There's a new partner on Suits and she's getting down to business.
Katherine Heigl makes her debut on the legal drama as Samantha Wheeler in Wednesday's Season 8 premiere and people better watch themselves. Samantha is Robert Zane's (Wendell Pierce) go-to fixer — his Mike (Patrick J. Adams) — and she isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone else at Zane Specter Litt, or whatever the firm is called right now.
Even though Harvey (Gabriel Macht) just lost his right-hand-man, a little friendly competition could be exactly what he needs to get his head back in the game. TV Guide got the chance to talk to Heigl about Samantha's goals coming into the firm and why it's so much fun to go up against Harvey in this new era for Suits.
Did it make you nervous or excited to be playing a character that was gonna come in and make waves rather than fitting in and being Harvey's best friend?
Katherine Heigl: I don't know if that has ever worked. I don't think so, because Harvey's one of those guys who sort of demands ultimate loyalty and in order to be loyal to somebody you have to get to know them, right? And I think that having that butting of heads is just so much more dynamic than kind of walking right in and being like everybody's best friend...and [Samantha] definitely comes in butting heads. For sure.
What is Samantha's ultimate goal in joining the firm? What does she want the most when she gets there?
Heigl: When she first gets there her goal is helping Robert Zane. That's her guy, that's who she is loyal to, and they have a really, really great professional and personal relationship. They're very respectful of one another and have worked together for years. So, she's not there to make friends with the Specter Litt group. She's there for Zane, you know? She makes that very clear in a couple of the first episodes.
You're coming in right after we had Mike leave. How will Samantha's relationship with Harvey be different from Mike and Harvey?
Heigl: It's a really contentious relationship at the beginning. There's a lot of mistrust like neither one trusts the other. But by the end of the first episode, I think it's clear to both parties that there is much respect to be had. It's undeniable that Harvey is a guy that deserves respect, and I think that Samantha really admires his ability, you know, how good he is and how smart he is. But that doesn't mean she likes him, you know? And I think it's the same for him, as far as — I don't know you'd have to ask Gabriel — but that's how I feel that Harvey feels about Samantha too.
Does that mean that there's hope that we can see them on the same page before the end of the season, or are these two always going to have a bit of competition between them?
Heigl: I think it's both. There'll be those moments where they come together for a case, and they work well together, and then there'll be those moments where you know they're butting heads and one person's got an idea and the other person's got another idea and there's no middle ground.
Suits returns Wednesday, July 18 at 9/8c on USA.