One of the great joys of Suits is the character of Donna, Harvey Specter’s sarcastic and near-omniscient secretary. On a recent visit to the set of Suits, we had a chance to ask Sarah Rafferty, the actress who plays Donna, about what would be coming for the character in season 2.
'Suits' Interview: Sarah Rafferty on How Donna May Just Get Something Wrong in Season 2

What kind of office relationships can we expect for Donna in Suits season 2?

Sarah Rafferty: They kind of picked right up where we left, and [Rachel and Donna] were in Harvey’s office, and we were drinking, talking about boys. And we were really excited about the girlfriend relationship they developed.

[This season] we do leave the office — Rachel and Donna go out for drinks.

You know, it could have just… Donna could have just had a relationship with Harvey and that’s it. But by the end of the season, I had had really specific fun, sometimes deep interactions with each other character… Like Gina [Torres] and I were excited the first day that we were like, “Oh ho! We’re in a scene together! You’re hair looks so pretty.”

There’s a lot of fun stuff between Donna and Louis. They love playing with each other. And there’s even a really fun couple of webisodes…

How will Donna and Harvey interact?

Sarah Rafferty: 
Sometimes a person’s greatest quality can be their biggest flaw, and she’s intensely loyal and brave in her loyalty. She’s sort of doggedly loyal. And she also knows that she knows Harvey better than anybody and knows how he’s going to behave, understands that he’s a moral guy, understands how loyal he is and what he will do on behalf of his friends and loved ones. So there is a situation where her loyalty is thrown tremendously into relief and tested. And she goes as far as she possibly can to protect him. That can maybe cloud her judgment a little bit.

Episode 5, she gets him wrong. She totally gets it wrong. And I think that’s incredibly confusing to her. I think she’s just always been right, always dotted all her t’s and crossed her i’s. [laughs] But she’s really, really thrown by something that happens and then it — I was told by one of the writers that it doesn’t really resolve for a few episodes. That kind of lingering confusion and doubt and remorse are there.

Were you surprised to find out that Donna would get something wrong?

Sarah Rafferty: I was surprised to find out that Donna, who I like to say is always right — and I enjoy that aspect of her — she’s not always right.

We were at a cast dinner with the writers in LA before we left, and the producers and I made some joke, you know. They were talking about Donna and I was like, “Well, Donna’s always right.” And the writers looked at each other wand it was like, “Hmmm… Except when she’s wrong.”

Would you like to someday see some sort of romantic relationship between Donna and Harvey?

Sarah Rafferty: Oh God, I don’t know. I don’t know if that would be… That might be a jump-the-shark thing, right? You know, I think anything’s possible. I think we have learned that there might have been something, so I think that leaves the door open for that door to open or for that door to slam shut. So I leave that to the powers that be.

It would be really awkward for Gabriel and I… Because we’re like best friends from 20 years ago. Our kids are best friends.

How do you think Donna feels about Mike?

Sarah Rafferty: I think at first, you know Mike — at first you’re drawn to his talent, to his brain and his talent, and he’s very charismatic… There’s something about Mike too though that he has like, I think for Donna, like a little-brother quality. And also Donna gets the opportunity to see a little bit of Mike, of a little bit of the quality of Harvey from the past. There’s some qualities that they share. And also Mike and Donna can share an understanding of who Harvey is together.

What do you like about the character of Donna?

Sarah Rafferty: I’m just excited about the way the women interact and about the way the women are written on this show. I just think they’re strong and multi-layered and complicated and real.

She seems un-neurotic, right? Isn’t that kind of a fantasy to be sort of un-neurotic generally? I love playing her. I’d like to be more like her. I’d like to have her wit and her pace and sometimes I do… And I really admire Aaron [Korsh] for creating her.

Suits season 2 will premiere on Wednesday, June 14 at 10pm on USA.

(Images courtesy of USA)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.