant to the district attorney years before. And the only way he can right that wrong is to bring it up with Chi and get him to make a deal to clear this young fellow’s name. Chi’s character really plays it by the book and makes it really difficult to Harvey to accomplish his goal and so they come up against each other and, you know, Harvey’s sort of met his match again but he’s got to figure out how to sort of out-think him. So we had a great time. I loved working with Chi. He was really – he’s a solid, solid guy – a terrific, terrific actor and I think some of those scenes, you know, are really, really strong.
We’ve seen what Harvey’s done for Mike and what he’s willing to do but a lot of them are curious as to why, what’s his motivation?
I think aside from just, you know, saying the lines that they give me, I’m kidding, I think that in many ways Mike is, you know, a representation of what Harvey was when he was a kid and he got a real shot from Jessica to, you know, break out of the world that he was in and get a second chance and I think there’s a lot of – I think there’s huge things to say – about second chances and the compassion that someone has to give somebody another shot. And I think he sees that Mike, you know, got in over his head and made a few bad decisions but is truly a good person at heart, is extremely bright and deserves, you know, deserves a second chance and I think that’s sort of what happened with Harvey early on and so when he sees this kid as being, you know, a younger him, he feels like, you know what? This is one of the ways that he can give back and, you know, I like thinking of it like that and it creates even more compassion and, you know, that heart that a lot of people feel that Harvey lacked, I think that sorts of underlies his M.O. which gives him, you know, which gives him a little bit of his charm, it gives him a little bit of his sensitivity. It gives him, you know, his thinking outside the box for, you know, the greater good and, you know, all of that stuff. I think that says it, you know, and not to mention, you know, he needs someone to do some of his dirty work and to, you know, do some of his work. Just that he’s got more important things going on and he needs this kid. He needs an associate so why not this guy/ He’s tired of, you know, the Harvard graduates who, you know, come in and, you know, are like are basically all like, you know, (instances) of Louis. He wants somebody more like him so I think that’s the answer to that.
Be sure to tune in for the big season finale of Suits tonight at 10 PM on USA Network!Tweet