'Suits': Inside the mind and office of Harvey Specter

Harvey

Image Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network

Gabriel Macht, who stars as Suits‘ Harvey Specter, one of New York’s best (and best-dressed) legal closers, had an idea that USA would renew the show for a second season even before creator Aaron Korsh announced it on set last week as they were shooting the Sept. 8 season 1 finale. In addition to making USA the most-watched network on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET this summer, “Everybody at USA was constantly telling us how great the show is,” Macht says. “Jeff Wachtel, who co-runs the network, was like, ‘Gabriel, I’m telling you. We pull out our pens to take our notes for each episode, then all the sudden, we put the caps back on the pens and we just watch, and we’re entertained, and we don’t have any real notes.’ That was pretty exciting to hear along the way.”

With four episodes left this season — and 16 episodes ordered for 2012 — it’s officially safe to let ourselves get invested in trying to figure out who the mysterious man who only wears Tom Ford suits is. We asked Macht for some clues. Here’s what he had to say:

Harvey-Basketballs

Image Credit: USA Network

• Harvey’s a collector: Exhibit A: The line of autographed basketballs on his window sill. “He represents and is friends with major athletes. He’s got Michael Jordan on his speed dial. He’s got basketballs signed by Jordan and Patrick Ewing. He’s got a baseball signed by Derek Jeter,” Macht says. “He’s got really signature — signature, ba dump-dump — sports memorabilia, which he’s gotten from auctions but also probably from the people themselves. He takes a lot in pride in that. He’s a man of the town. He’s connected.” We’ll learn in tonight’s episode — which features guest star Eric Close as an undefeated Boston lawyer who weens his way into a class action suit just so he can say he defeated Harvey Specter — that Harvey, who Macht suspects has season tickets for the Knicks and Yankees, is a former athlete himself. “Harvey wasn’t even on the case. It was Jessica’s case, but he brings up a high school baseball game where Harvey was the pitcher and his shoulder went out, and the team won without him anyway. Harvey still felt like he lost. I think that’s part of his reason for always wanting to win,” Macht laughs. “His sense of self was demolished at that point. He threw his arm out. Big deal. It happens. It wasn’t his fault. Why’s he got to be so serious all the time? My god.”

Exhibit B: Harvey’s wall of records. “I think he puts his music on when he needs to mellow out and really focus and think,” Macht says. “He’s a jazz man and a blues man, those are his staples. But he’s got so many records there, he must listen to everything … His vast knowledge of obscure music marries well with his mental library of obscure facts.”

Harvey-Records

Image Credit: USA Network

• There are no drawers in Harvey’s office. Strange, right, because you’d think a man like Harvey would have things he’d need to hide. “Yes, but you know what, that’s what he’s got Donna for,” Macht says. “Donna has her little area, which is really interesting, because whenever we get the name of the locations we’re shooting, it’s actually called ‘Donna’s Area.’ There’s always some funny sexual innuendo that Sarah Rafferty, who plays Donna, throws out there. ‘Okay, you’re coming into Donna’s area.’ [Sarah] is awesome. She’s been my friend for over 20 years. She’s one of my best friends. Our daughters are best friends.” One thing Harvey does keep in his masculine, streamlined office, besides that furniture Macht describes as “classic, modern, timeless, Eames- and Herman Miller-inspired pieces that cost a mint”: a can opener. “It’s hidden in his office, and it reveals itself in the finale,” he teases.

• Harvey is a movie buff. “There’s always a film reference or two in the episode. Harvey likes to try to stump Mike [Patrick J. Adams] or other characters. He’s playful.”

• If you want to see Harvey’s lighter side, look on his office walls. “His artwork was chosen to show that he has a whimsical side with a truly wicked sense of humor,” Macht says.

Harvey-painting

Image Credit: USA Network

• Despite his protests otherwise, Harvey does have a heart. “He’s tough as nails, but he’s fair. He has a huge heart, but displays it behind everybody’s back. So he’ll stand up for Mike, but not to his face. He’ll go to Jessica, and say, ‘You’ve got to give this kid a second chance,’ and he’ll go to Lewis and go, ‘Are you nuts? You’re not gonna take this kid. He’s mine, and there’s no way you’re gettin’ near him.’ He believes that Mike is absolutely his ace in the hole, and that he’s a younger version of who Harvey was. He messes up and makes mistakes and he does things in a rogue way because he thinks he’s being clever, and sometimes he gets caught. That’s what Harvey did early on and still does, but he just gets away with it.”

• Harvey loves Jessica (Gina Torres), but not in the way some fans may be hoping… “Jessica put Harvey through law school. He was in the mailroom. She found him and saw that this guy was an ace of her own and decided that, ‘I’m gonna put him through law school, and I’m gonna get him trial experience,’ and that’s how Harvey became an assistant district attorney in Manhattan,” Macht says. (We’ll meet the DA that mentored Harvey, played by Gary Cole, in the Sept. 1 episode, when his office comes under investigation and he turns to Harvey for help.) “I don’t think there was ever anything physical between Harvey and Jessica,” he continues. “I think Harvey loves Jessica just because she gave him his start and pulled him out of whatever mess he was in — and hopefully we’ll learn about that in season 2. But it’s funny. I was on YouTube the other night, and someone sent me a video, one of those where they cut together their own interpretations of relationships. Obviously, there’s this whole bromance [on Suits], so anyone who wants the homosexual twist between Mike and Harvey [can use] those really awkward moments of delayed, long looks. They’re so funny. But then there was one with Harvey and Jessica, and it just looked like, who knows what’s behind that story,” he laughs. “It was well done. It’s just funny to me, because I’m there everyday going, this is a total business relationship with [Jessica]. He’s the mentor to Mike…

Read more:
Five reasons to love ‘Suits’

USA renews ‘Suits’
‘Suits’ season finale scoop in the Spoiler Room

Comments (75 total) Add your comment
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  • Chester

    I love the show. Sometimes the cast of a new show just doesn’t jell but this cast was spot on from the first show. They win you over quickly.

  • E

    I love this show!!! I look forward to Thursdays just to see what Harvey and Mike are up to.

  • PB

    Surprise (at least to me) hit of the summer and they key is Macht’s portrayal of Harvey. His character could so easily be a tired cliche of the arrogant playboy that has all the answers — totally boring and totally unlikeable. Instead it’s nuanced. He’s arrogant, but likeable. He’s uptight, but playful. He’s confident, but noble. Very fine season. Actually think it’s had the best summer season of any basic cable TV show and not just new show — all shows.

  • Monica

    The only prime-time show I consistently watch during the summer. What a great cast, the chemistry is phenominal. Thank goodness they’re coming back!

  • Sara

    Gabriel Macht is great, but so is the set designer.

    • J

      The set designer might be great but this show is the fakest representation of New York I’ve ever seen.

      • FL

        the show was shot in toronto.

  • googie

    love it

  • alex

    I’ve recently started watching Suits and I’m addicted to it already! Sharp wit, even sharper suits – its actually helping me get over the cancellation of Terriers.

  • MissM13

    Anyone knows what the artwork is? The artist or the title?

  • MissM13

    Does anyone know what the artwork is?
    The artist or the title? Anything to help a Google search!

  • shii

    Friday: I’m dead.
    Saturday: Not much better than Friday.
    Sunday: It’s getting better cause it’s the last day of the weekend.
    Monday: I resemble a zombie but I have regained most bodily functions.
    Tuesday: The day before the day before. I’m excited :)
    Wednesday: THE DAY BEFORE OMG JESUS :D
    Thursday: *orgasm*

    …..repeat cycle…..

  • fablady3

    I love watching Harvey walk ( major swagger) in his amazing suits. I love the positive image of Jessica too( kudos to Gina for playing it just right)! Great cast, great show. There aren’t a lot of shows on any network that keep my attention, this one is one of the few.

  • Lorie

    I luv luv luv this show! And to think I almost passed on it b/c I had no idea who Gabriel Macht and Patrick J Adams were.
    Now, SUITS is my new favorite show, and Harvey’s my new summer crush. I also love to watch him walk in his amazing suits…especially in slow motion.

  • crellis

    Best show on tv right now, by far. I love Harvey. He is such a great character and Gabriel is amazing, and super good looking. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • DMD

    I’m so in love with this show…witty dialoge without being over dramatic or ‘talky’…a softer Aaron Sorkin… its a great, fresh summer show and I can’t wait for a second season. My only complaint is that summer shows have shorter seasons!!! I like how the characters are flawed…no one is perfect….there is room for everyone to grow, fail, learn and succeed….well done USA!!

  • taw

    I love this show-all of the characters are great…I am a huge fan.

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