If you watch Suits, you’ll recognize Harold. With his curly blond hair and often strange dialogue, Harold is hard to miss among the Pearson Hardman associates. We talked to Max Topplin, the actor behind this character, on a recent visit to the Suits set. Learn more about him here!
Tell us about Harold.
Max Topplin: So basically, I’m an associate — as is Patrick [J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross] at Pearson Hardman. And I take a lot of abuse from Louis Litt… I take the most, definitely. The character’s grown kind of into the class clown of the office, unfortunately. So they were shooting a scene with me doing pirouettes and all sorts of, you know, ridiculous things.
Harold is a genuine guy that cares. And that’s why he gets sh*t on so much. He’s not necessarily playing the game like everyone else, I feel… I think that’s also where a lot comedy comes from.
What’s up for Harold in Suits season 2?
Max Topplin: All sorts of shenanigans. Let’s see… Like, for instance, ordeals with cats. He might be allergic — I’m not saying anything. What else? Again, dancing. We were just doing dancing. It’s always something crazy with Harold. He is, like I said before, the class clown that takes himself very seriously, and he tries really hard. You know he went to Harvard — he’s a smart guy. But he might be a little socially awkward and not necessarily able to keep up with the rest of the associates.
Just now [in episode 5], we were shooting this scene where he asks an honest question: “Since I’m not working on the case anymore, can I date the dancers?” And he truly believes that he can date the dancers… Harold dating the dancers? Not so much.
Does Harold ever get to shine as a lawyer?
Max Topplin: Uh yeah. Not yet. Hopefully soon.
In this episode that we’re doing right now [episode 5], I get started on the case, and then I totally make a fool of myself. And the case gets taken away from me and given to someone else. It’s a lot of that. And hopefully it will work towards, “Yes, I’m a full-fledged legal associate! Hear me roar!” Until then, it’s mostly getting kicked around.
What’s Harold’s relationship with the other Suits characters?
Max Topplin: Mike is my confidante and friend. He can get a little aggravated with me at times, just because, you know, I’m not moving as fast as he would like maybe.
And then Rachel, I think she feels bad for… I was hitting on her [in episode 4] real hard. Just awkward stuff. You know, making weird noises with my teeth and just like things I wouldn’t do in real life.
I catch Donna doing something and there’s a fun… She treats me like a little boy, and she’s kind of the mother figure, I think, around the office anyway.
What do you want to see for Harold in the future?
Max Topplin: Hopefully a love interest. You know, that’s what I’m hoping for. Because he tries with every, every lady. He’s going for it. And we were talking earlier like Team Rachel versus Team Jenny… Harold is just Team Women… That would be fantastic. Sexy librarian… Harold finally meets someone who’s just as socially awkward as him.
Do you think Harold is kind of like how Louis was as a new associate?
Max Topplin: Absolutely. I mean, let’s look at him. He definitely was bullied… But I think that’s, kind of, you know, the cycle. I don’t think Harold will… Well, I hope to say that Harold would never treat people like that, but that is probably the cycle.
You know, [Louis] worked up the ranks. And in an episode — I think it’s episode 3 — you’ll see him go back to the grunt work and show everyone where he started and how he got where he currently is.
What are your favorite parts of working on Suits?
Max Topplin: The improv. We’re given a lot of leeway, I find. And more than any other show that I’ve ever worked on, including some really raunchy, crazy comedies… Just creating dialogue that didn’t previously exist, and they just allow us to play, which is really nice. Especially between me and Rick [Hoffman] — Louis Litt. They really allow us to go places… It was getting frisky.
And the writing is so quick, it’s so smart that it doesn’t leave the audience outcast.
Are you on Twitter?
Max Topplin: I am on Twitter… @MaxTopplin. Very simple.
Suits airs Thursdays at 10pm on USA.
(Images courtesy of USA)