Jessica Pearson may have moved onto Chicago, but powerful women still rule at Zane Specter Litt -- or whatever we’re going to call it from now on!
From Donna Paulsen saving the day (again…) as ZSL’s uber-competent COO to Samantha Wheeler kicking ass (figuratively and literally), the female force is strong this year and we’re especially proud of Katrina Bennett, who stepped up big-time in Season 8 to earn that promotion to Senior Partner we all knew she deserved.
We spoke with actor Amanda Schull (Katrina) about the first half of Season 8 -- including the strength of its female characters, a possible weakness for Brian, and what’s in store when Suits returns next year.
She’s always admired Suits’ badass women -- including Katrina -- from the get-go
“I was a fan for the first two seasons -- I got on at the end of the second season -- and even back then, one of my favorite aspects of the show [was that] the writers were writing strong female characters,” Bennett told USA. “And they weren't always necessarily in positions of power, but they always knew their power, and that was something that really struck me. They knew it, and they owned it, and they didn't apologize for it.”
As for Katrina, Schull sees her character as a strong woman, now and then. “When I came on at the end of season two,” Bennett recalled, “my character had a certain amount of power and it's been really interesting to see her understand that and harness it and appreciate it. It is something that's been a developing thing for Katrina.”
Of course, Katrina is not without her blind spots. Namely, when it comes to social skills, she’s had to grow quite a bit this year. “It's also been interesting this past season to see her cope and come to terms with her humanity,” Schull said, admitting that Katrina still has some development to do in the E.Q. department since that “is also a very important aspect of being a lawyer -- understanding clients and understanding people, and not just working the law, but also appreciating and understanding the client.” Fortunately, Louis isn’t her only mentor in this department. Thank God for Donna!
Speaking of Katrina’s interpersonal skills...what about Brian?
“Kabrina?” ”Britrina?” Okay, neither of these have the same ring as “Darvey,” but that hasn’t stopped Suitors from expressing interest in the chemistry between Katrina and her trusty associate Brian Altman (Jake Epstein). This season, things got a little awkward when Brian -- married and newly a dad -- pulled some late nights with his supervisor. According to Schull, it’s been difficult water for her character to navigate -- even if the right thing to do is quite obvious to the woman who plays her (“Run, girl!” was Schull’s exact advice).
Of course, if Katrina took Schull’s advice, we wouldn’t have much drama, would we? Fortunately, Katrina and Brian have provided us with plenty of tension this year!
“I think Katrina is still trying to figure out and navigate human emotion,” Schull explained. “She's what people would call "book smart" and not necessarily intuitive and emotionally as intelligent as she is literally intelligent. I think that her relationship with Brian started out obviously very torn, but he really made a concerted effort to get to know her better… she reciprocated, and that's when she, I think, became really caught by surprise by things; she's tried very hard to put them to rest.”
According to Schull, Katrina knows that her relationship with Brian is borderline-improper. “She's very aware of that," Schull said. "So I think that that's what's really conflicting her and confusing her.”
Suits is already shooting the next half of the season, so what’s coming?
For fans who are loving the Katrina-Donna sisterhood, we can except a really fun interplay with those two in upcoming episodes. “We're not lacking for some very lovely and enjoyable Donna and Katrina moments this season,” teased the actress, who just filmed a scene with Sarah Rafferty this week.
As for what else we can expect in the rest of Season 8, Schull did her best to give us some info without being too spoilery, having already shot some of 811 and 812.
“I can only speculate what they have up their sleeves over there in the writers room, but I can say that there is some unfinished business, for sure, that's left dangling,” Schull shared. “There are quite a few things tidied up neatly in the midseason finale, but there are some loose ends that will come back to haunt people -- and some decisions that were made about orders to follow that might not necessarily have made everyone happy.”
Caught up on Suits? Season 8 is streaming on USANetwork.com and the USA App!