EXCLUSIVE: Carly Pope Dishes on 'Refreshing' 'Suits' Debut and Diving Into the Mysterious World of 'Arrow'
By Philiana Ng
Carly Pope is ready for her debut on Suits.
The 35-year-old Canadian actress plays Tara Messer, a successful architect who impresses Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) with her design abilities and fine arts interests, so much so that he makes an impulsive proposal to keep her around. Their connection is immediate and palpable, and Tara’s refreshing presence brings to light an entirely new side to the usually hard-nosed Pearson Specter Litt attorney.
Ahead of Pope’s debut on Wednesday’s episode, she chatted with ET about diving into the Suits world and starting a brand new journey on Arrow.
ET: Suits is in its sixth season, but it also feels like it’s turning over a new leaf and your character, Tara, happens to be coming in just as they’re recalibrating where everyone stands.
Carly Pope: I think that that is totally on point. There's this certain amount of growth symptomatically that's happening in the show this season and if I can tie Tara into that, I do think that you start seeing certain growth out of Louis. You sort of see these differences -- whether it’s maturity, whether it’s evolution, whether it’s just change. There are all these things symptomatically that are happening within the confines of the Suits walls and I think Tara does fit into that theme.
You mentioned Louis. I was immediately drawn to Tara because it seems like she brings out a different quality to Louis that we haven’t seen a lot of yet.
Going into it that was my goal. I just want her to be as grounded and as real as possible, who potentially presents a side of Louis to play with that we haven't seen. What intrigued me about their dynamic right off the bat is that they are seemingly different people. We don't know that much about her but we know lots about Louis and you see them step into this shorthand with one another. They have shared interests and if I've done by job correctly at all, these are two people who are connecting and interacting on a very basic and consistent level with one another.
That he immediately took a liking to her because she’s also an opera and ballet lover shows just how immediate that connection was, at least on his end.
The writers are so astute and adept at highlighting [certain interests], which is just fun because those are all the little Easter eggs for the audience. The audience gets to see that and think, “Oh, we know what's going to happen if she mentions the ballet or the opera.”
Louis is very clearly in like with Tara. Is the feeling mutual?
She goes into this incredibly professional -- it’s her job to facilitate the client and they happen to have a shared vision and view on things which I think only enhances the dynamics between them because it’s just like “OK, we got this.” She’s getting to know the client and the client is very present and very passionate and very available. On a professional level, the feeling of being appreciated and recognized and seen and heard goes a long way in life in general. We should all be so lucky in any dynamic in our life to make us feel that way and for Tara that is what’s really clear -- that she's got a client who really does value what she has to offer. That’s the nucleus, that's the core element of her feeling very seen and heard and welcomed and able to engage.
The Mike Ross storyline has been quite dark this season, was it exciting to bring some levity to the show?
It really is a gift for an actor to be able to come into a show and have that landscape to play with, especially if it offers a different tone to what else is going on. When I was trying to figure out how to craft Tara, to me the biggest thing that I wanted to try to create was a refreshing scene of newness. I'm hoping that we get to see a fully fleshed-out 3D person if I can last by the end of this, we'll see! (Laughs.)
You’re also going to be playing a Coast City reporter on Arrow. What can you say about your character, Susan Williams?
Your guess is as good as mine with twhat they’ve got planned for Susan Williams. I have no idea -- I barely receive the first script! Everything is on lock right now, so it’s exciting. Unless I can somehow find a way to, like, smuggle myself into the writers’ room, I don't think I'll have any answers, sadly, for the both of us.
When they approached you with the role, did they give you a broad strokes idea on what they were looking for with the character and what they were hoping she infuses into the show that was perhaps missing?
No. To be honest, the character that I auditioned for was not the character that I [ended up with] -- it was a different name. I knew she was a reporter and that was about it. So, this is all new and it’s all a surprise and all very intriguing and exciting and really terrifying. It'll be fun and it's going to be a good time.
Suits, renewed Wednesday for a seventh season, airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network.