Toronto-native Patrick J. Adams scores 'breakout role' in new legal drama 'Suits'

Toronto-native Patrick J. Adams scores 'breakout role' in new legal drama 'Suits'
by: Sheri Block

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For Canadian actor Patrick J. Adams, filming his new legal drama “Suits” in his hometown of Toronto was like coming full circle.

“That’s the city I sort of discovered that I wanted to be an actor in, the city (where) I put on my first play and directed my first play, did my first terrible, embarrassing auditions (before) deciding to go to school down in the States,” Adams tells over the phone from Los Angeles. “So to have the first really big job happen there was an incredible thing for me.”

It was also a good thing for his family.

“(My mom) spent a lot of time on set, which meant a lot to her and it meant a lot to me to be able to share the success of the show with her,” he says. 

In “Suits, ” which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo!, Adams plays Mike Ross, a brilliant young lawyer who scores a job with one of New York City’s best legal closers, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht).

Before joining the law firm, Ross, who was born with a photographic memory, made a living as a conman and a hustler. He passed the bar exam without actually going to law school and, even though he managed to convince his new boss Harvey he has what it takes to do the job, he’s going to have to work extra hard to prove his worth to everyone else – and keep his lack of credentials a secret.

The series, which filmed its pilot episode in New York City and just finished filming Season 1 in Toronto, began airing earlier this summer in the U.S. to rave reviews. Adams says he is thrilled that Canadian audiences will finally get to see the show.

“It feels strange shooting up there and kind of being in a bubble and people walking by on the street and saying, ‘What are you shooting?’ and we say, ‘This show but we’re not sure you’ll ever be able to see it’ … we’re really excited at the prospect of people reacting to it the same way as people down here did.”

Even though the show’s premise is about law, Adams says the reason he thinks “Suits” has caught on with audiences is because of the relationship between the characters. In addition to Adams and Macht, the series also stars Gina Torres (as managing partner Jessica), Rick Hoffman (as the firm’s junior partner and Harvey’s arch nemesis Louis) and Meghan Markle (as paralegal Rachel).

“I think the secret to the success of our show is our chemistry together both on and off the screen,” Adams observes. “Gabriel and I specifically, it was just right from day one, we really got along so well.”

Before landing one of the co-leads on “Suits,” Adams, who attended Northern Secondary School in Toronto and earned a theatre degree from the University of Southern California, appeared in a number of high-profile TV series including “Lost,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Cold Case,” and “Pretty Little Liars.”

The part on “Suits” is being described as Adams’ “breakout role”.

“I would totally agree with that, whatever ‘breakout role’ means, just by virtue of the fact that it’s more work and I get to do it consistently,” he says. “Everything I worked on before, it was so great and taught me so much, but it was always a one-off … (this is) definitely an opportunity for me to get a little deeper and more under the skin of this guy than anybody I’ve worked on before.”

Adams says he was drawn to the role of Mike Ross because he was interested in how a young man had squandered an “amazing gift” but got a second chance to make something of his life.

“He’s finally come to that point in his life where he can’t make excuses for himself anymore,” says Adams. “He’s finally at the edge – it’s either take the risk and hope that it works out, believe in yourself and have faith in who you are… or do the opposite – do what you’ve always done, which is sort of sell yourself short and let the world have its way with you.”

“Suits" was recently renewed for a second season and Adams says it was a great feeling to get the news just before production wrapped.

“To get the pick-up in the last week of our shooting and to be able to say goodbye to everyone but know that we’re coming back to work was a blessing.”

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About SheriSheri Block has been covering entertainment for since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!


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