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Interview with Gabriel Macht of "Suits" on
USA Network 2/27/15
This was a great call! He is always so nice, and smart,
and thoughtful. Even though it was pretty early in the
morning, hee did a great job and it was a really entertaining
SUITS STAR GABRIEL MACHT DISCUSSES
THE SEASON FOUR FINALE
Moderator: Kristin Shrader
February 27, 2015 10:00 am CT
Kristin Shrader: Hi everybody. It's Kristin Shrader from
USA. Thank you so much for joining us today. We have Gabriel
Macht on the line. Keep in mind, the finale of Suits airs
next Wednesday at 10:00 p.m., 9:00 central. We can go ahead
and begin the call.
Operator: Perfect. Thank you. And the first question comes
from the line of Jamie Ruby. Go ahead.
Jamie Ruby: Hi. Thanks so much for talking to us today. So,
can you first talk about - you got to direct this season.
Can you talk about how that was for you and do you plan to
do it again next year?
Gabriel Macht: Yes. Hey, it's my pleasure being here with
you guys - with everyone. What can I say? We - so we shoot
ten episodes - no. We actually shoot sixteen episodes
straight through, and we have like a week here, a week
there, two weeks here. Sometimes a month here as far as like
hiatuses go for the writing - for the writers to keep up
with the show.
And in one of the hiatuses that gave me a week in advance
where I wasn't working as an actor to prep - to prep for my
director's episode, which this last season happened for the
first episode back for the, you know, for basically the part
two of the season.
And which was great is that the stakes were so high, you
know? There was sort of a paradigm shift, and Louis had
gotten all of this information from - he worked it out that
Mike's a fraud.
And so it allowed all of us to sort of work in this - in
this sort of insular space where it was really about the
characters and how our loyalties stayed true to each other,
some of them, and some didn't, you know?
And that's why I think Louis just went crazy on all of the
captors. But, you know, look I thought it was one of the
most creative experiences I've ever had. The ensemble of
actors along with the crew were incredible with me.
They were so collaborative. It was really a special time for
all of us to just trust each other. And we had, you know, a
great episode as far as the writing goes.
And so I think it really - I think it came out amazing. Just
the experience, the process of it and the product at the end
I thought it looked great how they, you know, their final
cut and stuff. I was happy with my directors cut as well,
which maybe one day some people will see as well.
Jamie Ruby: So, do you want to do it again?
Gabriel Macht: I do.
Jamie Ruby: You do? Great. All right. Thank you.
Gabriel Macht: Yeah. I guess you get one question, but I'll
(unintelligible) you're not - you're not prepping an episode
while you're acting and working in the previous episode. So,
if it works out with a hiatus, it works out for me - I would
love to do it.
Jamie Ruby: Great. Thank you so much.
Operator: And the next question comes from the line of Jamie
Steinberg. Please go ahead.
Jamie Steinberg: Hi. It's such a pleasure to speak with you
Gabriel Macht: Hey. How's it going?
Jamie Steinberg: Good. So, we heard Harvey say to Donna
that, you know, I love you. Does that mean he's in love with
Gabriel Macht: You know, I think that - you know, everyone
have - everyone is going to have their own interpretation of
that. That's part of what makes art an incredible medium.
You know, I think that there was a lot at stake in this last
episode, and, you know, of course she means so much to him.
I think it's really in the eye of the viewer to take what
they think. I know that the producers and the writers and
some of us actors, we all have different ideas about that
moment. It was a very complicated moment at the time when we
were shooting it.
And I think, you know, the fans really wanted to see that.
And I think it blew some people away in many ways. And I
think the fall out of that happens in the next episode, and
we're going to see how that all manifests. As far as I'm
concerned, I actually find it really hard to answer that
Jamie Steinberg: Yes. She means so much to him in different
ways that I can imagine it can be interpreted even to Harvey
in so many ways.
Gabriel Macht: That's right. That's right. Yeah, I just
think it's a complicated thing. You know, they've been
together for however long - fifteen years. They did have
that one time. They decided not to move forward with their
relationship as far as having an intimate relationship.
You know, I have always looked at it in a similar way to
like Bond and Moneypenny, you know? It's like he is her
better half, but I don't know if she's the one. You know
what I mean? So, I think it's complicated.
And I think, you know, I think we'll see, you know, what - I
think we'll see what course it takes over the next season -
over the next episode for sure and, you know, season five.
If it brings them closer or if it pushes him away. We'll
have to see.
Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you so much.
Gabriel Macht: But honestly, I am in - I am - you know, just
as you feel like you're not really in the know, I am in the
exact same place as you. I don't know where they're going. I
have no idea. I haven't talked to anybody. The powers that
be have not told me, hey, this is where they're going.
Jamie Steinberg: Okay.
Operator: And the next question comes from the line of
Suzanne Lanoue of The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi. Good morning.
Gabriel Macht: Good morning.
Suzanne Lanoue: I was wondering every year we have such good
episodes and good writing. Is this cliffhanger - is the
season end going to be a good cliffhanger like usual?
Gabriel Macht: From what I remember, I think it's - I think
it's what people are going to want, you know? I think, you
know, I think - I think that, you know, the production and
the, you know, Aaron and the cast and everyone is on the
same page that we're giving the fans what they want.
And I say that with the caveat that like some people want
what they say they want and some people want what they - but
the opposite of what they say they want if that makes sense.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right. Right.
Gabriel Macht: You know, it was very interesting to me I
read some review of last episode of Intent and there was
some comment on the - beneath. And someone was making
predictions about what's going to happen in the next
And I don't know if this person was involved with
production, but, boy, they nailed it.
Suzanne Lanoue: Oh really?
Gabriel Macht: They just like - they were like this is going
to happen, this is going to happen, and this is going to
happen. And I liked bang - that person just got it. So, a
lot of others tried their hand at it too, and they failed
Suzanne Lanoue: Well, sometimes if you've been watching a
show or a type of show long enough you can get lucky and
sort of get an insight, and then you have to be right.
Gabriel Macht: Right. That's right.
Suzanne Lanoue: All right. Thanks a lot.
Gabriel Macht: All right.
Operator: And the next question comes from the line of Greg
Staffa. Please go ahead.
Greg Staffa: Thanks for taking our calls today. Your
performance between you and your costar Sarah Rafferty in
Intent was some of the best I think of the series. Is the
great chemistry as simple as chalking it up to your
established twenty year friendship with each other that you
have with Rafferty? Or what makes your scenes so - work so
Gabriel Macht: I think it's a combination of, you know, a
million things. I think that our relationship is definitely
part of it. You know, we've had a ton of life that we've
both been present for each other if that makes any sense.
You know, there's been births and deaths and friendships
that have failed and, you know, we've just been in the mix
for twenty years. It's a real friendship. And I think that
really helps. In addition to that, I think, you know, again,
it comes back to the writing.
I mean, I think Aaron has really written these two
characters very specifically. And the way they interact with
each other is just very entertaining, you know. They're sort
of two sides of a coin, you know?
And, you know, we have, you know, Sarah and I have a
different process of how we work. And I think we've both
been really supportive of each of our processes and how we
can get each other to the best place. And, at the end of the
day, we can make each other laugh.
And so that makes it a lot more free and open. So, I think
we're just really comfortable with each other, and it shows.
Greg Staffa: Thank you.
Operator: And our next question comes - is a follow up
question from the line of Suzanne Lanoue. Please go ahead.
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi again. You've been playing a lawyer for a
few - quite a few years now. Has playing a lawyer, would you
say it's changed your opinion of lawyers? And if so for
better or worse?
Gabriel Macht: You know, I haven't really thought about it.
I was at my house the other day, and this guy didn't - this
fellow - a construction guy didn't show up at my house like
when we planned on an appointment.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right.
Gabriel Macht: And he came the following day. And I was like
where were you man? What happened? You know? And he said oh,
a lawyer called me. And I was like, oh, lawyers. It just
like popped out of my mouth. I don't even know if he knew
who I was or whatever. He may have. I don't know.
But I was just like oh, lawyers. So, you know, I don't know.
I mean, I know they serve a purpose, and, you know, we
couldn't operate as society - as a society without them. But
I'm sure, you know, they can make things more complicated
and difficult and what have you.
But, you know, there are certain times where we - the need
for them is crucial to an argument or an event or an issues.
Suzanne Lanoue: Do you think you could be one now that
you're - you're used to using to using all those big words
and these complex ideas?
Gabriel Macht: From your lips to my mother's ears. But no.
Suzanne Lanoue: She wanted you to be a lawyer, huh?
Gabriel Macht: She wanted me to be a lawyer. I sort of
fulfilled half of that wish by being one on TV.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right.
Gabriel Macht: But, you know, in essence, I'm just like
Mike. I'm a complete fraud. Yeah, no. I - it's not - it's
not for me. I mean, you know, I think Suits makes the world
of law a lot more interesting.
And it makes the world (unintelligible), you know, from the
real lawyers that I've spoken to, I think they say yeah,
it's a really good TV show.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right. They skip all the boring parts where
they're reading and reading.
Gabriel Macht: Yeah.
Suzanne Lanoue: All right. Thanks a lot.
Operator: And the next question is another follow up from
the line of Jamie Ruby. Please go ahead.
Jamie Ruby: Hi, again. I was wondering if you could talk
about some of the returning guest cast, working with them
that are coming in the finale?
Gabriel Macht: Yeah. Well, we have Neal McDonough who is
coming back who is an absolute ball to work with - sometimes
frighteningly difficult to work with because we make each
other laugh so much.
There's one take at the very end where we're both - the
stakes are pretty high, and we just couldn't get through it.
It took us a half an hour to get through the scene because
we just - what we had done is I had showed him the Jim
Carrey SNL spoof of Matthew McConaughey.
And we were just on the floor - just on the floor crying of
laughter. We couldn't get through the scene. So, I - I mean
I loved working with him, and hopefully he'll come back.
And then Eric Roberts comes back. You know, next week's
episode is - our finale is, you know, we're dealing with a
lot of things in the present. Some of the stuff that
happened at the end of Episode 4-10 comes back to haunt us
as far as Forstman goes.
And Zeljko Ivanek - I think that's how you pronounce his
last name. He's involved. And we have to sort of get to the
bottom of what - of that threat. And, you know, Forstman
character poses what I have felt in all four seasons as the
Because he's also - because we also delve into a flashback
and how we meet Forstman and what kind of influence he has
on Harvey. Harvey is sort of - I think in maybe 4-01 or
4-02, 4-03, one of those episodes in the very beginning
where Mike sort of makes a deal with Forstman.
Harvey says no, no, you can't go there because you don't
know what he'll do. And that story is explained in 4-16. And
it's a flashback. So, you'll see Harvey early on, and that's
when we're going to actually meet Marcus who is Harvey's
Jamie Ruby: Oh, cool.
Gabriel Macht: And Billy Miller and I, we had a good time
working together. And I think that Season 5 we're going to
explore that relationship more. And he was excellent. And
those are the three that I can think of right now.
I mean, we have such great guest stars come on our show
including my dad who was terrific and, you know, poses a
real threat to Mike's character. You know, Stephen Macht who
played Professor Gerard.
Jamie Ruby: Right.
Gabriel Macht: We've been really, really fortunate to get
just super solid actors to come and play with us.
Jamie Ruby: Great. Well, thank you so much.
Kristin Shrader: (Amanda), can you go over the process for
queuing to ask a question really quick?
Operator: Absolutely. Ladies and gentlemen, as reminder to
register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the
4 on your telephone keypad. And the next question is a
follow up from the line of Greg Staffa. Please go ahead.
Greg Staffa: Thank you. This is kind of a follow up to an
earlier question about the guest stars. As an actor, is this
all business to you? Do you have like your own little bucket
list of guest stars that you would like to see happen in,
you know, next season?
Do you get star struck still? What is your process when
dealing with stars? Do you get a little excited like us fans
get excited? Or is it just strictly business?
Gabriel Macht: Yeah. There's a little bit of - I - yeah sure
I get star struck. I mean there are times where I'm, you
know, a massive, massive fan of that person. And, you know,
I - you know, the way I deal with it is I'm star struck.
And then I know that that person is just a working actor
just like me, just like all the other people that are on my
set. Just like the people I grew up with, you know, that
were pals with Dad that used to stop by my house, you know?
I (unintelligible) because when I've done that before it's
just gotten me in trouble. And so I really try just to sort
of imagine that I'm on the same level as they are, and we're
just - we're scene partners, you know?
And, you know, the biggest stars that I've ever worked with,
I think that's how they looked at it. I don't want to drop
names but, you know, Anthony Hopkins and, you know, Robert
The illusion of fame and character and it just, it sort of
becomes uncomfortable and then you're sort of like
questioning everything you say and it just, it becomes a lot
of work actually. It becomes a lot of like inner critiquing
and too much work.
So I - when we do have guest stars that I am like, have been
like massive fan of, I take that moment and I engage in that
and then I try and let that go so that we just work together
as equals. I hope that makes sense.
Greg Staffa: Cool. Thank you. Yes. Thank you.
Operator: And the next question is another follow up from
line of Jamie Steinberg. Please go ahead.
Jamie Steinberg: Hi, I was wondering if you could talk about
the emotions that you were feeling and what was going
through your mind when you were filming such an intense
scene in Donna's apartment.
Gabriel Macht: I - you just - I'm trying to think of how to
answer that question. You know, I was trying just to make
that scene work and make it believable. You know, so much of
our work on Suits bears a lot of exposition. And there's a
lot of, you know, attorney jargon. And it's setting up
certain stakes with information.
And if we go in and dissect that scene, in a way there's
some of that in regards to, oh remember - I don't know if
that was cut out, but remember your mother, and the last
time I was here, blah, blah, blah. But then it just gets
into the actual perspective of, you know, what these
characters are feeling.
And what each character means to them. And so it was, you
know, an emotional stakes there and these guys talking about
their feels and Harvey's not really one to talk about his
feelings. He really just sort of holds it close to his
And I think in that moment he's been, he was trying to do
everything that Donna has been telling him to do, either
with Scotty or with Zoe or whatever to bring his, you know,
And I think what I was trying to do as an actor was really
just try and make it as natural and as open and, you know,
and being vulnerable without going too far, you know.
And so it was just trying to make, make sense. That's what
was going on for me. And to get to that place so it meant,
you know, whatever is implied with that line, you know, I
love you Donna.
I mean we tried a million different versions of that, you
know. One that was like super light. It was like, Donna, you
know, I love you, like come on. You know what I mean. They
happened to pick that one and we'll see how it, you know,
manifests next week.
Jamie Steinberg: Thank you so much.
Operator: Our next question is from the line of Brittany
Frederick. Please go ahead.
Brittany Frederick: Hey Gabriel. Thanks for taking time to
chat with us today.
Gabriel Macht: Thank you Brittany. Thanks for being such a
supporter of the shows for so many years. You really have
written so many great, you know, reviews. And you're just,
you're how sense of the show is really just, I find it's
really on it and when it's positive and even when you
critique it a little bit I think you're just dead on, so.
Brittany Frederick: Well, thank you very much. I know the
last time you and I did one of these we talked about what it
was like for you coming back to television. Now you've been
in this role for four going on five seasons. What have you
taken away or how would you say you've grown over the
process of playing this character?
Gabriel Macht: Well, I think it's - I think I've grown a lot
with it and I think, you know, it's sort of, it's been an
incredible blessing in disguise. You know, it's like I never
really wanted to play a character for too long. And I was
always afraid that, you know, you could either get typed
cast or, you know, sort of get tired in one role.
And, but I think, you know, it's just like peeling an onion.
You know, it just deeper and deeper and deeper and it's been
incredibly fulfilling. You know, I like it when it gets,
when we push the box a little bit further and we keep Harvey
doing the exact same things every week.
So I've really, I have really enjoyed it. You'll have to ask
me next year where I'm at after doing it for five years. I
mean, I'm not going to lie. There are times where - I mean
above all I feel like I am just, you know, one of those guys
that says, hey I'm one of the luckiest guys on earth.
I'm on a series. It's doing well all over the world. People
are super entertained by it. People love the character. You
know, all of that kind of stuff and on the flip side, to be
honest there are days where I wake up and say okay, I've got
to go to learn that attorney jargon again.
Okay, let's do this, you know. So, it's a ride, you know,
it's a ride. Just as, you know, any job after five years is,
it can be a haul at times, you know. But for me I work with
a great cast and, you know, these guys are my friends. And I
love the crew and I'm in a really, really fortunate
And I count my blessings every day.
Brittany Frederick: Well, hey thank you so much for all the
hard work and good luck with season five.
Gabriel Macht: Thank you. Take care.
Operator: And our next question comes from the line of Ben
Lay. Please go ahead.
Ben Lay: Hi Gabriel. Thank you so much for doing this today.
Gabriel Macht: My pleasure.
Ben Lay: My question to you is if you had to name one
episode, which one would be your favorite and why.
Gabriel Macht: You know what, I don't have favorites. I only
have favorite people in my life and that's my wife, my
daughter and my son. But other than that I just can't, I
just don't pick any favorites. I don't have a favorite.
My daughter asked me, what's my favorite color, all the
time. And I just have a very hard time saying what it is.
You know, I think there are episodes that are stronger than
others. I think there are some that are funnier than others.
I think there are some that are just - I'm so inside of it,
it's really hard for me to tell.
I can say that, you know, I really enjoyed directing my
episode and seeing what it is to act and direct myself and
get the trust of my cast and crew. And just be, you know, as
collaborative as it was. That to me was like a really fine
time in making art. And where it meets commerce in such a
So I would have to say that the experience, the full
experience from prep to actually shooting to cutting, you
know, editing was the most fulfilling. So...
Ben Lay: Well thank you so much...
Gabriel Macht: There you go. Yes.
Ben Lay: Thank you so much for doing this. I really
Gabriel Macht: Cool. Cool.
Kristin Shrader: And (Amanda) we have time for one more
question. I'm so sorry.
Operator: Thank you. And the next question comes from the
line of Tina Charles. Please go ahead.
Tina Charles: Hey there, well you touched on this a little
bit earlier, that Billy Miller is going to be playing your
brother. What kind of relationship do they have? What are we
going to see in the finale?
Gabriel Macht: Well, his brother - what kind of relationship
do they have? What I, what I remember and this is going a
few months and only about two hours of my time, what I
remember is that Marcus has had some gambling issues.
And Harvey feels super responsible for influencing him in
sort of betting and gambling and, you know. Harvey's is
definitely Marcus' older brother and I'm sure, what I
imagine is that, you know, they started betting everything
when they were kids and it just sort of like got out of
And it became a problem. I think a problem that Harvey was
able to work out and deal with but for Marcus I think it
became a really big problem. And what you'll see is Harvey
makes some sacrifices for, some moral sacrifices and gets
involved with Forstman.
And it creates problems for his brother and the two of them.
And that guilt sort of has lasted for many years. And so
we're dealing with some of that and how Harvey is protective
over his brother and then, you know, really sensitive to
what his brother's needs are. And how that manifests.
Billy was just great. You know, he was like really, you
know, he was a good match for me. And he's got, you know, I
would just say like he's got a little bit of a, you know,
he's got a little bit of that tough guy that we've created
with Harvey, you know.
And so I think there's going to be some good stuff for us to
play together in the coming years. So, we'll see. We'll see
how it turns out.
Tina Charles: Great. Thank you.
Kristin Shrader: All right everyone. Thank you so much for
joining us today. Again the finale of Suits Season Four airs
this Wednesday at 10:00, 9:00 Central.
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