Digital Spy caught up with Macht to find out what the new season has in store for Harvey, including shifts in his relationships with his protégé Mike (Patrick J Adams) and secretary Donna (Sarah Rafferty), and a backstory-heavy flashback episode.
Suits has really struck a chord with audiences - what sets it apart from other legal dramas?
"I think [show creator] Aaron Korsh wrote a great script, and he continues to have the characters really develop. Very often you see Harvey being this perfectionist, and there's this idea that he's always winning, but underneath each of these characters there are tons of weaknesses. In each episode, the first few minutes are quite light, with witty banter back and forth, and that sets the pace and the zone where these characters like to live. But as soon as the challenges start coming up, you see these people are actually really struggling, and most of us can relate to that."
There's a shakeup at the firm this season, with the arrival of Daniel Hardman (David Costabile). How does he affect things?
"Hardman's a fellow that we'll learn is very difficult to trust. He comes off as a guy who has a past, but tries to reveal that he's a changed man, and you want to believe him, and I think everyone sort of does believe him except for Harvey. Harvey makes his own plays here and there that disrupt this change in Hardman, and Hardman resorts to his true colours, which creates a lot of challenges."
What else is coming up for Harvey in the new season?
"One of his old co-workers comes back into his life. He sort of fell for this woman and she comes back and they have a few episodes together, where she really brings out his vulnerability and confronts him, and so we get to see how that affects him. Is that a strength or a weakness for him? And the really good thing about that was the woman who played that role was my wife, Jacinda Barrett, so it was a lot of fun to work with her."
Harvey's relationship with Mike is the heart of the show - how does that develop in season two?
"It just gets deeper. There are times when Mike pulls through for Harvey, and he's on his good side, and there are times when he's still just a young kid trying to figure out his way, and makes colossal mistakes, and is basically a punk, and Harvey just has to get him straight. The problem is, Harvey sees so much of himself in Mike, and that's how he can continue to keep him on board. Plus, he knows he's got this kid that can do all his work for him!"
There was a hint at the end of season one that there might be some complexity to Harvey and Donna's relationship. Do you see a romance for those two being on the cards?
"You know, I think the two of them have a dynamic relationship. They started out together, and there could have been potentially a night where there was a miscommunication. I don't see them as a romantic coupling, but there may have been some feelings that were not responded in certain ways. More importantly, we're going to learn pretty soon that Donna makes a massive mistake, and it really puts Harvey's job in jeopardy, and as much as he doesn't want to take her out of the picture, he might have to. There's a great story arc with her, she has so much more to do this season - Sarah was completely on top of her game, and there's a lot of great stuff in episodes four through to seven. It really gets heated."
Do we find out any more about Harvey's family and backstory this season?
"Yeah, slowly but surely we're gonna peek into his past, and you're going to see what makes him who he is. There is a flashback episode, which is episode eight, so you get to see where the whole crew was five years ago. There's a lot of backstory based on Harvey's parents, and where he comes from, and we get a little bit of a peek into that background."
You're from New York, and although the show is set there, it's filmed in Toronto. How do you think that affects the tone?
"That's a really loaded question when it comes to me. I believe that shows should be shot where they take place. There's nothing like New York, and I think New York is a character in its own right. We get about three days every season to shoot in New York, which is nothing, and they take a couple of scenes and splinter it through the first four or five episodes. You get a real sense of it, but for New Yorkers who watch the show, they're like, 'Ah, that's not New York!' So something is lacking, when we're shooting in Toronto. Plus, we're losing locations - the producers tell me all the time, we're running out of exterior locations to use, because there's only so many streets that look like New York. Toronto is a great city, and they're extremely nice people and I love my crew, but I wish the show was shot in New York."
Movie references and homages are such a big part of the show, especially between you and Patrick J Adams - do those tend to be scripted, or do you improvise much?
"Most of it is scripted, but there are times where we improvise. I feel like there was a little more improvisation in season one, but there's enough in season two. Aaron has always said, 'Do whatever you guys want to do, after you get one of the real takes'. Some of the stuff we've done has been improvised, and Aaron ends up loving it more than anything. I love the improvisational element that we've thrown in here and there, and it's always nice to see when it makes it into the actual episode."
You've been renewed for a third season - do you know what's coming up next?
"Well, I can tell you this, though it's a bit of a spoiler. At the end of season two, which you guys are about to see, a lot of stuff is happening with the firm and there's a potential for mergers here and there, and I can just say that there are a few people from your neck of the woods that come on board our show. It would be really nice to see us, in season three, have to go to England to work out some kinks."
Suits season two begins on Thursday, January 24 at 9pm on Dave.