10 Things You Might Not Know About Suits

Shane Mahood, USA Network
Shane Mahood, USA Network

On June 23, 2011, USA Network debuted a law drama called Suits, originally named A Legal Mind. Aaron Korsh, a former sitcom writer, created a show about a college dropout named Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) who passed the bar exam but didn’t have a law degree. He stumbled into an interview with Pearson Specter Litt partner Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) who, despite knowing Ross’s secret, hired him as an associate, based on his ability to memorize law facts, and also wanting to give him a second chance at life.

Over the course of seven seasons, Suits has transformed into “a relationship show disguised as a legal drama,” focusing on the bromance between Mike and Harvey. Soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle plays Mike’s fiancée and co-worker, Rachel Zane. The long-running show has not only been one of USA’s top-rated shows but also one of cable’s highest-rated programs—so much so that the network has already renewed it for an eighth season.

On August 30, 2017, the show hit a milestone of 100 episodes. The final six episodes of season 7 start airing on March 28, with Markle and Adams leaving the show on April 25, when the network will air a two-hour season finale featuring Mike and Rachel’s wedding. (Markle’s real-life wedding, to Prince Harry, will happen on May 19, when she’ll gain the title Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales.) However, Dulé Hill and Katherine Heigl will join the cast for the eighth season, and Gina Torres (lawyer Jessica Pearson)—who departed the show during the end of season six but returned for guest appearances—will get her own spinoff sometime next year. Here are 10 things you might not know about the show.   

1. THE SHOW IS BASED ON AARON KORSH’S LIFE.

Before becoming a TV writer and showrunner, Aaron Korsh worked on Wall Street as an investment banker, which was the original profession for Suits’s characters. “I worked for a guy named Harvey, I had a good memory, and I had a dalliance with marijuana,” Korsh told Collider. He quit Wall Street, moved to L.A., and became a writers’ assistant. “I wrote a spec piece that I originally intended to be a half-hour Entourage-type [show] based on my experiences working on Wall Street, but as I wrote it, I started realizing it wants to be an hour-long show,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

As a first-time showrunner, Korsh felt inexperienced—which only helped develop the show's characters. “I think it was the first day on set, shooting the pilot, and inside I was like, ‘What am I doing here? I’m a fraud,’ which is the basis of Mike being a fraud.”

2. PATRICK ADAMS THINKS THE SHOW MAKES VIEWERS “FEEL GOOD.”

In an interview with Esquire, Adams acknowledged that Suits isn’t exactly a game-changer as far as series go, “but it’s one of those shows that people love to have in between the shows that change television. There’s the show that’s going to change the way I think about art, and life, and myself, and my family, and then there’s the show I just want to watch because I love these people, and they make me feel good.” He also referred to the show as a “guilty pleasure,” and said that not much has changed throughout the seasons.

“It’s ultimately kind of the same thing we’ve been doing for seven years,” Adams said. He also stated the show lacks violence and sometimes deep emotion, like when Mike’s grandmother died. “You touch on the depths and then yank it back. That’s its rhythm. People like to feel that they get near the pain and suffering, and then they like to feel safe that it’s all good, we can joke about it right away.”

3. GABRIEL MACHT’S REAL-LIFE FAMILY INFLUENCED HARVEY.

Gabriel Macht in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

Gabriel Macht explained to The TV Addict that he comes from a family of lawyers: His sister is a former Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx; his aunt and cousin were in family law. “I’ve just been around it my whole life, so I’ve observed bits and pieces along the way,” he said. “And I feel like when I get the scripts each week, I don’t have to Wikipedia and try to figure out what all these terms mean.  Because all I have to do is really just fake it pretty well.”

4. MEGHAN MARKLE AUDITIONED IN AN H&M DRESS.

Nowadays, Meghan Markle is known for her expensive designer fashions. But when she auditioned for the role of Rachel, she had to make a last-minute wardrobe change. As Vanity Fair reported, she showed up to the audition wearing casual clothes but realized she needed to look more like a professional lawyer. “She dashed into an H&M and bought a little black dress for $35,” the article read. “Sure enough, she was asked to change into the dress, which she hadn’t even tried on. Thank God it fit.”

5. ORIGINALLY, JESSICA WAS GOING TO BE MURDERED.

Gina Torres, who played Jessica Pearson, told The New York Times the reason she left Suits was because her contract was up and “my personal life needed to be tended to.” Her family—including then-husband Laurence Fishburne (the couple separated in late 2017, after nearly 15 years of marriage)—lived in Los Angeles, but the New York City-set show filmed in Toronto. Korsh had the idea of seeing Jessica move to Chicago with her boyfriend Jeff Malone (D.B. Woodside) and having the somewhat crazy Larry Marsden (Colin Glazer) kill her.

“I didn’t think we were going to see it; we were going to hear about it,” Korsh told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was going to shatter everyone and we were going to do a two-year time jump afterwards … I thought that would be a twist you wouldn’t see coming. You might have seen that Jessica was going to choose to leave, but not her death on top of it.” However, the network was against it. She survived, and returned for occasional cameos.

“I don’t feel like we give happy, unfettered endings in Suits that often, so it was sort of unexpected to end episodes eight, nine and now 10 with a happy ending,” Korsh said.

“I don’t think people can die on Suits,” Adams told Esquire. “It’s still, at its heart, an aspirational show, and it would be so hard to watch these people wrestle with that.”

6. MARKLE'S VITAMIX WAS LIKE ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE CAST.

Meghan Markle in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

A self-professed foodie, Markle brought her Vitamix to Toronto and would feed the cast and crew with it. Adams’s family lives in Canada, so every Canada Day, Markle and the cast would celebrate in Georgian Bay. “When we were talking about the Georgian Bay and Canada Day weekend, me and my Vitamix, we really sort of ran the show on feeding everybody for that weekend,” Markle told Esquire. “It was one of the things where I was like I cannot travel without my Vitamix. It’s like a commercial at this point. But I use it every day for pestos or shakes.”

7. PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TALK TO ADAMS ABOUT THE SHOW.

The show’s fanbase is comprised of ardent fans, especially those who have opinions about Mike and Rachel’s Romeo-and-Juliet-like relationship. “I never thought that a story about six people working in a law firm in New York City would be something that would capture people’s interest all over the globe,” Adams told Vanity Fair. “I was backpacking through New Zealand a couple of years ago and stopped to help a Swedish guy who had twisted his ankle. He looked up at me, and his eyes went wide, and all he could talk about was how badly he wanted Mike and Rachel to figure things out.”

8. SO IT MAKES SENSE THAT A KOREAN VERSION OF SUITS IS IN THE WORKS.

Beginning in April, KBS 2TV in South Korea will premiere its own version of Suits

9. KORSH WAS PREPARED FOR MARKLE’S EXIT.

Markle got engaged to Prince Harry in November 2017, but several months prior, when Korsh knew the relationship was serious, he started writing her out of the show. “I knew obviously from about a year ago that this relationship was burgeoning,” Korsh said. “I didn’t want to intrude, so I didn’t want to ask, ‘Hey, what’s going on? What are you going to do?’ As the season progressed, I said I would rather have good things happening to Meghan in her life, which would likely mean her leaving the show, so let’s plan on that.” In 2018, Markle did indeed announce she’d be leaving the show—and retiring from acting—to live in England with her prince.

10. ADAMS DIDN'T WANT MIKE TO BECOME JUST "ANOTHER LAWYER ON TELEVISION."

Patrick J. Adams in 'Suits'
Shane Mahood, USA Network

Like Markle, Adams will depart the show after the seventh season finishes. He told The Hollywood Reporter that Mike had come a long way from the beginning of the show to the point now where he’s a legal lawyer. “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,” Adams said. “That didn’t feel right for him. It didn’t feel right for where I was at in my life, either.”

11 Fascinating Facts About Mad Max

Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

What began as director George Miller's ambitious action film about a solitary cop (Mel Gibson) on a mission to take down a violent biker gang has evolved into a post-apocalyptic sensory overload of a franchise that now has four films to its credit—Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)—and additional sequels in the works. So let's obsess over Miller’s masterpieces even more with these 11 things you might not know about the franchise.

1. Director George Miller worked as a doctor to raise money for Mad Max.

Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)
Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Since the film only had a budget of $350,000, Miller scraped together extra money as an emergency room doctor to keep the movie going. “It was very low budget and we ran out of money for editing and post-production, so I spent a year editing the film by myself in our kitchen, while Byron Kennedy did the sound,” Miller told CraveOnline. “And then working as an emergency doctor on the weekends to earn money to keep going. I’d got my best friend, and friends of friends of friends of his, and Byron ditto, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, we made a film and it won’t cut together and we’re going to lose all their money.’”

Miller’s medical training is all over the film: Max Rockatansky is named after physician Carl von Rokitansky, a pathologist who created the Rokitansky procedure, a method for removing organs in an autopsy.

2. Mel Gibson went to the Mad Max audition to accompany his friend, not for the part.

Gibson was black and blue after a recent brawl with “half a rugby team” when his friend asked him to drop him off at his Mad Max audition. Because the agency was also casting “freaks,” they took pictures of Gibson, who was simply waiting around, and asked him to come back when he healed. When he did, Miller gave him the role on the spot. In a clip for Scream Factory, Gibson recalled the moment: “It was real weird. [Miller] said, ‘Can you memorize this?’ and it was like two pages of dialogue with a big speech and stuff. I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I went into the other room and just got a gist of what it was and I came out and just ad-libbed what I could remember. I guess they bought it.”

3. George Miller paid Mad Max crew members in beer.

With barely enough money to finish the original film, Miller offered to pay ambulance drivers, a tractor driver, and some of the bikers on set with “slabs” (Australian for a case of 24 cans) of beer, according to The Guardian.

4. Real-life motorcycle club the Vigilanties played Toecutter’s gang for Mad Max.

Forget the money required to train stuntmen; Miller and crew hired real bikers to professionally ride into production. In an interview with Motorcyclist Online, actor Tim Burns said about working with them: “[The Vigilanties] all wanted to ride the bikes as fast as possible, as often as possible, by their nature. Their riding was individually and collectively superb.” Additionally, stuntman Dale Bensch, a member of The Vigilanties, recalled seeing the ad for the shoot at a local bike shop, and took a moment to clarify a mishap that had happened during production. Bensch said, “There’s an urban myth that a stuntman was killed, and that was me. The scariest thing was dropping the bike on that bridge. They took the speedo and tach off because they didn’t want to damage more than they had to. They wet the surface to make it easier, but I hung onto the bike too long and it flipped me over with it; that’s why it looked bad. But it’s a famous scene, so it worked out all right!”

5. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was inspired by the oil crises of the 1970s.

During an interview with The Daily Beast, Miller discussed the making of The Road Warrior. Of its inspiration, he said, “I’d lived in a very lovely and sedate city in Melbourne, and during OPEC and the extreme oil crisis—where the only people who could get any gas were emergency workers, firemen, hospital staff, and police—it took 10 days in this really peaceful city for the first shot to be fired, so I thought, ‘What if this happened over 10 years?’”

6. Mel Gibson only had 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

Upon Fury Road’s release in 2015, social media lit up with complaints that Tom Hardy was underutilized, only there to grunt and utter a couple of one-liners. But just to remind you, in Mad Max 2, Mel Gibson only has 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

On his use of sparse dialogue, Miller told The New York Times, “Hitchcock had this wonderful saying: ‘I try to make films where they don’t have to read the subtitles in Japan.’ And that was what I tried to do in Mad Max 1, and I’m still trying to do that three decades later with Fury Road.”

7. Mel Gibson says The Road Warrior is his favorite movie in the original trilogy.

Once upon a time Mel Gibson enthusiastically spoke about Beyond Thunderdome, telling Rolling Stone, "[The films are] a sort of cinematic equivalent to rock music. It's something to do with the nihilistic sentiments of the music of the ’80s—which can't continue. I say, let's get back to romanticism. And this film [Thunderdome] is actually doing that. It's using that nihilism as a vehicle, I think, to get back to romance.”

Years later, he told Playboy what he really thought of the films, namely that The Road Warrior was his favorite. “It still holds up because it’s so basic,” Gibson said. “It’s about energy—it didn’t spare anyone: people flying under wheels, a girl gets it, a dog gets it, everybody gets it. It was the first Mad Max, but done better. The third one didn’t work at all.”

8. Beyond Thunderdome was inspired by Lord Of The Flies.

Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Warner Home Video

Even though Miller and his producers were on the fence about a third Mad Max, they couldn’t help but give in. "George was sitting and talking to me about … quantum mechanics, I think," Miller’s co-writer Terry Hayes recalled to Rolling Stone. "The theory of the oscillating universe. You could say he's got a broad range of interests. And I said something about ‘Well, if there was ever a Mad Max III ...' And he said, 'Well, if there was ...'"

In a 1985 interview with Time Out, Miller recalled the story himself. “We were talking one day and Terry Hayes started talking about mythology and how where people are short on knowledge, they tend to be very big on belief. In other words, they take a few fragments of knowledge and, if you take like the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, they just take simple empirical information and using those little bits of the jigsaw construct very elaborate mythological beliefs, which explain the whole universe,” Miller said. “Terry was saying if you had a tribe of kids after the apocalypse who had only a few fragments of knowledge, [they would construct] a mythological belief as to what was before. And what would happen if Max or someone like that [came in] ... and it kicked off the idea of kids who were Lord of the Flies-type kids, and that led to this story.”

9. Tina Turner was cast in Beyond Thunderdome because of her positive persona.

According to Rolling Stone, Tina Turner beat out Jane Fonda and Lindsay Wagner for the role of Aunty Entity. On her casting, Miller told Time Out, “One of the main reasons we cast Tina Turner is that she’s perceived as being a fairly positive persona. You don’t think of Tina Turner as someone dark. You think of the core of Tina Turner being basically a positive thing. And that’s what we wanted. We felt that she might be more tragic in that sense. But more importantly [when] we actually wrote the character, as a shorthand way of describing the character we said someone ‘like Tina Turner’—without even thinking of casting her. We wanted a woman ... we wanted someone who had a lot of power, charisma, someone who would hold a place like that together—or build it in the first place. And we wanted someone who was a survivor.”

10. Mad Max characters’ names hint at their backstories.

One of the most peculiar quirks of Miller’s franchise has to be his bizarre character names. In an interview with Fandango, Miller explained exactly how he comes up with them: “One of the things is that everything in the story has to have some sort of underlying backstory. Not just every character, but every vehicle, every weapon, every costume—and the same with the language. So [the concept] was always found objects, repurposed. Immortan Joe is a slight adjustment to the word 'immortal.' The character Nux says 'mcfeasting' instead of using the word 'feasting,’” Miller explained, adding that his favorite name of all is Fury Road’s The Dag (played by Abbey Lee). “In Australia, the dag is sort of a goofball-type.”

11. George Miller is a proud feminist.

Director George Miller, recipient of the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for “Mad Max: Fury Road," poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 6, 2016 in Los Angeles
George Miller poses with the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for Mad Max: Fury Road during the 68th annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in 2016.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Perhaps evidenced by Charlize Theron’s scene-stealing role as Imperator Furiosa, Miller is a proud, outspoken feminist. He told Vanity Fair, “I’ve gone from being very male dominant to being surrounded by magnificent women. I can’t help but be a feminist.” That female influence even stretched behind the scenes, with Miller asking his wife Margaret Sixel to edit Fury Road. “I said, ‘You have to edit this movie, because it won’t look like every other action movie,” Miller recalled. Moreover, feminist activist Eve Ensler also consulted on the film to offer, according to Ensler herself, “perspective on violence against women around the world, particularly in war zones.”

What Happens During a Jeopardy! Commercial Break?

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek chats with the show's contestants.
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek chats with the show's contestants.
Getty Images Entertainment

Jennifer Quail:

Typical Break One: First, if there are "pickups" (re-recordings where Alex misspoke or coughed or stuttered, or Johnny mispronounced someone’s name or hometown) to record, they do those. A stagehand brings water bottles for the contestants. The production team who wrangles contestants comes over and gives their pep talk, makes any corrections, like if someone is consistently buzzing early; and keeps you quiet if there are pickups. Alex gets the cards with the "fun facts" (there are about three, one highlighted, but which one he goes for is ultimately up to Alex alone) and when the crew is ready, they come back from commercial to Alex’s chat with the contestants.

Typical Break Two: If there are any pickups from the second half of the Jeopardy! round they do those, the water gets distributed, the production team reminds the contestants how Double Jeopardy! works and that there’s still lots of money out there to win, and Alex comes over to take a picture with the two challengers (the champion will have had their picture taken during their first match.) Then we come back to Double Jeopardy!.

Typical Third Break: This is the big one. There are pickups, water, etc. and they activate the section of the screen where you write your wager. One of the team members brings you a half-sheet of paper ... and you work out what you want to bet. One of your "wranglers" checks it, as does another production team member, to make sure it’s legible and when you’re sure that’s what you want, you lock it in. At that point you can’t change it. They take away the scratch paper and the part of the board where you write your answer is unlocked. Someone will tell you to write either WHO or WHAT in the upper left corner, so you do know at least whether it’s a person or thing. They make sure the "backup card" (a piece of card stock sitting on your podium) is turned to the correct who or what side, just in case your touchscreen fails. If everything’s ready, then as soon as the crew says, they come back and Final Jeopardy! starts.

There are breaks you don’t [even know about, too]. If there is a question about someone’s final answer, they will actually stop tape while the research team checks. Sometimes if something goes really off, like Alex completely misreads a category during the start of a round, they’ll stop and pick it up immediately. Those [are breaks] you’ll never notice because they’ll be completely edited out.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

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