Talking with Rick Hoffman and Meghan Markle of USA's Suits
Written by : JeromeWetzelTV published Wednesday 6th June 2012
USA's Suits is the lawyer show that is actually about the lawyers. While many series concentrate on cases and solving crimes, Suits takes the opposite tack, mainly using clients to further the examination and growth of the main characters. It's a fun twist on an old standard, making for an exciting serial worth watching regularly!
Meghan Markle (Fringe, Horrible Bosses) plays Rachel Zane on Suits. Her character would very much like to be a lawyer, but still has a long way to go. To further this goal, she has become a respected and valuable member of the legal team at Pearson Hardman, making connections that will help her in the future. She is distracted by new guy Mike, who could inadvertently derail her career path, if she's not careful.
Rick Hoffman (Samantha Who?, Hostel) plays Louis Litt, a veteran attorney at the firm, who is dumped on far more than he would like. While Louis does have a softer side, brought out by his love of the arts, he is also an ass, pure and simple, at work. He was obviously bullied earlier in life, and takes out these negative attitudes on anyone lower than him on the totem pole.
On the day of the Suits set visit, Meghan and Rick are filming a scene together. They stop by in between takes for a brief chat. Rick slips into a nicer version of his character, keeping the quick wit and speech patterns, but losing the meanness. Meghan, as with every other co-star we talk to, is highly impressed by Rick's talents, and is often more amused at his answers than itching to speak herself. Not that she stays silent, either.
There is definitely some carry over from the scene the two have just been filming. Apparently, the camera has been on closeup for Meghan, with Rick just feeding her his lines. Except, he has been messing up every single one, with humorous results. We're later told, when the camera switches to him, Rick nails the scene. That should give you some idea of the context and personalities at work here.
Suits has six very talented series regulars. As season two begins, the series plays with the chemistry between various characters. For instance, Rachel and Louis did not have much interaction in season one. We're told that the scene being filmed now heralds more development for the two of them, as they work a case concerning ballet, one of Louis' passions, together. Sounds enticing!
Rachel will also be developing a deeper friendship with Donna, which, according to Meghan, will include drunken impersonations. Right away, in the season two premiere, they have a great scene together. With Jessica sort of removed, being the boss, Donna and Rachel are the two girls left in the cast. Rather than being at odds with one another, they are supportive, and forming a really nice bond. This should be a good balance for all of the Mike and Harvey stuff that really dominates season one.
Meghan says her character's friendship with Donna comes from a real life friendship between Meghan and Sarah Rafferty, who plays Donna. Suits has a cast that gets along really well, and loves spending time together. They also have mad respect for one another's talent. This really colors their characters moving forward, as the relationships deepen.
Rachel is also loosening up in general, which opens her up for more friendly interaction. She is a bit hardened and focused in season one, and season two finds her growing more social. This is definitely something to look forward to. Though she would really like some scenes with Gina Torres' Jessica, which apparently is not a part of her arc yet.
Rachel's love life is heating up! It's hard to miss the steamy promos USA has been running, more than hinting at a ratcheting up of things between Rachel and Mike. Meghan laughs and says, "It's so on!" She is firmly Team Rachel, and cannot wait to see where the writers will take this romantic pairing next!
All that love doesn't mean that things at Pearson Hardman will be going smoothly in Suits' sophomore year. Things become risky for everyone as Hardman arrives to shake things up. Suddenly, they need these relationships to protect their jobs, and maybe even leverage secrets against each other to keep those positions. It will really be a different dynamic, and a much more tenuous one than previously.
Lips have been tight as to whether Hardman is a good guy or a bad guy, a distinction not made clear in the season two premiere. However, for those paying attention, there are definitely hints of the latter. For instance, Rick says Hardman is way worse than Louis, then shuts up quickly, refusing to say more. Hardman is introduced as a changed man, determined to make up for past wrongs. Is it all a show? Or does he feel justified in going after our beloved characters? And what is his past connection with Rachel that Megan refuses to speak of, except to say she (Rachel) was personally affected when Hardman left the firm five years ago.
Rick finds it really hard not to spoil things. He is constantly biting his tongue, not sure what he's allowed or not allowed to say. This isn't helped by the fact that it looks like he'd be perfectly happy spoiling everything. Around this hemming and hawing he does manage to blurt out, "Me and Mike get married!" I think that's a joke. Probably.
Marriage or no, there is plenty of Louis in the next installments of the series. Rick says he "could not get a better role than what they are writing for him this year. He's on a roller coaster of emotions, and he could be hated, but... (instead the writers are) making him a whole human being." Only an actor like Hoffman could capture the complexities of this man people love to hate, but have sympathy for as well. It's a brilliant performance, an opinion echoed repeatedly by his co-stars.
Within the upcoming stories for Louis, Rick says we will really find out what the character believes in, and what drives him. He couldn't be more excited at the prospect. Rick affirms "This is the best job I've ever had. Flat out." That's sure saying something! Hopefully those he has worked with in the past won't be offended. The real meaning of the statement seems to be that Suits is utilizing him well, and really allowing him to develop a truly memorable television persona.
Will Louis be getting warm and fuzzy? Rick mentions there is a story between Louis and an animal. The details are under wraps, as so many things are, but it's a nice tease.
Unfortunately, that's all the time these two have. Can you believe they actually have to return to work? Thanks Meghan and Rick for an enlightening, fun interview!
Suits returns to USA Thursday, June 14th at 10 p.m. ET.
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Article first published as An Interview with Suits' Meghan Markle and Rick Hoffman on Blogcritics.
About the author JeromeWetzelTV
Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTVJeromeWetzelTV's profile | JeromeWetzelTV's RSS feed