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SHOWBIZ: Suited up for fame

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Patrick J. Adams, the breakout star of Suits, tells Subhadra Devan what makes him tick

BRIGHT blue eyes. Sharp. Young. Handsome. The perfect mix to make a roomful of women swoon. And Patrick J. Adams, the fledgling star in Diva Universal’s Suits, smiles at the attention.

Obviously enjoying the ride to fame so far in his first major role as Mike Ross in the fairly technical legal television drama series, Adams says: “It is by far my biggest role and I’m really happy to be doing this. It has allowed me to develop my skills, meet so many people, go new places like now in Malaysia.”

In Suits, Adams plays the scrapper legal beagle Ross, who has a photographic memory, who takes care of his grandmother. Before joining the law firm of Pearson Hardman, Ross was a conman and passed the bar exam without actually going to law school. Ross, while invaluable to his boss Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), has to constantly prove his worth which takes a toll on his personal life.

The series also stars Gina Torres as the firm’s managing partner Jessica Pearson, Rick Hoffman as the firm’s just promoted senior partner and Harvey’s arch nemesis Louis, and Meghan Markle as paralegal Rachel.

Talking to Press and fans at Kuala Lumpur’s Le Meridien Hotel as part of Suits promotional tour in Asia, the 31-year-old hottie with a tie says he is “the least stylish guy you will ever meet”.

“It used to be worse before... I prefer jeans but now I get to steal some pieces from the set and put them in my wardrobe. I always talk to the design experts on set to learn what works for me and how to pair my clothes. I guess I am finally learning how to dress and become a real man. My mother is very happy about that,” says Adams who adds that of the suits he has had to wear on the TV series, he has developed a liking for bespoke styles from Zegna, Ferragamo and Hugo Boss, among others.

When told he was looking fitter now than on the first season of the show, Adams is pleased, saying: “I learnt to eat right. When I started working on Suits, I was so nervous. I was living on kale and juices. I thought I was too skinny, so now I am exercising more, and eating right.”

On sharing any similar traits with his Suits character, he says they have the same naivete about life and both fight for what’s right, justice and fairness.

“We both come from the bottom of the barrel, where you think nothing good is going to come your way but you make the most of it anyhow.

“But Ross is more confident than I am, so I am trying to develop that side of me. I do have a good memory though, when I am not tired from flying. I am good with my lines... Gabriel (Macht) hates me for that but I’m not really good with faces or names, so that gets me into trouble most of the time,” explains Adams, who says he came up with the twitter tag, #wwhd (what would Harvey do?). The twitter forum is filled with talk about episodes of the series.

In 2011, Adams was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

It was the first nomination for the Canadian-born actor who had previously guest-starred (Lost, Friday Night Lights, Pretty Little Liars, N.C.I.S., Lie To Me) or held small screen roles (HBO’s Luck, Sundance movies) and acted, directed and written for the stage.

Before landing the role of Ross in Suits, Adams had just been fired from the TV series, Friends With Benefits.

“Being fired from the show was the best thing to have ever happened to me. It was one of those situations where I was trying too hard to please. I did what I thought I had to do, what I thought people wanted me to do and not what I wanted to do. I was doing things the wrong way. I learnt to believe in myself.  

“Now I do things because I want to. I only choose to work in a project that I feel strongly about. When the script for Suits landed, I knew I could be Mike. The character is really interesting to me and I related to what Mike was growing through.”

While Adams may not have a photographic memory, he loves photography, and hoped to take pictures of Batu Caves before flying off to Manila.

Get on board the legal drama in Suits every Monday at 8pm, now in its second season, on Diva Universal (Astro Channel 702).

Patrick J. Adams as Mike Ross in Suits

“I learnt to believe in myself .” Patrick J. Adams


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