In our first edition of “From the Suits Files”, based on our recent visit to the set of USA Network’s new series, we put the spotlight on Patrick J. Adams, who you’ll get to know very soon as Mike Ross. Patrick wasn’t actually able to sit down with us on set (he was filming a scene, you know, as a star of the series and all), but we were lucky enough to get in on a call with him earlier this week. So, let’s take a look at what we learned!
Name: Patrick J. Adams
Character: Mike Ross
Character Assessment: An exceptionally smart young guy who toes the line between right and wrong, he has the potential for greatness, permitting that he doesn’t get caught first!
Patrick, on how much back story he was given, and what he’s added to it:
Pretty much what you (see) in that pilot is all that we had to go on. Through a lot of conversation with the creator of the show, I got more of a sense of sort of what he imagined but really we kind of fill in the details together. Then as the show goes on and details reveal themselves, we sort of incorporate them. It makes the process of building a television show, this kind of really interesting, integrated process with a lot of different people who throw out ideas. It’s a lot of voices in one place and we all sort of pick out what we think are the most important and pertinent details, and what’s the most fun, and what raises the stakes the most.
On what he finds inspiring about Mike, and how it’s affected his portrayal of the character:
The thing that inspired me most about Mike was this idea of getting to a place in your life where you finally have to make the decision to go after what you say you’ve always wanted to go after. And in my own life that’s been a really interesting sort of decision, to finally take on some of your fears head on. That part of his story was really what attracted me most to it. I really wanted to delve into that as intimately as possible and really figure out all the things that happens to a person when they finally come into contact with their dream and what they have to do in order to make it work, because a lot of times in my own personal life, I’ve come up against what I thought was what I wanted to do and then found some way to sabotage myself or make it not work. For me, the process of even making this show has been a real leap forward in that same way it is for Mike Ross, that I’m discovering how to take hold of my life a little more.
On Mike living a lie and the tension caused by waiting for the bubble to burst:
They haven’t given us really any indication of when (the bubble will burst). We do know obviously that it plays a large part of the show, so it will always be there. I can’t speak to the when of it all and how it’s going to play out, but I know that it’s a big thing in the writers’ room and the creation of the show is this tension that’s there because of that secret.
For me, it’s such a beautiful thing to have because I can never get too comfortable in that office. The longer you’re in an environment, the longer you work with people, the more comfortable you become and the more you ease into it – what I love about our show is it’s a show about somebody who’s not comfortable, a guy who’s trying to find his way in this sort of giant, alien, really terrifying place.
If that secret went away, then suddenly I could get really cozy in there and just sort of be confident that I’m the best of the best and coming up. But no matter how good I am, there’s always the threat of losing it all and I think that we are going to be very careful about how that plays out and make sure we get a lot of mileage out of that. There are a lot of different people in that office that would potentially want to sabotage what we’re doing so if that information gets out, then we’re in a lot of trouble.
On Mike’s wanting to give up when the going gets tough, and the dynamic between him & Harvey:
I think the struggle will always be there. I think that part of the reason that people might really be into this show, that we hope people will be into it is because they’ll be able to relate to that idea of taking something on, and then … along the way having your doubts, wanting to pull out and realizing that life was easier. It’s easy to fall back into what you knew before because you know it’s safe. I definitely can relate to that and I think a lot of people out in the world are going to be able to relate to that. I think that’s a really astute thing to notice and I think it’s going to play a huge part in the show because no matter what, no matter how well I do at that firm, it’s hard. Mike’s going to have to … jump through a lot of hoops … and he doesn’t always land on his feet. Every time I think that he misses the mark, there’s going to have to be a decision to be made about whether or not he just goes back to what he knew before. He (has) a whole old life that’s always pulling him back.
I think there’s also, to a certain extent, a desire to not fully want to integrate into this world. (With) Harvey – it’s all about winning to him and … you see that conflict in the pilot. There’s a lot for him to learn from Harvey, but there’s a lot for Harvey to learn from Mike as well. If Mike Ross is going to play a part in this giant, corporate world, how does he fit in without becoming just like Harvey? How does he learn from Harvey but not become just like him? How does he bring his own energy and how does he integrate into this world? If there’s one thing that I think – Mike has to do these things himself. He’s not going to be anybody else because as soon as he does that, it’s all over.
On filming a series in his hometown, Toronto:
I drove around those streets thinking about what it was going to be like to be an actor for so many years and knowing that I wanted to do it but never knowing if I’d have the opportunity. And so it is – what is the word – not bittersweet, it’s just sweet. It’s so full circle, the whole thing to be able to bring my mom to set, to have her come and witness this work. She remembers me as just a little boy pointing to a TV screen or a film screen and saying, “I want to do that.” And now that I get to be at home, driving around those same streets and taking the same path to work that I used to go to high school with.
To have come this far in such a short period of time, to arrive at work with that energy every day is such a gift, because no matter how hard the days are and how long the hours are, I’m never too far from gratitude. It’s a constant reminder of where I come from, and in a way, it’s really appropriate for the show because, like I said before, if Mike gets too lost in this new world then he’ll lose a part of himself. There’s always a part of me that’s going to try and stay completely grounded in the past as well as the present and the future.
Photo Courtesy of USA Network