Set Interview With The Men of SUITS – Gabriel Macht and Patrick J. Adams

Suits

A few weeks ago I traveled to the lovely city of Toronto to visit the set of SUITS and interview some of the cast. You can check out my set visit article and photos here. While we were there, Gabriel Macht sat down with us to answer some questions and talk about his role as Harvey Specter on the show.

On the chemistry between Harvey and Mike

Before we arrived on set all of us were given a copy of the pilot to watch and one subject that came up a lot was the great chemistry between Harvey and Mike that was already evident. When we asked Gabriel about the chemistry between the two characters, he said he felt like he and Patrick had gotten along really well and had a nice rapport from the moment they met.

On what he did to prepare for the role

We all wanted to know how he prepared for his role as a brilliant lawyer and Gabriel said to get familiar with the job he grilled friends and family who are attorneys. He also admitted to using good old Wikipedia on occasion too, especially to make sense of all the legalese that he has to spout in the episodes. Like me, it turns out he also learned a bit by going through the jury process, having been a potential juror himself.

On what made him take the role

When asked about how he got the role of Harvey, Gabriel told us of his experiences with making movies for the past 10 years and though he enjoyed them, he felt he just wasn’t getting the quality of writing he wanted. So he decided to give television a shot to see what it had to offer and when he met with the producers of Suits, he really liked what he saw.

On his character

We asked Gabriel to talk about Harvey and he had lots to say about his character. First off he told us that Harvey is nothing at all like himself, but he has a lot of respect for him. He sees Harvey as a guy who comes off as a “real hard-ass”, but underneath all that he believes that Harvey is a fair guy and has a lot of heart (an opinion I agree with wholeheartedly). Harvey hired Mike because he was bored with all the associates he’d seen parading through the office over the years and wanted someone who “had some balls”. Harvey looks at Mike as a younger version of himself and Gabriel believes that he’ll maybe even bring out a bit more vulnerability in the sometimes gruff lawyer.

He went on to say that Harvey thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, but Gabriel is looking forward to seeing what happens when he loses some cases. Gabriel likes the idea of seeing the chinks in Harvey’s armour, and I agree. I think the audience getting the chance to see those chinks could turn out to be some of the more interesting part of the character.

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Unfortunately Patrick was filming when we were there and though he did his darndest, he never got the chance to come over and sit down with us, only having just enough time to pop over at one point to say hello before being whisked back to set. He was so disappointed in fact, that he immediately went about setting up a time to take our questions over the phone.

On what he did to prepare for the role

We also asked Patrick about preparing for his role and like Gabriel, he did admit to hitting his lawyer friends up for info on how to be an attorney. He told us that he didn’t have any more info on Mike than what you see in the pilot so he filled in a lot of holes himself, adding additional info as it came out in subsequent scripts. Voicing an opinion I’ve had forever, Patrick told us that this is one of the most interesting parts of making a television show – the way different ideas and voices get thrown together to create the whole.

Surprisingly enough, Patrick actually didn’t do a lot of law research to prepare for his role though. After asking a few friends some questions, he decided that what he really wanted to concentrate on was what made Mike as a character different from other people. What he realized is that Mike is going through a point in his life where he is taking on his fears so Patrick took his on as well. He did things like get the motorcycle license he always wanted, as well as quitting smoking. He basically made a list of all the things that scared him and went out and took each one on, checking them off as he went.

On his character

When talking about his character, Patrick said that one of the things he feels about Mike is that he can never get too comfortable where he is. When people get comfortable that’s when they let things slip. That’s when this big lie, the one about not actually having gone to law school, can come out. As for Mike’s future, he predicts that things won’t always be easy for him. Mike will constantly struggle with wanting to quit when things get too tough for him, much like he did in the pilot, when he nearly walked out and Harvey had to bring him back in with his bogus story of wanting to quit, too. He thinks that Mike may not want to fully integrate into this world of cutthroat lawyers and will also struggle with figuring out how to fit into that world without becoming exactly like Harvey. Patrick, like Gabriel, also thinks the two characters will learn a lot from each other.

Personally I think they’re both right. I think we’ve already seen some evidence as to how those two are learning from each other already and I can’t wait to see more.

Be sure to check out Suits, which airs Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network.

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