Gina Tor­res brings a ‘Suits’ char­ac­ter back to TV in ‘Pear­son’

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Cover Story - BY JAY BOB­BIN

“Suits” is get­ting ready to close up shop, but at the same time, it’s in­tro­duc­ing its own legacy.

Im­me­di­ately after the ninth and fi­nal sea­son of the USA Net­work law drama be­gins, the spinoff se­ries “Pear­son” will de­but Wed­nes­day, July 17. Fans of the par­ent show should rec­og­nize im­me­di­ately that the new pro­gram is about Jes­sica Pear­son, who was dis­barred in New York, but – as still played by Gina Tor­res – she now makes her way into the le­gal and po­lit­i­cal worlds of Chicago as the mayor’s (Mor­gan Spec­tor) fixer, reg­u­larly and ex­pect­edly stir­ring things up as she goes.

“I had started re­ally mak­ing my way into pro­duc­ing, which is some­thing that I’ve al­ways wanted to do, and I al­ways felt that would be the next chap­ter in my cre­ative ca­reer,” says Tor­res, who also gets “Pear­son” credit as a co­ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer. “And while all that was hap­pen­ing, I had be­come ob­sessed with the 2016 elec­tion and how that all sort of evolved and all the peo­ple in it ... whether they were believ­ers or not, whether they were guns for hire or not, whether they were in it for the greater good, or whether they were in it for power.

“My mind went to Jes­sica Pear­son, this char­ac­ter who I thought was in the rearview mirror of my life – and I re­al­ized that’s some­thing that she did in the world of ‘Suits.’ That was very much her life, which was not just walk­ing a line but blur­ring it and mov­ing it and rewrit­ing it and draw­ing it and what would she do in that world.”

Tor­res then dis­cussed the idea with “the right peo­ple,” namely “Suits” cre­ator Aaron Korsh and Daniel Arkin, who even­tu­ally be­came “Pear­son” ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers. “The net­work had this idea to do a spinoff for years,” Korsh notes. “I was so in my head try­ing to do ‘Suits,’ and Gina just said, ‘Hey, we’re do­ing this now.’ It was re­ally her pas­sion that drove the thing.”

The “Pear­son” cast also in­cludes “One Tree Hill” alum Bethany Joy Lenz and Si­mon Kas­sian­ides (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), but as the ti­tle sug­gests, there rarely is a mo­ment in “Pear­son” when the ti­tle char­ac­ter isn’t front and cen­ter ... at least in the show’s early go­ing.

“We talked about this idea of see­ing Jes­sica un­leashed a lit­tle bit,” Korsh con­firms, “see­ing much more di­men­sion to her char­ac­ter, and see­ing her in a dif­fer­ent world with dif­fer­ent sides of her. Some­times, you will be up­set with her for the ac­tions she takes, but you’ll never not be on her side. You’re al­ways go­ing to root for her, and you’re never go­ing to not have em­pa­thy for her.”

Gina Tor­res stars in the “Suits” spinoff “Pear­son,” premier­ing Wed­nes­day on USA Net­work.

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