Suits Star Gina Torres Talks Formidable Foils & Getting The Band Back Together

The potential fallout from the Suits summer finale easily made it the biggest cliffhanger in the series’ history.

Pearson Specter has gone through as many ordeals as name changes and while it’s managed to come out on top (in one form or another), Louis Litt’s last maneuver might have left Jessica and Harvey without a proper counter.

Litt’s ultimatum — make him partner or he exposes Mike and the firm — made “This Is Rome” a fitting title for the mid-season finale. The very same could be said for Suits winter premiere, “Enough is Enough.”

Louis has come to Jessica Pearson bearing levels of wrath that could rival Khan’s. And Jessica, best known for her unshakable grace, is now faced with a worst case scenario. With the fate of her firm and her people at stake, how far will Jessica, Harvey and the others go to protect it all? Will she put an end to Litt’s demands or cave to the threats?

ScreenSpy sat down with Gina Torres, the talented actress behind Pearson Specter’s reigning queen Jessica Pearson, to talk what her character and the firm are facing in the episodes ahead.

ScreenSpy: Jessica has faced quite a few challenges at Pearson Specter and for the most part she’s managed to stand strong and deal smart. Will we see the same tactical and unweilding Jessica as before in these upcoming episodes or could the nature of what Louis is holding over her head reveal a chink in her armor?

Gina Torres: Well, look. If it ain’t broke… [laughing] Jessica is still Jessica, so she’s certainly going to try to Jessica her way out of these situations.

She’s dealing with a formidable foil. They are fighting with Louis and he’s very formidable, not because he’s such a good chess player. Because he’s so frickin’ emotional. He feels things so deeply. Jessica is very cool headed about it, but when you have twenty years of whatever it is that Louis is going through — like the last ten years of wanting to be in the in-crowd, wanting to be equals with Harvey, wanting to be Jessica’s pet, wanting to be Harvey’s best friend — and then he’s confronted with this betrayal, how he deals with that is really, really explosive. It’s not pretty.

So how do you deal with that, how do you work around that? The good news is that it’s not the first time that Jessica’s dealing with this particular aspect of Louis’ personality. I think we’re gonna be ok, but I’m not sure. Sometimes you can’t go back.

SS: By the nature of the show, every decision the firm makes affects character relationships. How will this decision regarding Louis affect Jessica’s relationships? Can we expect it to move her closer to or farther from anyone going forward?

GT: Yes… [Laughing] Yes. See, here’s the thing about Jessica from my experience with her and the way things have gone thus far. She puts the firm first. Sometimes to her detriment. It’s what is equally infuriating and equally noble, depending on where you’re standing at the time. She has a job to do, she has people to support, she has a firm to keep afloat.

Some people will look at it as being incredibly selfish and calculating. Some people might choose to look at it — like myself — as she ends up sacrificing a lot. It isn’t often that we really explore the nature and the blow back, and the consequences, of the choices she makes. Very often the choices that she makes means that she has to drop something so that she can continue moving forward. We are gonna see some of that.

SS: Mike’s secret is a foundation plot point for the show so it feels safe to assume the Louis issue won’t be cleared up in one episode. How long should viewers expect that to play out, specifically when it comes to Jessica’s storyline? Will she be all about Litt for this next set of episodes?

GT: It’s really all about recuperating. Re-shuffling, recuperating and finding our footing again as a cohesive law firm. Where do we all zig and zag together. You know, putting the band back together [laughing]. And it’s complicated. There are a lot of relationships. Every relationship on this show is going to go through a major shift and it’s really one of the reasons why I love the show. It’s not case of the week. We have a case of the season, and that’s all there and played so we can continue to pretend that we’re a law show [laughing]. But it’s really about — as I’ve said before, the heart of this show lies within the writers’ ability to see relationships in all of their glory and all of their ugly.

When you care about somebody you have to care about all of them. The thing about [the characters] is that we often choose to love each other despite how magnificently flawed we are. That’s saying something, especially in this era where everything is disposable. It’s not just about plastic bottles, but also how we treat the people in our lives. We just don’t want to work that hard or to take on somebody else’s stuff. What I love about this show is that we are forced to take responsibility for our actions and look at other people’s stuff.

 

The full interview first appeared on Jan. 29, 2015 at ScreenSpy.com.

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