On USA’s summer hit Suits, Patrick J. Adams stars as Mike Ross, a young man without a law degree but with a photographic memory, who gets hired by one of New York City’s top closers (Gabriel Macht’s Harvey Specter) to be an associate at a law firm that only hires Harvard Law alums. In addition to his bromance with mentor Harvey, Mike has also found romance with his former best friend’s ex Jenny (Vanessa Ray), after pining for and being rejected by paralegal Rachel (Meghan Markle), who doesn’t date anyone from the office.
Fans of that love triangle won’t want to miss tonight’s episode (10 p.m. ET). “It definitely takes a nice little step forward,” Adams says, “but the thing that I love about the show is that it really moves at its own pace and it’s keeping people waiting, so I would say that it’s like one step forward, two steps back almost. Mike-Rachel is a difficult relationship. It takes a lot of confidence, I think, to end up with the woman who you always imagined yourself with, and I don’t know if Mike’s entirely there, but it’s fun to see him batted around a little bit and keep trying it out. And it’s fun to watch how Rachel grows to really care about Mike, even though she stated from the onset that that was never gonna happen. The fact is Meghan and I just have the best time working together, so we love drawing this thing out. Plus, we’re such good friends that we’re just waiting for season 4 when we’re in bed together and how weird that’s gonna be.”
In the meantime, since Mike made his living pre-Harvey taking the LSATs for people, we thought we’d see how Adams, who turns 30 on Saturday, scored on one of our EW Pop Culture Personality Tests. He definitely passed.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Since Harvey and Mike share a love of movies, let’s start there. What movie do you have to watch every time you spot it on cable?
PATRICK J. ADAMS: It’s funny, they’re both Robert Zemeckis movies: Back to the Future and Forrest Gump. Forrest Gump was maybe my favorite film of all time. I think that I watched that film at least 15 times in theaters when I was a kid. I was obsessed with that film. I think I got the DVD and literally tried to write the script out by hand. As soon as I see that feather floating in the air I’m done. I was bullied, I was pushed around when I was a kid. I never quite felt like I fit in with the crowd, and so something about that story pulled on the heartstrings. Somebody who’s so pushed to the fringe of society and nobody wants anything to do with, and yet he ends up living the most incredible life that you can imagine. It spoke to that part of me that realized that being the coolest, most popular kid maybe wasn’t completely necessary.
Name a movie that made you cry.
Mr. Holland’s Opus. I don’t think I can watch that without crying. I went to see Mr. Holland’s Opus alone. I couldn’t have been more than 15. There were like eight 13-year-old girls sitting behind me in the theater, and I was the one crying. Conducting his orchestra… Omigod, if I talk about it, I’ll start crying. It gets me every time.
What R-rated movie did you see too young and get scarred by?
David Cronenberg’s Crash, which I probably can’t even describe the plot of in an interview without it being too sensational. We snuck into that movie when I was way too young. I don’t think anyone’s old enough to see that movie. I don’t think I’ve recovered. “We really shouldn’t have come here guys.”
Have you ever walked out of a movie?
I have. The only one coming to mind, and this is not a popular call, I’ll probably be berated for this, but there was a movie called Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow. I don’t know why I walked out of it. I just remember being like, “I’m not doing this.” I think she had a fake British accent in it. I guess she had that in Shakespeare in Love and everybody loved that. I didn’t last very long. I remember seeing that alone, too. I guess I went to a lot of movies alone. I’m realizing a pattern here now.
Moving on to music: Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” has been the one for the last little while. It’s a crowd-pleaser. I don’t have the best voice in the world, but that song for some reason works. The opposite side of David Bowie is I once tried to do “Under Pressure,” which is the most impossible song duet. It’s not really a duet. It’s more like Freddie Mercury and David Bowie ramble for three minutes, doing it beautifully. But when you try to recreate it, it’s a horror show. But what I will tell as some insider info: Rick Hoffman [Suits‘ Louis] does a mean “Welcome to the Jungle.” We were in Toronto, and we went karaoking, I think, the first week before we started shooting, and Rick Hoffman did a “Welcome to the Jungle” that I think will go down in history. And Gabriel Macht did a “Riders on the Storm,” which had the ladies swooning. And then Meghan Markle and I tried to do “Don’t Stop Believin’.” People loved it.
Your guilty pleasure dance song?
There’s a song called “Yeah” by LCD Soundsystem. If I even hear a note of that song, I have to listen to full eight minutes.
The best concert you’ve ever seen?
The best concert I’ve ever seen? That’s a three-way tie. I saw Bon Iver at a cemetery out here in L.A. called Hollywood Forever. They did a sunrise show. You got there at midnight, and they came on at 5 or 6 a.m., just as the sun was coming up and the whole sky was changing colors. That’s probably No. 1. A close second would be Radiohead’s Haiti benefit show here at a theater called The Music Box that only holds about 1,200 to 1,500 people, and that was pretty amazing. I had to beg, borrow, and steal to get tickets to that. And that my lady and I went to see a super secret show Arcade Fire they played at the Ukrainian Cultural Center here the weekend that they won the Grammy. That was about 500 people. To see them in a 500-person venue felt like we were watching them when they started. It was almost like a little punk show or something. It was incredible. We had to sleep on Wilshire [Blvd.] for 24 hours. I brought down my cot and we were sleeping on the sidewalk waiting to get tickets to that show. There was no way we were gonna miss that. And then I did get to see LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show in Madison Square Garden, which was a huge concert, which I’m not usually into, but it was their last ever, and that was pretty epic. So you’ve got four. That’s way too many. I should have picked one.
And now into the TV portion of the test: Name a TV moment that made you cry.
The final moments of Six Feet Under. That didn’t just make me cry. That made me question everything in my life. I remember I literally had to call my mom after that. I was like, “What’s the point of any of it? What are we doing?” For about two weeks, I was a mess. If you ask anyone who watched that show about the ending, they get that 30-yard stare, like if you ask a war vet about what happened. They’ll just go blurry-eyed and not be able to talk about it. It was pretty brutal.
Which TV show would you be most pissed if your DVR didn’t record?
I watched Game of Thrones on iTunes, and I was so hungry for it by the time I got to the end of it, that if I would imagine that if I were actually watching that on my DVR and it got missed that I’d be pretty pissed off. I remember a couple times Lost didn’t get recorded. And we would have Lost parties at my house. We’d have people come over and watch the episodes together. So we’d have eight people sitting in my living room ready to discuss the ins and outs of the Smoke Monster and have nowhere to go. That was a bad scene.
What is your geekiest possession?
The first one off the top of my head is, from Lost, I have a John Locke action figure. I’m not an action figure guy. My friend is actually really into them, and he bought it for me. It’s a John Locke with his foot on the Hatch door. That’s pretty geeky. I think I have a few lightsabers lying around, tucked into the corners, the nooks and crannies. Probably the geekiest thing I have is a giant billion dollar bill with my face on it from when I was about six-years-old that my dad got for me when we went to this theme park up in Canada. I just unearthed about a year ago, so I got it framed, and I have it sitting above my door. It’s just the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen. It’s pretty geeky.
And awesome. It’s totally awesome. You got to fly the geek flag, for sure.
You’re a photographer as well. What’s your favorite photograph you’ve taken?
There’s a shot that I took at Burning Man last year of all my friends [called”Metropolis, 2010″], it’s on my website. We went out into the deep part of Burning Man, and I took a shot of them facing the whole line of lights that is Black Rock City and there’s the stars above them. It sort of feels like space. When I took it, I couldn’t actually believe that I had taken it and it had worked. You have all the stars, and yet you can still see the form of the guys behind the light. I just happened to hit all the right settings at the right time. That’s one of my favorites.
You’ve been known to shoot on the Suits set.
On the set, it’s my phone I’m using, which normally I would actually be against. I definitely don’t want to be known as the iPhone photographer. I think it’s a totally valid way to take pictures, and I really like what I come up with with it, but on set, it’s the only option. I don’t want to be lugging around my camera everywhere. If I have all the time in the world, I try to shoot film. So it’s all about what I’m doing. If I want to go out and just get a bunch of photos and have an easy day, I’ll take a really good full-frame digital camera. But I’ll shoot with anything. I have about 60 cameras in my garage right now. I find them. I collect them. People now know that if they need to get me a gift, they find me some sort of camera and I’ll find a way to use it. I definitely like playing with new cameras.
Last question: Who are you most often mistaken for?
I’m gettin’ a lot of weird stuff on Twitter that I’ve never heard before. There seems to be a lot of Neil Patrick Harris comparisons. They’ll be like, if Neil Patrick Harris and someone had a baby. I used to get Jonathan Brandis, a young actor who has passed now. I don’t see it at all, but I get that quite a bit. The weirdest one that I still don’t understand, DJ Qualls. Isn’t that weird? That’s come up a couple of times on different message boards. My manager has a field day sending them to me. He thinks they’re hilarious.