When Suits returns for season seven tonight, the Harvey Specter taking the reins at Specter Litt would probably be unrecognizable to the Harvey Specter we first met way back when the series premiered in 2011.
And the actor who’s filled out Harvey’s well-tailored suits for the past six seasons is well aware of it.
“The character’s changed a lot. I was thinking about it,” Gabriel Macht told E! News at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas. “He’s very aggressive and type-A and very full of himself, but I think through the years, he’s sort of tamed some of that down and become a lot more serious. He’s become a little bit more vulnerable in the years and I think that’s helped make this character three dimensional. He’s always had a heart of gold, but you actually see it now.”
With Harvey now running the show at the firm, Macht admitted that the leadership position will present an interesting new set of challenges for the usually unflappable lawyer. “You know, Jessica’s taken off and she’s exploring new opportunities, so what’s interesting is Harvey is sort of manning the ship and trying to figure out how to do all of that and the responsibility it takes to guide everybody in the right place—and himself,” the actor said. “There’s different dynamics at the firm. It’s just different. With his relationship with Donna, she’s asked for more and whether or not he fulfills that is in question. So that creates a lot of good stuff.”
While Harvey will have to land on exactly what he can give Donna, Sarah Rafferty told E! News that the world’s greatest legal secretary won’t exactly be waiting around for an answer.
“I think Donna’s always busy. Her dance card is full,” she said. “I think it was interesting that when we left off at the end of season six, she was turning that attention that she’s put into everybody else’s emotional and professional lives, she’s going to turn some attention onto hers and try to figure out what she wants to do. So when we come back, she’s digging into that.”
The show, which just wrapped production on its landmark 100th episode, also stars Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle and Rick Hoffman. In the season premiere, Adams’ Mike will finally return to the firm as a fully-fledged lawyer while Louis (Hoffman) manages the new class of associates and Donna and Rachel (Markle) find their places in the new world order following Jessica’s (Gina Torres) departure. Dule Hill joins the series in a season-long arc as Alex Williams, a longtime friend of Harvey’s who is currently a senior partner at rival law firm Bratton Gould.
For more from Macht, Rafferty and Torres, including an update on the Jessica Pearson spin-off in development, check out the video above!
Suits returns on Wednesday, July 12 at 9 p.m. on USA.
(E! and USA are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)