Before we met Patrick J Adams, we hope he’d be just like his character Mike Ross in hit TV show, Suits – smart, earnest and boyishly awkward.
Well, he was all that and more.
Adams played the gentleman card, and was charming to a fault when he was in Singapore last week for a promotional trip for his TV series.
He apologised profusely for coughing throughout the interview, “you guys are going to hear so much of that coughing in the recording” and admitted to being a little geeky for loving photography app, Instagram, “we both take lots of Instagram photos!”, alluding to his girlfriend, Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars fame, who was here with him.
The 31-year-old actor couldn’t stop raving about our country too, “Gardens by The Bay was beautiful! We went to that Cloud Forest in the Dome; we were both so delirious and tired from our flight, we couldn’t believe that we inside a glass dome with plants! We also went to the top of the insane building with the boat on top of it (ed: referring to Marina Bay Sands) and it was great. The people here are incredible too– nice, warm, and very welcoming.”
And for someone who has been in the industry for quite awhile now, having guest starred in hit shows like Lost, Friday Night Lights, NCIS; and having received a SAG award nomination in 2011 for his work on the first season of Suits, Adams was refreshingly candid with his answers about the show, his relationship with the cast and of course, his relationship with Bellisario.
We sat down with the guy who plays the brilliant Mike Ross in a suite in the Pan Pacific Hotel where just one of the most surprising things we found out was that he and co-star Gabriel Macht (who plays Harvey Specter) are the same height – both standing at 1.83m.
HWP: So, is this your first time in Singapore?
Patrick J Adams: Yes! The only place I’ve ever been to in this part of the world is Hong Kong. My Dad used to work there so I’ve been there a few times. I would love to see the side of Singapore that is a little bit more lowkey than the downtown area, especially neighbourhoods like Little India, Chinatown etc. But it’s beautiful, we just can’t believe how beautiful the city is, and you can’t really know until you’ve been here and seen it for yourself.
HWP: Can we talk abit about how you and Troian met?
PA: Sure. We did a play together in LA called Equivocation. She was cast for the part of my romantic interest. We met and that was it. That was a little more than three years ago.
HWP: So you’ve guest starred on Pretty Little Liars, will we ever see Troian on Suits?
PA: Well we’ve been talking about it. Aaron (Kosch), the creator of Suits, really gets along with her so we’ve joked about it. The hard part is schedules. She works so much – Pretty Little Liars shoot 25 episodes a year – so she’s got a lot of work to do, so if we could find a way to get her, I know that everybody would love it, but it might be a tough call, considering the schedules.
HWP: Do you think she would be cast as Rachel’s rival? (Rachel Zane is Ross’ love interest on the show)
PA: I don’t think we’d have time to have her play a rival to Rachel, unless it was for one quick episode. I wouldn’t be able to tell you what she’d play, but it will probably be some amazingly smart, beautiful intern that makes her way to the office and makes Mike’s life miserable for a minute - like most of the women on the show.
HWP: Speaking of your guest role on PLL, we’ve heard that you took it to win her back after a breakup?
PA: Yes, we had broken up at that point, and I decided to audition for the guest role which I normally wouldn’t have and got it.
HWP: In Suits, your chemistry with Gabriel Macht, who plays Harvey, is off the charts. Did you guys hit it off the moment you met?
PA: Thank you. We can’t stand each other. No, I’m just kidding. We hit it off right away even though we didn’t have any chemistry reads together, which was interesting. Once we got the roles, we sat down and got very specific about how we both wanna work, taking egos out of it and doing good work. And once we got a sense that we were both on the same wavelength, we ended up being inseparable for the first two months. He even lived in my mum’s house when we were in Toronto for awhile!
HWP: We’ve also recently interviewed Meghan Markle (Markle plays Rachel Zane on the show), who described you as a sweetheart. What’s your relationship like with her?
PA: She is the best. I would describe her the same way – a sweetheart. We have a great working relationship because we’re the two youngest people on the show. We spend a lot of time supporting each other, helping each other audition for other stuff. She’s been a really dear friend. We shot a pilot together years ago and known each other for a long time, so I feel like our paths have crossed so many times and now we’re finally enjoying this success together and we’ve a really good friend that we can share that with.
HWP: Where do you see your romantic relationship going with Rachel on the show, or where do you want it to go?
PA: It’s a tough call. It’s such a fun relationship and I never want for us to lose that. I really like where it’s at, it’s this “do you or don’t you” situation but I don’t think it’s for long and towards the end of the season, some decisions are going to have to be made, otherwise, they will both go crazy. There’s only so long that a man and a woman can hang out and not have a decision made.
HWP: Mike Ross is growing and maturing in the show. Will he ever be perceived as a threat by Harvey or Jessica?
PA: I think moving forward, he’s beginning to realise he holds a very powerful card, and that if he reveals what they’ve done in hiring him, they could be in a lot of trouble. He’s going to start to learn how to use it to his own advantage, but at the same time, at his core, he’s a good guy, so that’s going to be a struggle for him.
HWP: There’s a whole tonne of legal terms to memorise as you have a photographic memory in the show. So do you have any cheats - writing it at the back of your hand, sticking post-it notes around?
PA: I don’t. I’m lucky enough to have enough brain cells left in my head to remember this stuff. I just spend a lot of time reading it out loud and I really love working on the material.
We kinda have a competition (on set) to see who memorises it the fastest. Gabriel hates it, Gabriel can’t memorise stuff - he will have notecards in places and I will make fun of him for that, but when I screw up, he’ll make fun of me. There’s always a good back and forth.
HWP: You say you’ve got a pretty good memory like Ross. In what other ways are you similar to your character?
PA: I think I root for the underdog quite often, sometimes to a fault. Plus, Mike Ross tends to focus on one problem and nitpicks it and I kinda share that with him. We also both struggle a lot with what we want to do with our lives, and we struggled with confidence. As Mike’s confidence is growing on the show, mine is too at the same time. I think we share a lot of that in common.
HWP: You root for the underdog a lot … any examples?
PA: In high school, if I saw someone getting beaten up, or getting picked on, I would always step in and do my best to get the bully’s attention.
HWP: Won’t they beat you up in return?
PA:Yeah, I got beaten up a couple of times in high school ‘cause I was never one of the cool kids. But that was mostly it, when I see someone getting picked on and they don’t deserve it, I will step in. Not like I’m a hero or anything. If there was a lot of violence, I would still probably run in the other direction [laughs].
HWP: Can we talk about the suits on Suits? Do you guys wear a certain label or is it tailored?
PA: We have an amazing wardrobe designer who deals with all the suits. All of the suits are clearly tailored to fit. Gabriel is always wearing Tom Ford which I think it’s about a million dollars a suit. [Laughs]
I’m usually wearing Zegna, which fits really nicely. But this past year, we started working with someone in Toronto, who has been making suits for me specifically. As the show is evolving, we slowly start to learn which suits fit best.
HWP: How does it feel to be so fancily dressed all the time?
PA: You’d think it’d be very glamorous but it’s just kinda uncomfortable most of the time, especially when it’s 3am in the morning and you’re sweating ‘cause you’ve been in the same suit the whole day. But it feels good.
Suits are really like suits of armour - when you’re in them, you have to stand in a very particular way and hold yourself in a confident way. If you watch the first season, I’m usually slumping in my suit ‘cause I didn’t really know how to hold myself, and as I progress through the season, I’ve started to learn how to and I’m starting to enjoy it a lot more.
HWP: You or Mike Ross?
PA: Mike Ross. Or actually both of us. I’m starting to learn to love suits abit more. I’d never have before.
HWP: What can we expect from the season two finale and can you tell us anything about season three?
PA: The season two finale is going to be a good wrap up of everything. We love the episode. It’s so jam-packed and there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen. The finale is going to wrap up a lot of personal stuff and Mike and Harvey’s relationship will be put to the test.
I can’t really tell you much about season three ‘cause I don’t really know much about it but I do know that the firm is in a difficult place so it’s going to be fun to see us all band together to put the pieces back together.
Suits S2 airs every Monday at 8pm on DIVA Universal (StarHub TV Ch 512).