Interview Rick Hoffman opens up about Suits

DIY spoke to the actor about what the show and what Season Five has in store for Louis.

The suave lads and lasses from Suits return in Season 5, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD from June 6th 2016 courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK).

Mike Ross (Patrick J Adams) and Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) are back in the legal drama as the pair team up to take on their rivals.

In Season Five, Harvey’s loyal PA, Donna (Sarah Rafferty) leaves him to work for his nemesis Louis (Rick Hoffman) while Mike is preparing for his wedding to Rachel (Megan Markle).

DIY spoke to Rick Hoffman about what the show and what Season Five has in store for Louis.

In the cutthroat world of TV where many shows don’t make it past their first season, what do you think Suits’ enduring qualities are?
It’s the development of the characters. I think people, whoever they are, identify with each of the characters differently, or they may just identify with one, but each character is so clearly different from one another and interesting and multi dimensional. I think that, as we, as the fact that we all have fun while we’re doing it - and people can sense that - I think is why people like to watch every week.
If the characters are well developed, which they are, I think, it just makes good entertainment.

How would you describe Louis’ journey from the start to where he is now?
I mean it’s been huge. As I’ve said before, I think he’s probably grown the most out of the six. And so, now he’s just in a place where any decision he makes, based on the ongoing trial, it won’t be based on just impulse, like it used to be. It will be more thought-through, because he’s learned from some of his mistakes. Some of them! But it’s tough- the best of the best being in this situation- who knows what each characters outcome will ultimately be.

For anyone that hasn’t seen any of the fifth season, what can we expect from the team at Pearson Specter Litt?
I wouldn’t! I would just say that if you’ve ever liked the show, this would be a season to really pay attention to. That’s what I’m getting from most of the fans, this seems to be a lot of their favourites. Especially the back six episodes. That’s what I’ve been told!

As the show goes on, do you find yourself having more input in the character direction or are you happy to trust the writers and go along for the ride?
As far as structure of the character goes, no I don’t have that input. But certain ideas are always pitched! And there’s a right time to do it, when our boss isn’t completely inundated and crazed. Which is what’s great about him, he’s not just a little man behind the curtain he’s available to the actors, and he likes to vent and pitch ideas to us. And we make fun of each other, and it’s cool, and he’ll say it’s his idea when he knows it’s one of ours! But a very small percentage of this. It’s really all the writers!

Do you have a favourite scene in the show?
I would say the most challenging and scary, and rewarding would be Season Four when Louis confronts Donna and Jessica. That for me was the most challenging, and intense, and I finished feeling proud.
Comedic-wise, telling Jeff Malone that I “eat cock for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” was one of the most fun to film, just the finger-licking and the stuff with my hands. They let me improvise with that, and I didn’t know what I was gonna do and I’m the one that usually breaks, like an idiot! So that’s one. And then all my scenes with Sarah, the comedy, I love.

With so many big names coming to television to work in recent years, is it a medium that no longer lives in Hollywood’s shadow?
It does seem so. I’ve always felt that good work is good work. The whole weird: “Oh, it’s a TV show,” mentality never made any sense to me. When I was a kid I didn’t care! If I loved something, I loved it! I loved Tom Hanks in Bosom Buddies, right? So it never surprised me that he was also doing film. I never looked at it like that. It wasn’t different. If I like that person, and I believe them, and they’re committed I don’t care if it’s on a tiny screen. So I think it’s about time, as it should be.
I think great character development is hard to find. There are a lot of attempts on TV and I binge watch a lot of TV. So I can see, with some shows, what they’re trying to go for but some get it, and some don’t. It’s a craft.

Have you had any thoughts about any particular projects you’d love to do once Suits finishes?
Yeah! Look as far as being on this show goes, and being a character actor aside from taking on a role like, say, Elephant Man, it just doesn’t get any better in terms of a rollercoaster of emotions in a role. But, I would love to try new things too. I see Paul Giamatti out there and I see what happened after he did a bunch of similar roles and movies about being kind of a douche and then he got Sideways. So ideally, sure. If I end up playing a boss who’s in two episodes of a detective series saying: “Hey, go get em!” then I’m good with that because this is enough! I’m sat here in London, talking about my character after being on a series, what am I looking for? I’m good… I’m happy.
I’ll do whatever, the business is nuts. God knows, I’ll probably go through another phase of people telling you: “Oh he was great, but we’re gonna go another way” – you get that all the time. I feel like maybe I’ll be able to choose a little bit more, especially after doing something like Suits, I feel like it’s at least warranted for me to want to make a lateral move. But I just don’t know. I’d love to do another TV series. I love work, I don’t care if it’s three scenes in a Judd Apatow film, that’s fine with me too. That’s always what it’s been about. Can you imagine if your goal was just to be as big a star as possible? I feel bad for people who have that as their goal. Whatever floats your boat, but it feels a little hollow to me, looking for fame for no other reason than to be famous.
I loved Luther! I would’ve loved to have been on that show, worked with Idris Elba. We’ll see… I’m starting to watch a bunch of British dramas now and I’m getting into it. There’s another one - the Stellan Skarsgard one, River- and I also just watched something on Netflix called Love, the Judd Apatow series, and I finished it in less than two days, it’s so good!

Suits Season Five is available on Blu-ray and DVD now, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK)


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