Blast Magazine had the chance to participate in a Q&A session with “Suits” creator and showrunner Aaron Korsh. During the interview, Korsh revealed a treasure-trove of details about the origins of the show, the characters and their relationships with one another, pop culture references, and much more. Read on for the all the fascinating details!
Can you talk about how originally you got the idea for the show and how it got started?
Sure. It was around the time of the writers’ strike. It was just ending, I think it was like 2007. And I’d been… struggling. I’d been a writer’s assistant, I’d been staffed a few times in the comedy world, but I was struggling. It was hard to make it.
My agent suggested to me that I write a show about my time [working] on Wall Street as an investment banker for about five years. He said I was always telling him stories about those times, [so] why don’t I write something about that? Basically just to write a spec pilot to try to get a job. I originally thought it was going to be a half hour, very fun type of thing, almost like Entourage on Wall Street.
When I sat down to write it, it kind of just came out the way it was as an hour long show with more dramatic bent to it than comedic. I don’t know if it’s widely known or not but my first boss’s name was Harvey. I was 21, he was about 26, but he seemed so much older than me. So that’s where the impetus for the show came from.
Can you talk about some of the changes this season, especially now that Hardman’s back?
Sure. I will say that, you know, last season we ended obviously on the cliffhanger with Trevor and the challenge that we basically had was we didn’t want to run away from it and have, at the last second, Trevor… not say what Mike did. Basically [we didn’t want to] cheat the audience in some way.
So we wanted to kind of embrace that challenge. And we thought the way to do that would be to bring in Hardman because all of us wondered like, who is this Hardman? We the writers wondered it. I originally put him in the pilot but the character kind of changed a little bit.
I know the fans wondered who he was and it just seemed like a perfect fit to bring him in and let him be the foil that kind of solved the problem of how to keep Mike in the firm and still have Jessica find out about his secrets. So that was kind of the impetus of bringing Hardman along.
And the other thing is I just felt like a lot of shows that I’m a big fan of often… bring in an outside character as a foil and they kind of do a Civil War type thing, and it just appealed to me so that’s what we did.
And bringing Hardman in allows the different characters to shift their dynamics and test their loyalties to each other and themselves.
You mentioned Hardman being in the pilot. The uncut pilot featured Victor Garber as Daniel Hardman, right?
It was. It was.
So how did that not work out? I’m a major fan of Alias so of course I’m a major fan of Victor Garber and I think that if there’s anyone who can intimidate Harvey, it’s Jack Bristow.
Absolutely. No, you’re absolutely right. Well basically we thought he did an amazing job [and] we thought he actually did work out well. But we had some time problems with the pilot. The international version was able to be much longer but the version in the USA [couldn’t be]. Basically, when you get in the edit bay you have to make some hard choices. And sometimes you can cut lines within scenes and that will get you down to time. And sometimes you just need to cut whole scenes.
You’re not going to make it just by cutting within scenes. So we made the tough decision to cut that character out because – it was kind of twofold. I mean it was all driven by time because I thought those scenes were great.
But that Hardman – that version of him – was Jessica’s mentor and they were friends. So we cut it out for time but then we thought it adds a lot more to the show if Hardman is a bad guy.
By the time that we decided to bring him back, Victor Garber… it just wasn’t going to work out to bring him back in the newly constructed character. We just didn’t think he would be interested in that so we moved on from it.
The new actor [David Costabile] is terrific by the way. He’s a great actor.
What I got to know him on was “Damages,” season one I think mainly but also two. And he was such a powerful role. Not a large role, but he had this quiet power that I never forgot. And when we were looking at Hardmans, we were looking at a ton of different people.
Originally we were going to make Hardman almost like he had been a young Harvey – in looks and demeanor. And we couldn’t really find the right person for that. And one of the writers re-pitched me David Costable. And I had never forgotten him from his small role in Damages. He came in and he was so good, we just thought this is the way to go.