'Suits': Patrick J. Adams On The New Challenges Facing 'Supervisor' Mike Ross

After years of dancing around – and eventually being incarcerated for – not being a lawyer, “Suit’s” Mike Ross is finally living life on the right side of the law.

Patrick J. Adams’ character got a new job in the USA series, as a supervisor at a legal clinic, but his lack of official courtroom qualifications has presented some challenges. In a brave move, Mike owned up to practicing law without a license at Pearson Specter Litt to the young folks he’s now managing, and it’s opened up a whole new world of storylines for the character.

“[I]t’s sort of … a return to form for Mike, because he gets to finally start doing the thing he’s always wanted to do,” Patrick told AccessHollywood.com. “And I think Mike has always been hiding from someone or something; he’s always been kind of on the run, and then we spent … the first part of a season watching him suffer the consequences of that and kind of be locked in little rooms. And now, for me as an actor, it’s like, ‘Oh I get to like hit the ground running. He gets to actually get this job where he actually gets to make a difference, where he gets to use the skills that he’s been accruing over the last few years with the best lawyers in New York and put them to work in the way that he’s always wanted to.’ So, for me, it feels a little bit like the first season of ‘Suits’ again where he’s just like back, he’s hit the ground running.

“And yeah, he’s had to do some convincing of other people that his heart is in the right place, but that’s fun too,” Patrick continued, when we asked about the reaction (of acceptance) to Mike’s speech at the clinic. “I think it’s good for Mike to not just have everybody think that he’s the greatest and be grateful for him being there. They have to suspect that he might not have the best intentions because he spent the last few years doing work that was so opposite to the kind of work the clinic is doing now.”

In a new interview with AccessHollywood.com, Patrick told us more about what to expect for Mike Ross as Season 6 continues.

AccessHollywood.com: [In last week’s episode,] it was interesting to see Oliver struggling in court and see him want to talk to his ‘supervisor.’ That was so funny. Is a lot of your arc coming up [seeing] Mike trying to train up these young folks to fight the good fight the way he would? Mike can’t give them his brain, so that’s going to be a struggle, I would imagine.
Patrick J. Adams: Yeah, I think it’s a big struggle — him desperately wanting to be able to not just help them, but also stand up. … There’s that wall in a courtroom with the swinging doors and he has to stay on this other side of it now and if you can imagine getting to play in the big leagues for so long and he’s in a situation where he’s in the stands watching other people do it and not do it as well, and even worse, not be able to help them make the kinds of differences he needs them to make. And that definitely becomes a big part of this second part is him trying to mentor and train and get someone like Oliver on his feet and ready for things, but also him exploring any and every option that is left to him to try and make himself more legit again.

Access: His illegitimacy is affecting a lot of people in his life like Rachel. Obviously there’s a lot of ethical concerns [she’s been faced with] as she heads into lawyer-hood, so to speak. Is that something that’s going to affect more than just Rachel? I think in particular, somebody like Marissa who is [now] associated with him who is in, I think a similar place to Rachel [career-wise]?
Patrick: I think his illegitimacy, while it will always be an issue for those people that want to take advantage of it, I think the nice thing of what the show has done now is while he might have to deal with some emotional impact on other people from here on out, the fact is, he’s come clean and he’s doing good now and there’s a lot of strength to that for this character, and I think that speech that Mike gives at the end of [last week’s] episode is indicative of that, which is like, ‘This is who I am, this is what I’m here to do. Let’s work together to make great things happen.’ His legitimacy is really only going to become a question and a struggle the further he goes towards maybe trying to become a lawyer again, right? If he moves down that path, that’s where people can start to question him again. But as far as [where] he is right now and what he’s doing, he’s set himself up where people — they can question it, but the fact is, at the end of the day, he’s doing good work and he’s not practicing as a lawyer. He’s just guiding and managing people in a clinic. So it’s a good position to be in. Finally the shame can kind of be lifted off his shoulder and he can focus on rebuilding his life a little bit.

Access: Mike and Harvey – Mike does not want to work with Harvey, Harvey needs him so desperately and it’s called ‘Suits,’ plural, and it’s you two guys in all of the opening credits as we’ve seen over all these years. You’ve gotta give us some hope that these two guys are gonna get back together at some point!
Patrick: Never! Never! … No, it’s the dangling the carrot thing. Look, they always are going to be working together, they always find a way back to each other like all great love stories, but, I think part of the reason people enjoy it when they get back together is the struggle of them having been apart and trying to figure out how they can get together. Mike has made it very clear that he needs to do the kind of work that he’s doing now, and Harvey needs him desperately to sort of get Pearson Specter back on good footing, and it’s fun to watch characters you love kind of be at odds with each other for a little while. But obviously it’s an important part of the show, it’s an important part to Gabriel’s and I’s interest in being in the show is that we find our way back into scenarios where we get to work together and be tackling cases together, so how exactly that happens and how we move towards that remains to be seen, but I think people can look forward to us definitely being on the same page here on out.

“Suits” Season 6 continues Wednesday at 10/9c on USA.

Jolie Lash