10 Things You Might Not Know About Suits

Shane Mahood, USA Network
Shane Mahood, USA Network

On June 23, 2011, USA Network debuted a law drama called Suits, originally named A Legal Mind. Aaron Korsh, a former sitcom writer, created a show about a college dropout named Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) who passed the bar exam but didn’t have a law degree. He stumbled into an interview with Pearson Specter Litt partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) who, despite knowing Ross’s secret, hired him as an associate, based on his ability to memorize law facts, and also wanting to give him a second chance at life.

Over the course of seven seasons, Suits has transformed into “a relationship show disguised as a legal drama,” focusing on the bromance between Mike and Harvey. Soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle plays Mike’s fiancée and co-worker, Rachel Zane. The long-running show has not only been one of USA’s top-rated shows but also one of cable’s highest-rated programs—so much so that the network has already renewed it for an eighth season.

On August 30, 2017, the show hit a milestone of 100 episodes. The final six episodes of season 7 start airing on March 28, with Markle and Adams leaving the show on April 25, when the network will air a two-hour season finale featuring Mike and Rachel’s wedding. (Markle’s real-life wedding, to Prince Harry, will happen on May 19, when she’ll gain the title Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales.) However, Dulé Hill and Katherine Heigl will join the cast for the eighth season, and Gina Torres (lawyer Jessica Pearson)—who departed the show during the end of season six but returned for guest appearances—will get her own spinoff sometime next year. Here are 10 things you might not know about the show.   

1. THE SHOW IS BASED ON AARON KORSH’S LIFE.

Before becoming a TV writer and showrunner, Aaron Korsh worked on Wall Street as an investment banker, which was the original profession for Suits’s characters. “I worked for a guy named Harvey, I had a good memory, and I had a dalliance with marijuana,” Korsh told Collider. He quit Wall Street, moved to L.A., and became a writers’ assistant. “I wrote a spec piece that I originally intended to be a half-hour Entourage-type [show] based on my experiences working on Wall Street, but as I wrote it, I started realizing it wants to be an hour-long show,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

As a first-time showrunner, Korsh felt inexperienced—which only helped develop the show's characters. “I think it was the first day on set, shooting the pilot, and inside I was like, ‘What am I doing here? I’m a fraud,’ which is the basis of Mike being a fraud.”

2. PATRICK ADAMS THINKS THE SHOW MAKES VIEWERS “FEEL GOOD.”

In an interview with Esquire, Adams acknowledged that Suits isn’t exactly a game-changer as far as series go, “but it’s one of those shows that people love to have in between the shows that change television. There’s the show that’s going to change the way I think about art, and life, and myself, and my family, and then there’s the show I just want to watch because I love these people, and they make me feel good.” He also referred to the show as a “guilty pleasure,” and said that not much has changed throughout the seasons.

“It’s ultimately kind of the same thing we’ve been doing for seven years,” Adams said. He also stated the show lacks violence and sometimes deep emotion, like when Mike’s grandmother died. “You touch on the depths and then yank it back. That’s its rhythm. People like to feel that they get near the pain and suffering, and then they like to feel safe that it’s all good, we can joke about it right away.”

3. GABRIEL MACHT’S REAL-LIFE FAMILY INFLUENCED HARVEY.

Gabriel Macht in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

Gabriel Macht explained to The TV Addict that he comes from a family of lawyers: His sister is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx; his aunt and cousin were in family law. “I’ve just been around it my whole life, so I’ve observed bits and pieces along the way,” he said. “And I feel like when I get the scripts each week, I don’t have to Wikipedia and try to figure out what all these terms mean.  Because all I have to do is really just fake it pretty well.”

4. MEGHAN MARKLE AUDITIONED IN AN H&M DRESS.

Nowadays, Meghan Markle is known for her expensive designer fashions. But when she auditioned for the role of Rachel, she had to make a last-minute wardrobe change. As Vanity Fair reported, she showed up to the audition wearing casual clothes but realized she needed to look more like a professional lawyer. “She dashed into an H&M and bought a little black dress for $35,” the article read. “Sure enough, she was asked to change into the dress, which she hadn’t even tried on. Thank God it fit.”

5. ORIGINALLY, JESSICA WAS GOING TO BE MURDERED.

Gina Torres, who played Jessica Pearson, told The New York Times the reason she left Suits was because her contract was up and “my personal life needed to be tended to.” Her family—including then-husband Laurence Fishburne (the couple separated in late 2017, after nearly 15 years of marriage)—lived in Los Angeles, but the New York City-set show filmed in Toronto. Korsh had the idea of seeing Jessica move to Chicago with her boyfriend Jeff Malone (D.B. Woodside) and having the somewhat crazy Larry Marsden (Colin Glazer) kill her.

“I didn’t think we were going to see it; we were going to hear about it,” Korsh told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was going to shatter everyone and we were going to do a two-year time jump afterwards … I thought that would be a twist you wouldn’t see coming. You might have seen that Jessica was going to choose to leave, but not her death on top of it.” However, the network was against it. She survived, and returned for occasional cameos.

“I don’t feel like we give happy, unfettered endings in Suits that often, so it was sort of unexpected to end episodes eight, nine and now 10 with a happy ending,” Korsh said.

“I don’t think people can die on Suits,” Adams told Esquire. “It’s still, at its heart, an aspirational show, and it would be so hard to watch these people wrestle with that.”

6. MARKLE'S VITAMIX WAS LIKE ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE CAST.

Meghan Markle in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

A self-professed foodie, Markle brought her Vitamix to Toronto and would feed the cast and crew with it. Adams’s family lives in Canada, so every Canada Day, Markle and the cast would celebrate in Georgian Bay. “When we were talking about the Georgian Bay and Canada Day weekend, me and my Vitamix, we really sort of ran the show on feeding everybody for that weekend,” Markle told Esquire. “It was one of the things where I was like I cannot travel without my Vitamix. It’s like a commercial at this point. But I use it every day for pestos or shakes.”

7. PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TALK TO ADAMS ABOUT THE SHOW.

The show’s fanbase is comprised of ardent fans, especially those who have opinions about Mike and Rachel’s Romeo-and-Juliet-like relationship. “I never thought that a story about six people working in a law firm in New York City would be something that would capture people’s interest all over the globe,” Adams told Vanity Fair. “I was backpacking through New Zealand a couple of years ago and stopped to help a Swedish guy who had twisted his ankle. He looked up at me, and his eyes went wide, and all he could talk about was how badly he wanted Mike and Rachel to figure things out.”

8. SO IT MAKES SENSE THAT A KOREAN VERSION OF SUITS IS IN THE WORKS.

Beginning in April, KBS 2TV in South Korea will premiere its own version of Suits

9. KORSH WAS PREPARED FOR MARKLE’S EXIT.

Markle got engaged to Prince Harry in November 2017, but several months prior, when Korsh knew the relationship was serious, he started writing her out of the show. “I knew obviously from about a year ago that this relationship was burgeoning,” Korsh said. “I didn’t want to intrude, so I didn’t want to ask, ‘Hey, what’s going on? What are you going to do?’ As the season progressed, I said I would rather have good things happening to Meghan in her life, which would likely mean her leaving the show, so let’s plan on that.” In 2018, Markle did indeed announce she’d be leaving the show—and retiring from acting—to live in England with her prince.

10. ADAMS DIDN'T WANT MIKE TO BECOME JUST "ANOTHER LAWYER ON TELEVISION."

Patrick J. Adams in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

Like Markle, Adams will depart the show after the seventh season finishes. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Mike had come a long way from the beginning of the show to the point now where he’s a legal lawyer. “I had this voice in my head that said that we’ve told his story and if he hangs out longer, Mike is just going to be another lawyer on television,” Adams said. “That didn’t feel right for him. It didn’t feel right for where I was at in my life, either.”

Game of Thrones's The Mountain Needed a Stunt Double for the First Time Ever in Season 8

HBO
HBO

There’s no question that Game of Thrones's final season will be action-packed. But Iceland native Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in the TV series, recently confirmed just how much more hardcore the upcoming episodes will be.

In a recent interview with Mashable, Björnsson dished on the final season (as much as an actor sworn to secrecy can dish about a show). Though he couldn’t reveal any really juicy details, he did spill a very interesting piece of information about The Mountain. According to the 30-year-old strongman, the final season was "the hardest season I’ve filmed for Game Of Thrones."

Filming got so complicated that, for the first time in his four seasons on the show, Björnsson needed a stunt double to play The Mountain.

“All the seasons prior to this season that we just finished filming, I never had stunt doubles. I always did everything myself," Björnsson said. "But the last season I filmed, the season that hasn’t been shown on television, I had a stunt double there."

Though fans certainly wanted to hear more about the scene (or scenes) that required a stunt double for the actor, Björnsson—much like The Mountain—didn't budge. “I can’t go into detail ... but I had a stunt double there I can tell you that,” he said. "He was big. He was tall, not as muscular."

It couldn’t have been easy for the show's producers to find a match for Björnsson, who is a professional strongman when he's not acting. He stands 6 feet 9 inches tall, and currently holds the title of "World’s Strongest Man."

As Björnsson has never needed a stunt double before, we can’t help but wonder what exactly happens to The Mountain in season 8. We'll be looking forward to finding out when Game of Thrones returns on April 14, 2019.

[h/t: Mashable]

New Book Provides an Intimate Look at the Handwriting of Freud, Marie Antoinette, and Other Historical Figures

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

Handwriting analysts would have a field day with TASCHEN's latest book. Titled The Magic of Handwriting, the 464-page tome offers a rare glimpse into the intimate lives and correspondences of some of the most well-known names in history.

In modern times, handwriting is a dying art, which makes it all the more meaningful to see nearly 900 years' worth of writing preserved in vivid detail in the book. A letter penned a year before the French Revolution shows Marie Antoinette’s neat signature written in small letters. In contrast, French writer Marcel Proust’s handwritten manuscripts were frantically scrawled on whatever scraps of paper he could find. Charlie Chaplin sometimes included a sketch of his signature hat and cane while signing autographs, and Sitting Bull, the Hunkpapa Lakota leader who was known for his courage in battle, dotted his i’s with what look like hearts or v's.

A signed picture of Sitting Bull
TASCHEN

A letter signed by Marie Antoinette
A letter signed by Marie Antoinette
TASCHEN

A manuscript handwritten by Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust's writing
TASCHEN

These artifacts come from the collection of Pedro Corrêa do Lago, a Brazilian art historian and curator who has acquired thousands of handwritten letters, manuscripts, autographed photos, and musical compositions over the years. The book features over 100 items from his collection, which also went on display last year at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

In addition to displaying different styles of handwriting, the book also highlights little-known facts about historical figures and insight into their personality. There’s a handwritten invoice from Sigmund Freud, who charged one client 2000 schillings (nearly $500 in 1934, or roughly $9400 today) for 20 hours of psychoanalysis. When his patient tried to negotiate a lower price, Freud reportedly replied, “I am still forced to make a living. I cannot do more than five hours of analysis daily; and I do not know how much longer I shall work at it.”

An invoice signed by Sigmund Freud
An invoice signed by Sigmund Freud
TASCHEN

Ernest Hemingway’s snark is on full display in a “Who’s Who” questionnaire he filled out for the publishing firm Scribner’s in 1930. Under the career section, he merely replied “yes." Under "hobbies," he listed skiing, fishing, shooting, and drinking.

For more stories like these, order a copy of The Magic of Handwriting from TASCHEN’s website or Amazon.

A cover of the book 'The Magic of Handwriting'
TASCHEN

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