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Interview with Suits’ Rick Hoffman

rick-hoffman-as-louis-littRick Hoffman plays Louis Litt, the no-nonsense attorney with a soft side, on USA’s “Suits.” Hoffman recently filled us in on what season five has in store for Pearson, Specter, Litt, and even tested our legal knowledge! Check out our interview with Rick below, and tune in for Suits every Wednesday at 9/8c on USA!

So I’ll just jump right in. Harvey and Louis are always in such steep competition, but now Donna is on Louis’ team- so he’s got the upper hand. Going into season five, how is Donna going to impact Louis?

If Louis gets his way with having Donna, he’s a very, very happy guy. The question is really how does this effect Harvey, and how it effects Harvey and what ripple effect that has on the firm- that’s really the question. We all know how important Donna is and how Harvey has relied on Donna for so long. It could cause some potential damage to Harvey. So I think as far as Louis is concerned with having Donna- it just makes him, if anything- in a better mood. If anything, it makes him a lot more stable.

Right, and Harvey is in a bit of a rough place. How is that going to impact the firm going forward?

That’s a good question. Ultimately, without giving away really anything, it does impact the firm in more ways than one. There are certain plot points- that I wish I could share with you now- that come into play with certain characters. They change the firm dynamic to a point where- does it potentially jeopardize the firm? Does it potentially jeopardize Harvey? Mike? Donna? Louis? Let’s just say the writers have a knack for finding these interesting through-lines that don’t repeat themselves. Anybody who likes the show will definitely like what we’ve got going on this season.

Sounds good. Speaking of Mike, he and Rachel are finally engaged. Louis will probably get invited to the wedding- what does Louis bring as a wedding gift?

Oh, that’s a no-brainer. He brings some serious gift certificates to his mudding spa that he goes to. I don’t think there’s anything else he ever brings anyone other than that. He likes to share his favorite love- that’s the gift of money.

Let’s talk about Louis a little more. He’s got to be one of the most unique characters on television right now. He’s quirky and smart and he embraces it and does not apologize. What is your favorite aspect about Louis as a character?

That’s a good question. I love the fact that he’s become more of a walking farce. You know where you stand with him. As much as he is an idiot and steps on his own two feet and gets in everybody’s way, it’s what the writers have developed with him over the course of a couple of seasons that he is actually someone who is insanely loyal, insanely lonely and tremendously emotional. I love the fact that he is this vulnerable guy even though it scares me to death as an actor to play.

Looking at the show now, we’re going into season five on USA- which is a network that’s very well known for shows in very unique, quirky premises. What do you think is that magical quality about Suits that keeps people coming back week after week?

I think it’s the six characters that people identify with. Like any successful show, to some degree, each character is very identifiable with different people across the board. I think that has something to do with the reason why people want to watch. They can somehow see a part of themselves. I think the show doesn’t really have to be about law anymore. It’s really because you have these characters that- in their own way- people like, and people feel strongly about, and that’s part of the equation of what keeps the show light.

Part of the other thing that makes the show so successful is that the show is set in New York, but you actually film in Toronto. What does being on location do for you that being in a studio or a soundstage does not?

I mean, anytime you’re out on the street you just feel that it’s authentic. It definitely helps the scene if we’re outside on location. But we’ve gotten so comfortable on the stage that we work in that it feels like home when we’re there. After doing it now for four and a half years, it doesn’t make a difference where we do it. We have developed- the six of us- sort of a shorthand of communication together. It feels very comfortable.

Something we have seen in the past four in a half years is both Gabriel and Patrick each direct an episode. Will we ever get to see you in the directors’ chair?

After seeing how much time is involved- not anytime soon- especially now having a newborn son. I can’t imagine keeping my head on without popping off if I did something like that right now. Eventually, I might be interested, but not anytime this season, that’s for sure. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it really takes a special person to be able to direct episodes like that.

And congrats on the little guy! I definitely did creep your Instagram before this interview, and he’s a very cute little guy- so congrats on that!

[laughs] Well thank you very much, i appreciate that!

So say you were to step into the director’s chair, what is something crazy that you’ve wanted to do with Louis that they haven’t done yet?

How about fun? I would love them to have Louis do some special business deal int he Carribean islands where he’s able to sit there and drink Pina Coladas, get tan and hit that turquoise water. Maybe even do some gambling down there?

That sounds like something Louis would be into.

Not really, that’s just Rick!

When we were at ATX Festival, a lot of the questions that came up were about the music and the wardrobe on the show. You guys wear some fancy stuff on the show- do you ever get to keep your suits on the show?

The minute we’re able to keep the suits, we know we’re cancelled. That’s a rule. I’ve been part of shows where they’re like, “oh- well if you want to take them, you can now! We’re not working anymore.”  So I think buying our own suits for now is just fine- it shows that we’re still working!

So keeping the suits is a bad thing- we’ll just put that out there!

Borrowing is different- borrowing is just fine. Keeping? Nuh-uh!

So looking on your social media pages, you seem to be a big sports fan. Have you been able to take in the sports scene in Toronto?

Yeah, I have actually. I think the Toronto fans deserve better teams- especially their hockey team. They’re so dedicated and they’re such a good fanship- I just wish that they’d get a lot of those executive out of the seats that the real fans deserve to be in and get a good team going. I’d say Toronto is one of those places where they are diehard fans.

That’s a fair assessment. I’m going through my questions, here, and I think I only have one left. I’m going to throw out some legal terms and see if you can either define them, or throw out the first thing that comes to your mind.

How about this? How about I just tell you the only term I know and see if you know what it is?

Okay, that works for me!

You ready?

I’m ready.

What’s an interlocutory appeal?

[after a moment] … Rick Hoffman just stumped me! That’s not cool!

I just stumped you, boy! I stumped you! In all seriousness, I have the utmost respect for what [lawyers] do.

It’s not nearly as cool as you guys make it look! But that’s all I’ve got. It’s been a pleasure speaking to you, Rick, thank you so much for your time!

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