"[Louis Litt] is the douche of the firm."
So began our interview with Rick Hoffman, who plays the immediate rival to Gabriel Macht's Harvey Specter on the new USA Network series, Suits.
"[Louis] gets defeated by one of his equals," Hoffman said. "In life people lose, whether it be a promotion, or they fail at work. It all depends on how they compose themselves afterwards, to recover. This particular character doesn't, or at least on the outside it seems like he does but on the inside he's just completely broken to pieces and it clearly shows in how he treats his co-workers."
While admitting that Louis spends most of the early episodes on the "dark side," Hoffman also said there are other sides to the character that will eventually emerge, which is precisely the reason Hoffman pursued the role.
"Most of the last five years I've been doing a lot of guest spots that have been very one dimensional and one notes. It's a blessing to be able to work on a show like this, luck of the draw, and all of the characters are very multi-dimensional."
Hoffman noted a couple of key moments coming up to be his favorites so far, including one that required him to wear little to nothing at all.
"I'm a really good tennis player, apparently, and love to take my shirt off in front of dudes and make them uncomfortable," Hoffman deadpanned. "That episode [right after the pilot] was the most fun. There's one coming up that's going to be unbelievably challenging, from a dramatic standpoint... As an actor, it's hard to get jobs like this... Being up here working has been an unbelievable blessing."
Meanwhile, never one to miss a comedic beat, when asked about working alongside actress Gina Torres, the actor immediate replied: "I can't stand that girl."
He continued to praise not only Torres, but the rest of the cast as well: "It's so easy with everybody because everybody has a different energy, out of the six of us, and it's a pleasure... to work together.
"Sarah Rafferty, I can't wait to work with. She's just hilarious. They, thank God, made her a regular and she really adds a lot of fun to the show."
Having earlier mentioned that there are other sides to Louis Litt we have yet to witness, it begged the questions: Is there a line he won't cross? Just how far will he go to stick it to Harvey?
"He'll go to any, any point to screw over Harvey," Hoffman said. "Louis is the hardest worker of that firm… he just isn't as smooth as Harvey and he hates that because he's an ugly duckling. In all senses of the phrase, he feels tremendous insecurities. [He is] the opposite of smooth."
Despite the villainous arc Louis carries early on, Hoffman was quick to add that his character will soon turn a corner.
"Aaron [Korsh] told me right away they were going to try to turn that corner quick and they did," he said, somewhat relieved.
The most important thing Hoffman hopes is that people will look at his character and can find the humor in his idiotic behavior. He related an anecdote to anchor this point:
"I swear to God this happened this morning. I'm at the gym, I'm going to the shower, I have my towel ready for me to go into the shower. I turn my back for maybe 15 seconds, to hop into the steam, and I go back to the shower and there's a guy in it. I open the curtain and I'm like 'Hey man, I'm sorry that's my towel,' and he's like 'No, it's my towel.'
"What do you mean it's your towel? All right man, I don't even have the energy to argue with a naked man whose towel… so I said 'All right, take your towel,' so now I have no towel but that's not fair. That's the kind of stuff - it's like, this guy thinks he's good? How funny is that?
"So somehow, to me, all the comedy of it - I [hope] somehow that comes out well in these characters which hopefully makes you love to hate him, as opposed to just hate him."
Suits premieres this Thursday at 10 p.m. on USA.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.Tags: Exclusives, Interviews, Suits, Rick Hoffman