Already renewed for a fourth season, the USA drama series Suits has seen Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) working to address the firm’s future, while Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) unraveled over love, and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) had to make a career and life-altering decision. All that considered, it will certainly be interesting to see where things go next.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Rick Hoffman talked about how happy he is with the show’s dynamics, how challenging and scary it can be to play the vulnerability of the character, why fans love Louis Litt, why this show is a lightning in a bottle experience, why revealing Mike Ross’ secret is a lose-lose situation, having his own parents play Louis’ parents, and how their show creator loves to give them little fun tidbits of what’s coming up next. Check out our Rick Hoffman interview after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
RICK HOFFMAN: I’m absolutely happy with where he is. The writers, starting with Aaron [Korsh], have just made him into a human being. They keep coming up with some interesting and new dynamics, here and there. For me, I have having the time of my life playing this character. At times, it’s unbelievably challenging and scary, when it comes to certain vulnerable areas that I don’t necessarily want to go. Who wants to open that up in front of a camera? But, it’s all rewarding. It’s just so much fun.
Are you surprised that people have had the reaction to him that they have?
HOFFMAN: The hug requests are surprising. But as time has gone on, I can understand it more. You start to see bits of goodness, where all that crap came from that he was displaying in the first season. As long as there are things that are identifiable, it stirs something up in people. They either know somebody like that, who they work with or have in their lives, who steps on their own feet and just can’t get it right, but it’s not because they’re mean-spirited. They just don’t know any better. It’s sad.
This show gets smarter and edgier and darker with every season. Has that surprised you? Did you know it would evolve, in that way?
HOFFMAN: No, of course not. How could you know something like that? Especially in this business, being a part of series where you’re excited and you’re told so many different things like, “Get ready, it’s going for five,” and then it gets canceled. You never know. And this is one of those things, thank god, that is a lightning in a bottle experience. The writers seem to mesh well together. The actors mesh well together. I’ve always said that it’s like being the winner of three separate lottery tickets – getting a pilot, getting the pilot picked up, and having a show that actually lasts. There are no guarantees, and no one knows where a show is going to go. That also has to do with Aaron being unconventional. There’s a small percentage of it that he leaves to his actors because he trusts them. If there are some mistakes or improv, he keeps it and that makes it more fun and alive. That’s part of it, too.
Do you enjoy the moments where you get to go head-to-head with Patrick J. Adams?
HOFFMAN: Yes, they’re always enjoyable. They’re always challenging, thought, because you just want to get it right, if there is a right. When you get great stuff to do, you just don’t want to let anybody down. Those moments are intense. It’s work. When you’re in it, and especially when you’re sharing the moment, you have this peak happiness where you’re just in this great area of, “Wow, I’m really getting to do what I love right now.” It’s a privilege.
What do you think Louis would do, if he knew how close he was to really having Mike Ross?
HOFFMAN: It’s a lose-lose situation. How could there be anything hopeful about that. The bottom line is that he’s loyal to a T. When his loyalty is being crumpled up, it’s the only thing he sees. Nothing good can come from finding out this lie. This is not a comparison to Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite shows, of all time. But, you knew Hanks would have to turn in his brother-in-law. It’s who he is. It’s the same way with Louis. It’s who he is. If there’s something illegal, that’s it. It’s a cool formula.
What do you think of the friendship between Louis and Rachel, and how much that’s grown?
HOFFMAN: She understands him. I think that had a lot to do with me and Meghan Markle’s friendship, to be honest with you. I think that Aaron and the writers pay attention to the relationships that we have. There are nice moments between those characters. The way that me and Sarah [Rafferty] started having those fun moments was because, early on, there was something that happened because we wanted a moment together that wasn’t actually aired. I don’t know what happened, but they were short on an episode in the first season, so they added a scene between Louis and Donna, and it was off to the races. Things like that work out.
HOFFMAN: No. Another redeeming thing about Louis is that he respects women, so much. He respects all of them. There’s no disrespect to women. This guy’s got a lot of shitty things about him, but there are a couple of nice things about him that are honest.
How does Louis’ relationship with his parents affect him?
HOFFMAN: My parents played by parents, in the second season. We had a Skype scene and they were my real parents. My parents are cartoons. When they come up and visit, they’re hilarious. My mother somehow finds a way to get in the way of everything. Aaron had seen it happen, so when there was a scene that called for me to talk to my parents, he was wondering if he could use my real parents. So, they got the red carpet treatment. They got flown up to Toronto, and it was awesome.
How do you see Louis and Harvey’s relationship, at this point?
HOFFMAN: Their relationship has evolved in a direction, as dysfunctional as it is, that leaves people thinking about what happens next. Everyone’s relationships are very different, and very specific. They have their specific differences. I guess that’s why there are people that like to watch this show. It’s not all the same.
Have you had conversations about where things will go in Season 4?
HOFFMAN: We have conversations with Aaron, a lot, about how things are going. Aaron is so great that way. He’s totally just available, and he loves to give us little fun tidbits of what’s coming up next. And every once in awhile, I’ll say, “This could be cool. Tell me you hate this.” Nothing has yet worked, but he allows it.
What do you think it would take for Louis to finally get the respect that he deserves?
HOFFMAN: It’s becoming that way. It’s not like it used to be. He gets in his own way and he’s just bizarre, but there’s room for that.
The Season 3 finale of Suits airs on USA Network on April 10th.