Television Critics Association/Talking Character at USA Network's "Characters Breakfast"


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.:  Yesterday, USA Network hosted their “Characters Breakfast” on the pool deck of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.  The “Characters Breakfast” is an opportunity for members of Television Critics Association to connect with USA Network talent in a chummy, relaxed setting.  Two seats for talent are reserved at each table, many holding no more than four place settings.  The talent moves from table to table about every 10-20 minutes.

Like speed dating, only for television critics!

Cast members from USA Net’s Suits and Necessary Roughness made the rounds.  I had a chance to talk character with Suits’ Rick Hoffman and Meghan Markle, and Necessary Roughness’ Mehcad Brooks and Marc Blucas

Mehcad Brooks, who plays star wide receiver Terrence King, explained that his own father is the impulse behind his character.  “My dad played pro football and he was a wide receiver,” Brooks said.  “He was also an a**hole so I based a lot of [the character] on him. He was a clinical narcissist.”

Marc Blucas, on the other hand, has a great deal in common with his character,  Matthew Donnally - a former college hoops player turned trainer.  “I have a sports background,” said Blucas.  “I went to college on a basketball scholarship, and got to play professionally…I can elevate the character….because it’s a world I know so well… and I have a bunch of guys on speed dial that are in the NBA.”

See a cute pic of Marc and Mehcad here on my twitpic page.

When asked what he loves about his avaricious character, Suits’ Louis Litt, Rick Hoffman responded unequivocally: “That he’s broken.”

“In the last eleven years,” Hoffman added.  “I’ve been fortunate enough to work a decent amount, and I’ve tended to be cast in roles that are snarky - different levels of douche, I guess.  There are things [Louis] does that - when I’m really trying to do it - it bothers the sh*t out of me.  Because he gets in his own way so much.  It’s tragic.  It’s tragic….he’s smart but just troubled. And it’s fun! It’s fun to play, it’s challenging to play.

It really comes from ultimately…feeling other people’s energies and being affected when someone does something really fu*ked up to someone [else] and how unfair that is.  And those people, they think that they’re good [people]!  And that’s what always amazes me.  Where does that come from?  And that’s where some of the humor comes from,  because my character, he just thinks he’s dandy.”

Meghan Markle said her Suits’ character, Rachel Zane, doesn’t test well.  “They’ve already aired an episode where she’s thinking of cheating on the LSATs,” said Markle.  “But what’s so great about Rachel is that - given she’s the paralegal -  she knows her work and she knows how smart she is.  She doesn’t just wiggle around in a pencil skirt.  She realizes her power.  The writers write such strong female characters.  I do love that Rachel is not just the pretty face, that she’s a valuable asset to the firm.”

But will she eventually take her LSATs  and become a lawyer?

“If we have several seasons I’d love to see her become a lawyer, if not a partner [in the firm],” responded Markle.

I learned a few other tidbits: an avid foodie, Markle tweets frequently about her obsession. “My best bite of the day, that sort of thing,” she said.  Follow her @meghanmarkle

“Meghan’s a phenomenal cook,” Hoffman said. “And she has great taste in restaurants.”

The producers incorporated Markle’s love of food into her character Rachel.

Markle was wearing an engagement ring and she revealed she’s set to marry her longtime sweetheart next month.  “He’s the best man in the world,” she said.  “A good egg.”

“They’ve been together six years,” said Hoffman.  “He’s completely in love with her.  She’s crazy about him.  I’m f*cking jealous!”

At which point a chorus of “awwwwwww!”s went up from the table.

“I want to meet someone like that.  I want to have that relationship.  It’s one of the rare ones,” said Hoffman.

“Maybe you’ll meet someone at the wedding,” suggested one of the sympathetic reporters at the table.

“Nah,” laughed Hoffman.

Oh, I picked up this little tidbit as well:  Suits ends on a massive cliff hanger (naturally!) related to Mike Ross’ (Patrick Adams) secret…

No announcement has been made regarding Suits renewal but Hoffman believes chances are good they’ll be picked up for another season. “We’ve been given unofficial hints that that’s happening,” he disclosed.