10 “Intriguing” Facts About Netflix’s Suits

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By Iron Man

As Suits enjoys a resurgence on Netflix, these 10 captivating facts about the summer legal drama, offer viewers a deeper understanding of the show’s allure.

As summer breezes usher in anticipation and entertainment, few TV shows embody this spirit like Suits. Despite ending nearly four years ago, the series by Aaron Korsh remains iconic. Premiering on USA Network in June 2011, Suits ran for nine seasons and 134 episodes, concluding in September 2019.

Time hasn’t dimmed its allure. On Netflix, it ranks in the top 10, with a staggering 18 billion watch minutes, per The Hollywood Reporter. Consider “Stranger Things” in 2022 for perspective. Notably, Suits transcends borders; Nielsen ratings only cover U.S. TV, missing global and device-based views.

Led by Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter), Patrick J. Adams (Mike Ross), Meghan Markle (Rachel Zane), Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt), and Gina Torres (Jessica Pearson), the show centers on Mike’s unconventional rise in a top law firm due to his photographic memory. Harvey, ignoring his lack of a law degree, mentors him. Together, they navigate legal hurdles while guarding their secret. With Suits resurging on Netflix, now’s the time to uncover its behind-the-scenes magic that defines the ultimate summer series.

1. A Toronto Setting for the Big Apple Drama

The illusion of a sprawling New York City skyline in Suits is masterfully crafted, yet the truth behind the scenes is both surprising and fascinating. Although the show’s narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the Big Apple, a mere handful of scenes were shot in New York City itself. Instead, the bulk of the show’s production took place in Toronto. This Canadian city underwent a cinematic transformation, featuring strategically placed yellow taxi cabs, hot dog stands, and even USA TODAY newsstands that magically turned Toronto into New York City.

In a 2011 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gabriel Macht expressed his personal preference for shooting in the actual New York City. He remarked, “Outsourcing I understand. But it’s better for the artist to shoot where the show takes place. And I think New York City is the greatest city in the world, and hope one day to shoot a season there.” Interestingly, the pilot episode was shot in NYC before the decision was made to move production to Toronto, capitalizing on favorable tax incentives. Macht even shared a conversation with one of the producers, revealing that they were running out of streets in Toronto to convincingly replicate the New York City setting.

2. The Truth Behind the NYC Skyline

10 Intruiging Facts About Suits, the Netflix Summer Sensation

The grandeur of New York City’s skyline is a symbolic backdrop to the unfolding drama in Suits. However, an intriguing revelation awaits those who assume they’re witnessing genuine cityscapes. A TikTok video posted by Sarah Rafferty offers a candid behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creation of this iconic view. In the video, Rafferty playfully reveals that what appears to be the New York City skyline is, in reality, a meticulously crafted “shower curtain.”

As Rafferty pulls back the curtain to unveil the secret, fans are left both astounded and amused. The revelation prompts playful comments from fans, some of whom quip about the characters’ expensive suits and the potential for similar revelations. This amusing peek into the show’s production process showcases the artistry involved in bringing the fictional world to life.

3. Macht’s Real-Life Wife in the Cast

Life’s connections often find a way to intertwine with art, and Suits is no exception. Jacinda Barrett, who entered into matrimony with Gabriel Macht in 2004, became an integral part of the show during its second season. In the seventh episode of that season, titled “Sucker Punch,” Barrett’s character, Zoe Lawford, makes her entrance as Harvey turns to her for assistance in hiring a jury consultant.

A delightful twist arrives in the eighth episode, “Rewind,” as it’s revealed that Macht and Lawford’s characters share a history as former colleagues at Person Hardman. Their on-screen chemistry takes on a new dimension as their characters navigate their past interactions.

This collaboration isn’t the first instance of Macht and Barrett working together. They previously shared the screen in the 2009 crime film “Middle Men,” further adding a layer of authenticity to their on-screen rapport. Interestingly, the intertwining of real-life relationships in the show doesn’t end here. Patrick J. Adams, who portrays Mike Ross, also shared screen time with his real-life wife, Troian Bellisario, in the fourth season.

4. The Personal Connection Between Macht and Rafferty

“Harvey” and “Donna,” the characters portrayed by Gabriel Macht and Sarah Rafferty, share a profound connection on-screen as well as off-screen. Their portrayal of love interests in the show mirrors the depth of their real-life friendship, which spans more than two decades. Their bond goes beyond the confines of the camera, extending to their daughters, who are best friends. Macht and Rafferty have shared pivotal moments in each other’s lives, including attending each other’s weddings.

Macht played a pivotal role in Rafferty’s involvement in the show. In 2016, Rafferty recounted her audition experience to The Herald. Having just received news that a pilot she was part of wasn’t picked up, she shared her disappointment with Macht. He encouraged her to read the script for Suits, emphasizing the importance of seizing opportunities. Rafferty sent in an audition tape from Los Angeles, and the rest, as they say, is history.

5. Fashion Collaboration and the Impressive Boost for Lexus

The popularity of Suits reached such heights that it ventured into partnerships extending beyond the world of television. A notable collaboration occurred in 2013, when the show teamed up with Birchbox, a subscription-based lifestyle company. Diehard fans who subscribed to the special deal received a Suits-themed beauty, grooming, and lifestyle box tailored for both men and women. This partnership allowed enthusiasts to channel the signature Suits look into their personal styles.

Remarkably, the show’s affinity for stylish living extended to the realm of automobiles. From an abundance of sleek and stylish cars, Suits consistently featured Lexus vehicles to transport its high-powered legal professionals through the urban landscape. A significant boost to Lexus’s brand awareness was attributed to this partnership, with AdWeek reporting a remarkable 22 percent increase. This successful collaboration between art and industry underscores the show’s influence on diverse spheres.

6. Legal Background Runs in Macht’s Family

Gabriel Macht’s portrayal of Harvey Specter appears to be a role tailor-made for him, partly due to his familial connections to the legal field. In a revealing 2012 interview with the UK’s Metro, Macht disclosed the origins of his authenticity in the role. He explained that he had no need to undertake extensive research due to his family’s legal background. Macht’s family boasts an impressive lineage of legal professionals, including his sister, who served as a District Attorney in the Bronx, his cousin, his aunt, and even his grandfather, who served as a judge.

The extent of Macht’s connection to the legal world is further underscored by his friendship with an advisor to Jerry Brown, the Governor of California. Macht’s candid disclosure of his family’s legal legacy adds a layer of resonance to his portrayal of a charismatic attorney.

7. Suits had an Alternative Title

The process of shaping a show extends even to its title, and Suits is no exception. Originally conceived as “A Legal Mind” during its development phase at the USA Network, the title was a logical choice considering the nature of Patrick J. Adams’ character, Mike Ross. Mike’s character is characterized by his exceptional cognitive abilities, exemplified by his photographic memory and his mastery of legal knowledge.

Curiously, the show underwent a transformation, resulting in the iconic title Suits. The decision behind this shift remains shrouded in mystery. However, the change aligns seamlessly with the show’s essence, with characters like Harvey and Mike donning impeccable, high-end suits. This visual representation of power and professionalism encapsulates the essence of the show, making the title change a fitting evolution.

8. Torres’ Role was Initially Designed for a Male Character

“Jessica Pearson,” portrayed by Gina Torres, occupies a position of power and influence as the managing partner at Pearson Hardman. Yet, the role was originally conceptualized with a different intention. Torres disclosed in a 2014 interview with the UK’s Metro that the character was initially envisioned as a man. Her portrayal of a strong, determined leader within a male-dominated world offers a refreshing perspective on gender norms.

In a world where gender and cultural backgrounds often influence perceptions, Suits breaks free from these confines. The show allows Jessica’s drive and ambition to shine independently of her gender or cultural identity. Her multifaceted character embodies emotional depth, contributing to the authenticity and relatability of the storyline’s emotional core.

9. The Creator’s Personal Life Inspired the Series

The creative process behind Suits finds its roots in Aaron Korsh’s personal journey. In a candid conversation with Collider in 2016, Korsh revealed the show’s origins in a different sphere altogether. The original premise was rooted in the realm of Wall Street, a domain Korsh was intimately familiar with due to his background as an investment banker.

The story emerged from Korsh’s experiences on Wall Street, where he worked as an investment banker. Drawing from his interactions with his supervisor, who shared the name “Harvey,” Korsh crafted a character that would later serve as the blueprint for the show’s iconic Harvey Specter. Elements of his own life, including a dalliance with marijuana, contributed to the show’s initial concept. However, Korsh’s journey led him to Los Angeles, where he embraced a career in writing. This uncharted trajectory eventually gave rise to the gripping narrative of Suits.

10. Hoffman’s Real-Life Cat Allergy

Actors often commit themselves to their roles, embodying their characters to the fullest extent. For Rick Hoffman, who portrays Louis Litt, this commitment took an amusing yet challenging twist. Louis Litt’s endearing affection for his feline companion, Bruno, becomes a comical plot point. Louis assigns an associate (who happens to be allergic to cats) the task of looking after Bruno. However, the real-life actor’s experience with cats is quite different.

In a 2017 interview, Hoffman revealed that he is “deathly” allergic to cats. The severity of his allergy required the presence of EpiPens and inhalers on set whenever scenes involving Bruno were filmed. This amusing discrepancy between Louis Litt’s adoration for cats and Hoffman’s allergic reaction adds an ironic layer to the character’s narrative.

Catch Suits Seasons 1-8 on Netflix, and Tune into Season 9 on Peacock.