Well, color me charmed. Not that I wasn’t before having the opportunity to chat with the man who puts one of the most deliciously stylish badass lawyers on our TV screens each week — on USA Network’s “Suits” — but Gabriel Macht himself just makes it impossible not to love him. Very smart and attentive to questions and details in his answers, Gabriel Macht is a man after my own journalist heart. (I may blog too, but I’m still a journalist!) And boy, do I love good interviews. And no, it’s not just because Mr. Macht was so funny and cute when he heard our site’s name. (Thank you, by the way, and my eyes are heart-shaped.)
After about 45 minutes of Mr. Macht talking about what’s it like to play Harvey, what’s ahead on “Suits”, how some James Bond got on going there, and how he felt about taking on this role, I’m positively in love. I’m still team Mike and team (he who plays Mike) Patrick J. Adams, I just love Harvey that much more now. Hey, I’m a giving woman.
So, if you are dying to have a little insight into Harvey and what’s ahead on Suits, keep on reading at your own risk because…WARNING! Spoilers ahead! And they’ll cover the final episodes of “Suits”, plus a very intriguing discussion on Harvey’s past showing up (you heard it, Harvey’s, not Mike’s!).
Before we get started, I’d like to wave hi to Matt Mitovich, who was the first in line to ask spoiler-y questions of course, and who is way too awesome for me not to wave at him! Hi, Matt!
Yeah, yeah I get it, this is not entertainment hour (or, well, is it?) I must spill the goodies now. It’s back to work. On Gabriel Macht. Well that doesn’t exactly displease me. Here you go, from the man himself, the answers to your burning questions about Harvey and Suits!
Alessandra: “Is there going to be a flashback to when Harvey was working under Jessica’s wing in the next few episodes or next season? It’s been referenced many times on the show, how Harvey had to do this and that when he was working for Jessica, and it would be a great way of showing a possibly different side to Harvey. As in, showing Harvey before he was… Harvey.”
Gabriel Macht: “I don’t know if that will happen, as in an actual flashback. I do know that in tomorrow night’s episode AND in the finale you’re gonna see a few encounters with Harvey and Jessica. [Played by the ever-awesome Gina Torres. Why HELLO, Ana Espinoza! Killed anyone today? Kicked any ass to the curb for a blouse? If you didn't watch Alias, never mind, ignore this!]. Jessica sort of saw Harvey in many ways like Harvey sees Mike, so she helped him, she also put him with the district attorney played by Gary Cole to get him trial experience. She put him with the district attorney so that he could learn the ropes. You’ll see how that sort of reveals itself. I don’t know whether we’ll see a flashback, but you’ll see how they got to where they are now and you’ll see who Harvey was in essence, in some of the scenes with Gary Cole. And you’ll see guilt and it’s a situation where he rightly feels guilty.”
“Gary Cole plays a district attorney from Manhattan [Cameron Dennis is the name of Cole's character] and my [singlepic id=30252 w=320 h=240 float=right]relationship with him is that I was one of his assistants back in the day. I think, if I’m correct, Alicia [Coppola, also a guest star on the next episode of “Suits”] was also one of the assistants back with me, or anyway someone we ran into often, a colleague of some sort.
Cole’s character comes back to me to sort of try and keep a past wrongdoing behind closed doors because he is seeking re-election. He buries some evidence in regards to a certain character that you’ll meet as some point. And I (Harvey) was unaware that he was burying evidence. Gary Cole’s character was Harvey’s initial mentor, he’s Harvey’s Harvey. Like Harvey is to Mike.”
“Alicia plays someone who works at the attorney general’s office, so she’s trying to end his [Gary Cole's character] re-election and she’s trying to get me to open up about him.”
And if you thought this was all, think again, because the plot thickens as Chi McBride (another incredibly smart, funny actor I had the pleasure to talk to about HawthoRNe a few weeks ago, see the interview here) guest stars in the season finale of “Suits”.
Gabriel Macht: “Chi comes in in the last episode, he’s the interim district attorney because – not to give anything away – something happens to the present district attorney. Harvey wants to right a wrong that happened when he was with the district attorney many years ago. And the only way is to bring it up to Chi in order to make a deal. But Chi really doesn’t play by the book and makes it really difficult for Harvey to accomplish his goal. So Harvey sort of met his match there. Chi is a solid, solid guy, and a terrific actor, and I really enjoyed working with him. I think those scenes are really strong.”
Expanding on that subject, Mr. Macht revealed to all of us something that may come as a shock to a lot of viewers. Harvey DOES have a strong emotional side. Or at least he does in Macht’s mind. And, those emotions are going to show up at some point!
Gabriel Macht: “I think Harvey is very emotional. I think he’s been hurt and I think he’s been broken. So I think he just built this big armor. If you look at what he does, you’ll see that he does have emotions, but doesn’t show them. So, he stands up for people behind their back. He’ll stand up for Mike, but behind his back. He’ll stand up for Louis [Rick Hoffman's evil and yet hilarious character] even, behind his back. He thinks Jessica has had his back all along and she always will, and I think he’s able to show vulnerability with her. I don’t know if it’s something I wish more than the viewers want to see it. At some point we WILL see his emotions.”
And Harvey’s emotions and his thinking about how he used to be, played right into that moment when Harvey decided to take Mike as his associate, according to Mr. Macht:
Gabriel Macht: “I think – besides from just saying the lines that they give me – that in many ways Mike (Patrick J. Adams) is, you know, a representation of what Harvey was when he was a kid. And he got a real shot from [singlepic id=30251 w=320 h=240 float=right]Jessica to break out of the world that he was in and get a second chance. I think there’s a huge thing to say about second chances and giving somebody a second shot. I think he’s seen Mike made a few bad decisions, but Mike’s truly a good person, he’s really bright and he deserved a second chance, and I think that’s sort of what happened with Harvey early on.
So when he saw this kid, as being a younger him, he thought this is one of the ways he can give back. I like seeing it that way, and it creates even more compassion that a lot of people feel like Harvey lacks. Thinking outside the box, the greater good, I think that’s what made Harvey do it. Not to mention he needed someone to help him and do some of his work, so he needs some kid so why not this guy? He’s tired of the Harvard graduates who come in and who are basically all like Louis, he wants someone more like him!”
Now, I’d like to introduce you all to my great question about the James Bond reference they had a couple of weeks ago on Suits (yes I’m a major James Bond fan. No, not a Daniel Craig as James Bond fan. Great guy, I just don’t like him as Bond. I’m sure you’ll all live with it.). Trouble is, we were only allowed one question each, so I didn’t get to ask it myself. But, Harvey is so Bondian in a lot of his moments on the show, and that reference to Bond girl Pussy Galore (from “Goldfinger”) just didn’t go unnoticed here! Luckily, someone else noticed and asked something similar, so I got my James Bond moment to share with all of you anyway. Isn’t that great? (What, you don’t like James Bond? Boo, hiss!). Here’s what Mr. Macht had to say when asked whether he’d play Bond if given the opportunity to do so, and how the Bond references worked on “Suits”.
Gabriel Macht: “Hey, of course! But being an American Bond, I just don’t know. There’s never been one. I worked with Daniel Craig on a BBC movie two years ago, great guy, I think he’s done a terrific job as Bond. And I also worked with Timothy Dalton many years ago. But I think that’s as close to James Bond as I will get.
I think there was a line two weeks ago where I got to put my James Bond on, and it was I think from a Roger Moore Bond and it was fun to play.”
Mr. Macht, I’d like to point out that no it wasn’t, the line was about Pussy Galore. Honor Blackman played the character in “Goldfinger”, possibly the best Bond movie ever and the one that established Sean Connery as THE James Bond! So yes, you got to work with the original James Bond’s material.
For those of you out there who are Bond mega fans like me, the dialogue was between Harvey and a woman helping him and she wanted to thank him, how can I say… that way? In public. Yeah, like that, in public.
To which Harvey said : “But then I don’t get to be James Bond”
And she countered: “What does that make me?”
Harvey replied: “Pussy Galore?”
HA! I fangirled right when it happened, because hey, that’s not as good as the original line when Sean Connery asked what the name of the woman was, but it’s still a major Bond reference and I can’t help but feel all satisfied about a show I enjoy so much having such a direct Bond reference. But, back to Mr. Macht’s reply:
“If I ever got the opportunity to play James Bond I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
I’m all for it because Mr. Macht on “Suits” really has that James Bond quality, but sorry, it has to be a Briton. And specifically, the next Bond absolutely needs to be (excuse me while I get my defibrillator, the mere mention is enough for me to just lose my senses) HENRY CAVILL. He’s the only one who is perfect for the part out there, so EON and Mr Wilson and Ms Broccoli better listen. YESTERDAY! Bond fan moment over, back to our regular programming. Swooning over Mr. Macht and wondering what Harvey is up to is now back in action.
So, what is it like to play Harvey and how did Gabriel Macht make the decision to take on a TV role after such a long time away from the small screen? Here’s what he had to say about it.
Gabriel Macht: “It’s been great to dig into Harvey’s character. I hadn’t done television for many, many years. The last series I did was “The Others” that lasted 13 epis on NBC and Steven Spielberg produced it. I just thought since he was producing “I don’t know, maybe I’ll just go and show my face.” I ended up getting it and working on it. I really liked the writing on the show, but it ended. And then I got a film, and then another film, I just started working in film and I always liked the idea of changing the character from movie to movie and I had a pretty good run with it. And then I just started to find that I was getting some great opportunities but not the best opportunities. So, I thought, there’s some terrific writing on TV so why not go back and try and do it.
Harvey is a terrific character, I love the banter, I love the wit that they’ve put into the writing. So I thought, why not seize the opportunity to really dig into a character really really deep. And I thought the idea of doing TV, and then taking a break from time to time and play another character in a film was great. And it really worked out like [singlepic id=30256 w=320 h=240 float=left]that.
I admire Harvey, I really think the way he’s developing is great. I had a really interesting conversation with [“Suits” executive producer and writer] Aaron Korsh and we were talking about characters in TV and film. I’ve always treated the characters in film as in the person starts out at A and ends up in D going through B and C. You gotta see the arc of that character in film. Some of the traps that I was coming into as far as playing Harvey on the show were that I was trying to “make” the character who he is too quickly in the first few episodes. So he [Aaron] explained that characters on TV grow slower in many ways. So I thought, well that’s interesting. I’m interested in seeing how that works over the next few seasons, if we’re all doing good work and people keep responding to us and USA Network keeps the show.”
“We love working with each other and we have found the right rhythm with each other. So we’re invested. There’s a difference being like “well let’s hope the show does well and this keeps going” when you shoot the pilot and what happens after that. Shooting the finale was like “Hey we’re all really proud of what we’ve done over the last few months.”
Oh, you and us both, trust me on this one. And since this depends on us, too, we better get on it. Because we do NOT want to miss our weekly dose of Harvey and Mike now, do we? So while this is the end of our chat with Mr. Macht, whom we deeply thank for his incredible charm, intelligence and wit, and for bearing with us for almost an hour of his precious time, this better be the start of a bright and long future for “Suits”. Which means? Don’t forget to tune in for the final episodes of “Suits” on USA Network on Thursday nights at 10 p.m.! The Suits finale will air Sept. 8 on USA Network at 10 p.m.!
Photo Cred: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network