by Keith Davis, USANetwork.com
It's been a long ride for the stars of Suits since the show first premiered on USA Network over eight years ago. We had a chance to sit down with one of Suits' original cast members, Sarah Rafferty, to get her thoughts on Darvey, Donna's growth through the years, and what we can expect in the final season of Suits.
USANetwork.com: How does it feel to be a part of Suits from the beginning, and finally seeing the show come to an end?
Sarah Rafferty: It feels very full emotionally. Full of lots of incredible memories and a lot of gratitude and acknowledgement of how life can surprise you and amaze you with more than you ever dreamed of.
USA: When did you know the show had a chance to be a hit?
SR: I was old enough to have done my fair share of pilots that didn't get picked up. So I'm always astounded by it. For me, it's always Groundhog Day when something strikes me, a moment happens that tells you that the show is a hit. Rick (Hoffman) and I traveled to Australia and that was just such an epic experience to be doing press there and to hear how it had been received there. Or the times we went on the college tour. Every time it's like I'm Dory, the fish in Finding Nemo, learning it new each time. Like what? It's a hit? People like it?
USA: What's it been like to see Donna's growth from that first season to what her status is now with the firm?
SR: It's been really amazing. I think the way that they developed her status early on when she was still a secretary was really amazing. Very early on in season two, Harvey said to her, "I can't be me without you," after she had been fired and he needed her to come back. Then we visited in flashbacks, a lot of the 'why' -- what had happened in the past that linked them together. She was always somebody who was never afraid to speak truth to power. So that partnership was always in place in a really dynamic way.
I think it was very important at the end of season six when Donna said, "I want more," and Harvey asked, "what do you mean more?" I had had a conversation with Aaron (Korsh) expressing that I felt that we needed to do something with Donna. We needed to empower her, take her to the next level. It was the right time. And so Donna leaned into her career. She has that vote and is COO. She wanted to be partner, and she didn't get that. But I actually think that that was a move on her part, and what she really wanted was this.
USA: We had the bombshell of all bombshells at the end of season eight with Harvey and Donna getting together. Talk about the moment you realized that actually was going to happen in season eight and where does it go from here?
SR: I think we were surprised that it was happening in season eight because it wasn't originally in that last script. Aaron told us that he was going to do it and he seemed pretty surprised by it too and excited by it. So, it was a big deal, but it seems like the right time.
I think what was most important to me when we filmed that scene where they do get together is that there was an emotional component, especially for Donna in that she saw something different in Harvey when he came to the door, that he was a changed man who was ready to face the depth of his emotions and be present and a partner to her moving forward.
USA: So are we moving with the assumption that they're going to be a couple?
SR: We're moving with the assumption that they're going to be a couple. I don't think Donna would have let him in her house at that moment, if she didn't know from what he communicated silently with his eyes and his body language and his soul that he was not there for it.
USA: What's it like having Patrick J. Adams back for the final season?
SR: It's amazing. It's totally right. Every time I come through a doorway and he's crossing paths with me, I'm like, 'Oh yay!' I don't miss my opportunity to give him a hug.
USA: Do you have any favorite moments from the show, or any favorite scenes or episodes?
SR: Mine is any flashback. Especially when we got to go back in time to the time that Donna and Harvey first met. Like the bar and the beginning of their relationship together. I loved every time the guys got stoned. I love when Jessica got stoned. Anybody getting stoned is really fun. I really loved a lot of the fun comedic moments like the early Louis/Donna relationship when she messed with him and he started crying and ran away. That kind of stuff.
USA: Any funny incident that might've happened while the cameras weren't rolling?
SR: We have a lot of silly stuff happen in the trailer. We can get pretty silly in there. That's like when you have a party and everybody's in the kitchen. It's that, that's what the makeup trailer is.
Every time I turn a corner a memory flashes back. I totally remember shooting this really fun scene right here with Patrick about a honey bear where (Donna)'s going to plan their wedding. I walk the halls and I remember my kids, Gabriel (Macht)'s kids and Gina (Torres)'s daughter running the halls together, marching in their costumes on Halloween down the halls, to our Halloween parade. I don't have an epic funny moment, I'm kind of just more sappy.
USA: What do you want to say to all the longtime fans of Suits that have been with you guys for this ride and this is it for them, the last season of Suits?
SR: I want to say to them, thank you. I want to say that we got to do what we love because of them, because they were so gracious in saying yes to these characters in the stories in this world that we created. That their kindness online or on the street or wherever I've met them has not gone unnoticed. And that it's just been such a blessing. (*author's note: a tear or two may have been shed during this question and answer...)
So many emotions! Are you ready for the ninth and final season of Suits? Watch this Wednesday, July 17 at 9/8c on USA Network!
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