From creator Aaron Korsh, the USA Network drama series Suits, now in its eighth season, is figuring out what’s next for the fast-paced Manhattan corporate law firm that’s being led by Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and Robert Zane (Wendell Pierce), now that three of its key players with Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) have moved on. While figuring out what all of the leadership and personal turmoil means, the trio will continue to tackle top corporate cases with the support of Alex Williams (Dulé Hill) and Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull), along with new powerhouse attorney Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl), who is shaking things up in a way that’s throwing even Harvey off-balance.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Gabriel Macht talked about their new beginning, eight seasons in, what it was like to return without Patrick J. Adams alongside him, his hope that Mike Ross will appear again, at some point, the evolution to becoming Zane Specter Litt, what Katherine Heigl is bringing to the show, the challenges that come with directing episodes, where things are at for Harvey and Donna (Sarah Rafferty), and why he thinks this show could go on, whether the actors stay with it or not.
Collider: Thank you for chatting with me! I’m very happy to say that I loved the first two episodes for the new season!
GABRIEL MACHT: Oh, that’s awesome! That’s great! I haven’t seen them, so I don’t know how they came out.
As a fan of the show, I was a little bit nervous about some of your main cast departing, but I think you guys have done a really interesting thing with the series. I’m excited to see what happens!
MACHT: Oh, great! That’s terrific! I hope all the fans will settle into it like you have. There’s a lot of great stuff. The energy we’ve got now from Katherine [Heigl] and Dulé [Hill] and Amanda [Schull]. Obviously, Amanda and Dulé and Wendell [Pierce] have been with the show for a little bit longer, but having Katherine come on, it’s actually been nothing but a joy for all of us on set. She’s been completely professional and super supportive of the show, and she’s been insightful, playful and spontaneous. She’s just fitting right in. It’s been great!
That’s really cool! Eight seasons into a TV series, could you ever have imagined that you’d be calling it “a new beginning”?
MACHT: No, not at all. What I realized, after last season and this new beginning, is that people far and wide are relating to all of the characters, their growth and development, how we all see ourselves and each other and the mistakes that we make, and the way that we either try or actually actualize redeeming ourselves. It’s become this show where, over eight years, how could you possible repeat the same themes and still be engaged? For some reason, the chemistry of the writing team, the directors, the production, the actors, the designers and the crew, have been able to actualize all of that. I see that this workplace family as the story can just continue on and on and on and on. It feels like there’s no reason that it needs to stop. It’s a world that we all settle into, and then it just takes off. We just go with it.
What was it like for you, personally, the first day back, after having these people who had been there from the beginning of the show, not there anymore, especially with Patrick J. Adams being gone?
MACHT: It was really hard. Honestly, it was really, really tough. There was a massive void, by not having Patrick and Megan around. He and I made a deal with each other, early on, to create this place where we would challenge each other – and not only each other, but Aaron [Korsh] and the writing team – and try to create believable stories that were both funny and dramatic, and know that we were there, each day, to do that. We made that deal, sitting down for lunch, before we even started shooting the pilot. So, coming back and knowing that he wasn’t there, that was a little scary for me and it was a little depressing, honestly. He was my partner in crime, and I thought we would finish together. Aside from the fact that Patrick was ready to go and move on to bigger and better things, personally, it was a little shocking for me to come back and not have that energy.
Now, his spirit is within our set. There are pictures of him around the offices and there were storylines brought back, in for the first few episodes, where we talk about him and we talk about how Harvey misses him. In addition to all of that, I wrote him texts the first few days and I was like, “Dude, it’s different. I feel that you’re not here is not okay.” And he wrote back saying, “I can’t possibly imagine what it would be like, if I was there and you weren’t, so I’m here for you. I get it. Anything you need, I’m a phone call away and I’m right there with you. I miss you guys.” He’s been supportive throughout and said, “Hey, I’ve seen some of the teasers. They’re looking good.” So, he’s still very much a part of the Suits family. I hope he comes back, at some point. It’s be great to have him back. Whenever he wants to come back, I’d love to have him. It was tough to begin with, and then things settled and we got back into a rhythm. We have these new energies on board and it’s been really delightful, working with these people. I think people are going to love the show still.