Patrick J. Adams ‘Suits’ Up for Mike’s Next Move

NBCUniversal Upfront - 2016
Art Streiber/NBCUniversal
Patrick J. Adams of 'Suits'

Since he first blew into Suits in a haze of weed, a genius IQ and the soulful orphan eyes that convinced Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) to hire him as an associate, Patrick J. Adam’s Mike Ross has been the relative black sheep of Pearson Specter Litt. Passing himself off as a lawyer despite zero legal training, the fauxtorney’s lie forced his colleagues to keep his secret until last season, when he finally pled guilty to fraud and served time. Now that he’s out of jail, Mike is looking to shape a second act for himself—as is Adams, who recently married with his long-time love, Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars). Here, the newlywed opens up about where Mike may be headed and how his release from prison has rebooted the still-vibrant series.

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Harvey heads to Boston to face his mother and brother.

Your storyline this season couldn’t be more fitting. It’s like both you and Mike are at really important points in life.
Patrick J. Adams: Yeah, it’s cool. You know, we always talk about Mike growing up on the show, but it’s been pretty incremental because you kind of have to be the puppy to be a real Doberman. Now, coming out of prison, he’s in a situation where he doesn’t have to hide behind this [secret] anymore, and he’s really taking control of his destiny. These last six episodes have been really fun to play because he’s still looking for what’s next for him and kind of has that lost quality. But he’s ready for this next thing so he’s in different rooms with different people and yet is still sort of the smartest guy in the room. I don’t know, it just feels a lot more adult.

Yeah! The sure sign was when he was placed in charge of teaching kids.
[Laughs] Yeah!

Where do we see him going from this point? I love that the writers address the fact that he is a convicted felon and there are certain jobs that he cannot have.
And there are jobs that people are just never going to let him have. Of course, it’s a television show, so he’s gonna push those boundaries as hard as he can. You know, it’s his lot in life to do whatever he can to help people that need helping. Mike is not a guy who takes “no” very easily, and he’s gonna find a way to make you say “yes” and hire him. It’s really a matter in [this batch of episodes] of him finding out where that’s going to be and how that’s going to go over with Harvey, considering he’s made it very clear that he does not want to go back to Pearson Specter.

And because it’s a TV show that centers around that firm, how do they keep these guys in the same orbit?
Well, I don’t know. They always find a way, though, don’t they? And they will continue to. Without spoiling all of the things I can’t reveal, I think these are almost like a reboot of the show in a really exciting way for someone who’s been there from the beginning, and it’s gonna put these two guys into a relationship that I think people haven’t seen yet before. It has all the makings of what they used to love about it, but also changes it up.

Okay, as long as you’re not making them adversaries.
We will not be adversaries. At least—well, actually…not yet, but I can’t say forever. [Laughs]

Between Mike going to prison and Harvey going behind his back to Anita Gibbs (Leslie Hope), there have been some really tense moments between Mike and Harvey. Screaming and punching even. We need them to get back to being Butch and Sundance.
Yeah, and I think that message has been received loud and clear by the people in power. [Laughs] But the fun part is Mike doesn’t want to be the puppy anymore. He needs to be in control of something, to have a little bit more power and do things his way, I think. And I don’t even know where we go from here, but I think this relationship between the two of them is going to have to look and feel a little bit different. And I agree with you, we are both excited to see them get back on the same side and be fighting the same case for once.

And what about Mike and Rachel at this point? Their relationship is wreaking havoc on her future as a lawyer.
Right now, Mike is so focused on getting himself together and figuring out where he is going to be…that takes over the focus for sure, but we also get to see them back together again. I think they were apart for so long that it’s a little tough to put two people back together again. And she’s with the firm, which is in dire straits, so she is forced to make some difficult choices about where she’s gonna end up and who her crew is. So I think right now there is so much destabilization that they’re just happy to see each other and have each other in each other’s lives again.

All of these changes must be so exciting for the whole cast. Six seasons in and you’re all getting to play a whole new level of emotional and storyline stuff.
Yeah, I think we were all scared after Mike left prison, to be honest. We were like, “Where is it gonna go? How do we proceed and do something new? How do we keep the stakes up?” And I think it really proved to us pretty quickly that is was such a gift to get me into prison and out of it because it allows us the ability to just reboot this whole scenario, and we get down to why people really love the show, which is the characters. It’s not necessarily the same as what we did in the first episode of the show. Mike’s lie is gone now, and we get to see what these characters are gonna do with new problems like Jessica leaving, and Mike having this realization that he needs to do different work, and Harvey having to fill the void that Jessica leaves behind and deciding that he needs to be a leader and get his personal life in order. Everybody needs to grow up a little bit, and I think that’s why you like watching this show, is to see characters just continue to evolve.

It’s kind of like what Donna said in the season premiere about Harvey’s family…for the fans, this is the family that we want.
Yeah, and if they don’t change and are not challenged or forced to become new people as life throws different things their way, then that’s when a show gets pretty stale and people stop wanting to watch.

Suits, Wednesdays, 10/9c, USA Network