Gabriel Macht Talks ‘Suits’ Loyalty Issues, Power Struggles in Season 2

by | June 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Interviews, Suits

Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter in Suits (Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network)

Mike Ross’ (Patrick J. Adams) secret is out — sort of — and Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) has to do major damage control to get Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) to rescind her order to fire the up-and-coming attorney now that “Suits” (Thursdays, 10/9c on USA Network)  is back with its second season. Of course, Jessica still thinks that Mike is a graduate of Harvard Law, but she doesn’t understand how he could have done that since there is no record of him attending an undergraduate college. Hence, the order to get rid of him. But when Jessica needs Harvey’s help, he uses that leverage with Jessica and holds on to Mike — for now.

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So why does Jessica need Harvey? After a long absence, the other half of the legal firm of Pearson/Hardman — Daniel Hardman (David Costabile) — has returned following the death of his wife. And while that is bad news for Jessica, it is also bad news for Harvey. With Daniel’s wife out of the picture, the blackmail that the two used to get Daniel out of the firm in the first place no longer has an value. Could it be curtains for the two legal eagles?

“Now that Hardman is back in the fold and has regained some of his power as far as being No. 2 in the firm, there’s a real threat to both Jessica and Harvey,” Macht says. “There’s payback and it really does question the dynamics of the partners and of all the characters involved. At a certain point Hardman starts to see who lines up on the Pearson side and how he can sway them to the Hardman side.”

Catch Up on the Season Premiere of “Suits”:

On this week’s episode, Hardman makes it clear he’s back to stay, so Jessica turns to Harvey for help in lining up support for their side from the other partners in the law firm. But Harvey’s past cocky attitude may be a detriment in that he has made more enemies than created friends.

“Suits” airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network, but first get the lowdown from Macht on what else to look forward to in the second season.

What do you think it is about “Suits” that really is going to connect with viewers this season?
Last season, the show had a real strong procedural element. This season, USA has actually encouraged the writing staff to go a little bit more serialized. We’re going to have storylines that go two, three, four episodes. And so we’re going to find out even more about the characters. The cases each week will directly reflect once again what the main characters are all going through in a little bit deeper way.

So what do we have to look forward to?
I think season two really has gotten off to a great start in that we’ve brought in a new character. David Costabile is playing the role of Daniel Hardman and you’ll learn how Jessica Pearson sort of got the reigns of the firm and has all of the control. So many people want to know how she got that control and how we’re going to continue to navigate that power in the firm. We’re going to see where people’s allegiances are and how they settle. So basically, the question of loyalty is brought up and the struggle for control of the firm.

When Jessica ordered Harvey to fire Mike, Harvey threatened to leave — and then he just disobeyed her. Is that going to cause a lot of tension or is she going to get over it pretty quick?
She holds onto it for a little while. There’s no doubt that she’s disappointed in Harvey and there’s some trust issues, so they butt heads in the first few episodes. I think Harvey’s charm and allegiance ultimately wins but there’s definitely a change in the way that they deal with each other.

What exactly would you say is the dynamic between Harvey and Jessica that makes the relationship unique?
I think in many ways their relationship is a reflection of Harvey and Mike’s relationship. I think she saw that Harvey had some great qualities as far as being a determined young man who was also a bit of a scrapper. He was able to talk his way out of situations, was efficient in his dealings and was a bright young kid.
He didn’t have all the tools but she helped him go through law school and sort of guided him along the way, building him up to become a partner to make him her right-hand man. I think she sees a lot of herself in him. Like I said before, that mirrors the relationship between Harvey and Mike. So when she sees why he’s hired Mike and all the difficulties that come with it, I think she trusts Harvey in that this kid is going to make good on his promise of being as legitimate a lawyer as he can.

You talked about them being Batman and Robin, do you think of them as more prodigy or as sort of father-son, or big brother-little brother? What would you say?
I’d say all above. I think there are times when they’re mentor and prodigy, brother-brother, and partners. I think there are times when Harvey really looks up to Mike and he learns from him. I think there’s times where he takes the piss out of him and he’s like the older fraternity brother.

What is it like to work with Sarah Rafferty and what’s coming up with the Harvey/Donna relationship?
I don’t know if you know this but Sarah Rafferty and I go back almost 20 years. We are really, really, really close friends. Our daughters are best friends. We’ve been to each other’s weddings. Anyway, it is very hard to act with one of your best pals. But with that said, it’s a lot of fun. We constantly say to each other, “Don’t make me laugh, don’t make me laugh, stop, stop, don’t, stop.” It’s kind of silly that I’m her boss and I get to tell her what to do. So half of the time that you’re watching us act, all we’re trying to do is not laugh or smile or make each other giggle. So in that respect, it’s kind of funny and hilarious — maybe just for us — but as far as the relationship goes with Harvey and Donna — look, Harvey trusts her to no end. He thinks she’s amazing, he loves how strong she is, he loves how kind of quick-witted and hilarious she is. He does learn in a few episodes that she was involved in something that gets Harvey into big trouble and they come to knocking heads. There’s a lot of conflict between Harvey and Donna this season and I really hope that they’re able to figure out how to manage their decision making, what they keep private or not, and how to move forward with some of the conflict that has arisen.