Gina Torres: Jessica Sees Mike As A Ticking Bomb

By JARETT WIESELMAN

September 03, 2013

Gina Torres made a name for herself playing women who kicked ass and took names, so it's no surprise USA thought of her to play a woman who kicked ass and took names in the courtroom. But, save for a tongue lashing (or two ... dozen), we've never really seen Jessica Pearson unleash her full fury. And whether that's because she didn't have to or chose not to is somewhat irrelevant because there is not a single person within the world of Suits -- or a fan -- who doubts Jessica's ass-kicking abilities, proving why Gina's inherent toughness was spectacularly well-suited for the role.

But for those of you longing to see Jessica assert her authority in a more overt way, I have good news for you! ETonline recently caught up with Gina Torres to talk about this shockingly good third season of Suits, what you can expect from the upcoming finale and when Jessica's penchant for power plays will come into focus.

ETonline: What have you enjoyed about Jessica's season three journey so far?
Gina Torres: I think what's wonderful about this season in particular is that season one and season two had to lay a lot of ground work about who these people are, and season two in particular had to reveal certain things about the characters through their choices that left the audience wanting to like these characters but not sure if they should. I mean, let's be honest, they don't represent the best of humanity at any given point. So what's interesting about season three is we are even more entrenched in the land of the shark and I don't know how they manage this, but the stakes keep getting higher, the relationships are in peril by their own making, everyone has an agenda and a goal in mind for themselves and there's nothing touchy-feely about it.

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ETonline: Jessica has always been driven by the need to keep her firm afloat. Do you still see that as her singular goal?
Torres: Yes, what she wants has remained the same. The firm is everything she has. The firm is her baby. The firm is her family. There has really been no deeper cut. And I believe keeping her firm intact, and keeping her family intact, is still very much her goal. She's all about eradicating the cancer that jeopardizes all of that. But I also think what's very human about it is there's no walking off into the sunset hand-in-hand. These are complicated relationships between complicated people. Yes, there's an aspect for that she has to bury the hatchet for the sake of her life's work, but I think she’s going to bury it in a couple of different people [laughs].

ETonline: I want to touch on Harvey and Jessica's rooftop scenes -- which always make me tense up.
Torres: [laughs] Yes! Yes! I feel that way when I'm reading the scripts too. "'Exterior: Rooftop' …. Noooooo! Arrrgh!" There are only two people who get access to the rooftop, so you know what's coming.

ETonline: There have been a lot of rooftop admissions from those two this season. But did Harvey telling Jessica his Darby duplicity change her opinion of him or simply confirm what she'd always suspected?
Torres: I think it was an absolute example of why she never ran to make him full-name partner on the door in the first place. He's like this L'enfant terrible: "You're not going to give me what I want? Then here, take THAT!" He's challenged with seeing the big picture, and I remember getting ready to shoot one of those infamous rooftop scenes with Gabriel [Macht, who plays Harvey], and we really hashed it out, actor-to-actor, because you so closely identify with your character after a while. He's defending Harvey, I'm defending Jessica and I just had to say "Hold on, hold on ... do you not get that every move that Jessica has made since the beginning of season two has been to cover your ass?" [laughs] I mean, she's trying to save this company and whenever I talk to Aaron [Korsh, creator], my thing is, let's not pretend that it's all OK. There have been distractions along the way, but there's a problem. There's a ticking bomb in her firm that [Harvey] brought in and as much as she loves [Mike], and as much as she wants to make this work, it's ticking, and no one knows what is going to set it off. So part of Harvey's maturity is taking responsibility for that, and up until now, he's refused to take ownership of the dominoes that he set in motion [by bringing Mike into the firm].

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ETonline: We're headed towards the mid-season finale -- what are you excited for fans to experience?
Torres: We've got a cliffhanger coming up -- a major one. I'm excited for the fans because I know how much fun I had shooting these episodes, and wondering "How are we going to get out of this one?" If I'm feeling that way, I'm excited for them to feel that way too. And then in the final six, we'll start to see a little bit more of why Jessica's in that corner office. There's been a lot of talk about her being this legendary chessplayer, and I certainly think it's evident in the way she runs her office, but pretty soon we're going to see it more in action.

Suits airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.



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