As we get ready for the second episode, it’s time for a new edition of “From the Suits Files.” This time around, Gina Torres took the stage, or rather the call, and shed some light on her character, Jessica Pearson, who we met briefly in the series premiere.
Name: Gina Torres
Character: Jessica Pearson
Character Assessment: A powerful, smart and stunning woman who puts the Pearson in the law firm of Pearson Hardman. She’s not only Harvey Specter’s boss, she may very well be the woman behind who he is, and a catalyst for who he has the potential to become.
On what motivated Jessica to take on someone like Harvey:
I think what moves anybody to mentor somebody who turns out to be as big a pain in the ass as Harvey is potential. You see an undeniable potential in someone. and if you feel that you can bring it forth, if you feel that you can nurture it in some way and have this … self-realization and the professional realization that they deserve, then I donít see how you can turn away from that challenge or that experience.
On how she’d describe Jessica and Harvey’s relationship, both professional and personal:
Oh God. Harvey, you know, it’s complicated. I think there is – like all great relationships, and I’m hoping that we have the time to prove that this is one of those great relationships that we can, in later years, turn to and go, ìOh God, that’s so Jessica and Harvey.î It is more than just one thing. It is both deeply intimate and personal, as well as mysterious. I’m his mother, I’m his sister, I’m his priest, I’m his confidante. I’m his girlfriend. I’m all of those things as he is for me.
On how female characters like Jessica and Donna fit into a picture where the relationship between Harvey and Mike is the focal point:
I think, and I believe, as has been my experience in life in general is that a strong man doesn’t get very far without a strong woman beside him – and not behind him, beside him. I think Donna is a fantastic example of that. And Jessica is certainly a fantastic example of that, as we establish very early on that Harvey would not have the career that he has now if Jessica didn’t believe in him. Having said that, I, Aaron Korsh and all the other writers on the show have done nothing to shortchange that reality. I think the women in this series are depicted very intelligently, powerfully and without shortchanging their femininity.
On how she sees the dynamic between Jessica and Harvey in relation to the series premiere scene where Harvey blackmails Jessica, and she almost appears proud of his move:
I think as the series starts to unfold more and more, that particular scene is less about pride and more about knowing and expecting Harvey to react in a certain way. I think she’s very familiar with how he plays ball, and she needs him to play ball in a certain way. Jessica’s plan for Harvey is that she really needs him to grow a soul. And I think as the series progresses, more of that is revealed as you get to know how they relate to each other and what the work actually means to them as individuals. And as much as she respects the kind of lawyer that he is, I think she’s still on the fence a little bit about the kind of a man that he is, so we’ll be seeing that play out over the season.
On the backstory that Gabriel Macht has created for Harvey in which Jessica likely had a big hand in creating the man that he is, and if that’s why she lets him get away with so much:
Yes, I think that’s actually very true that Jessica had a great deal to do with who he is and where he is, and she’s not done raising him. It might appear that she lets him get away with a lot. What’s so interesting and fascinating about this world that we are in is that there are no absolutes. There’s no black and white. You have to take each case, each situation … for its merit and the job that needs to be done. And we all become guilty of blurring the lines and the boundaries, and who’s to say everything’s all right and everything’s all wrong? We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Your Assignment: Watch Gina Torres in tonight’s episode of Suits, 10/9c on USA Network.