Patrick J. Adams is getting candid about his decision to leave Suits.
The 36-year-old actor announced on Tuesday that he was exiting the USA Network legal drama after seven seasons, and in a new interview, he's revealing why he felt it was time to say goodbye to Mike Ross, the character he's played since the series debuted in 2011. Adams and his co-star, Meghan Markle, whose departure was made official in November after her engagement to Prince Harry, will make their final appearance in the two-hour season finale airing Wednesday, April 25.
Adams told The Hollywood Reporter that he knew "halfway through" filming season seven that he would be parting ways with the show, revealing that it was the contract renegotiations for season eight that gave him pause.
"When I looked at the work I was doing, Mike would become a full-fledged, certified, legal on paper lawyer. That's a long way from when we met him and he was this brilliant burnout pothead with no real prospects," he said. "I thought we'd come so far and now Mike is going to work to be a lawyer and he's engaged to the woman of his dreams and he’s got the means and opportunity to do whatever he can imagine. I had this voice in my head that said that we've told his story and if he hangs out longer, Mike is just going to be another lawyer on television. That didn’t feel right for him. It didn’t feel right for where I was at in my life, either."
Adams also addressed whether he and Markle privately discussed exiting Suits at the same time, saying that "a lot went unsaid" when it came to planning the timing of their respective departures. (Their characters, Mike and Rachel Zane, are engaged to be married on the show.)
"Meghan has this whole crazy part of her life that’s just beginning now," Adams said, alluding to her upcoming royal wedding in May. "In some ways, Meghan and I were the closest because we were the youngest people in the cast and both came in with the least experience. We grew up together over the course of the show. There was this natural sense that we both knew that the time had come for both of us. It went unspoken and we just enjoyed the hell out of the last few episodes that we got to shoot."
"We both knew that we wouldn’t be coming back. It made every one of our scenes that much more special," he continued. "We had a great time. We could laugh through it. Even the things that might have frustrated us about the show, they became things that we could have a good laugh about and compare notes on just how crazy this thing had become."
With Mike and Rachel engaged, could we expect to see a fairy tale wedding for the couple? Adams was coy, but essentially confirmed that that's the path the duo will go on.
"I think Mike and Rachel are two characters that there has never been any question that they're in love and that they're meant for each other and that they're willing to go to great lengths and sacrifice a ton in order to keep their relationship going," Adams said, teasing what's to come for Mike and Rachel in the final six hours of the season. "It just so happens that the timing of how I was feeling and what was going on in Meghan's life created an opportunity where there was no need to force some conflict or tear Mike and Rachel apart. It allowed us to go onto whatever happens next for Mike and Rachel together."
As for whether Suits will tip its hat to Markle's forthcoming nuptials to Prince Harry, don't expect the show to sprinkle in references to her real-life royal engagement. According to Adams, creator Aaron Korsh "has always actively avoided any sort of real-life commentary."
"He actively wanted to keep those two worlds totally separate," he elaborated further. "People can draw their own conclusions and comparisons. The last season of Suits has been really special in that we didn't let anything bleed into our world."
Suits returns for the final episodes of season seven on Wednesday, March 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.
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