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'Suits' Star Gabriel Macht Prefers Shooting Hit Legal Drama in NYC, Over Toronto

Suits Still - 2011

“Outsourcing I understand. But it’s better for the artist to shoot where the show takes place."

TORONTO - No snub to Toronto intended, but lead Gabriel Macht would rather be shooting USA Network’s Suits in New York City, where the series is set.

The American actor, who plays Harvey Specter, a top corporate lawyer in a prestigious Manhattan law firm, appreciates the financial model: it’s cheaper to shoot in Canada, given generous tax credits on offer here.

“Outsourcing I understand. But it’s better for the artist to shoot where the show takes place. And I think New York City is the greatest city in the world, and hope one day to shoot a season there,” Macht explained.

He's full of praise for the Toronto crew, now set to shoot another 16 episodes for a second cycle of Suits, which airs in Canada on Bravo!

“They’re terrific and really get the show and appreciate its intelligence and everyone on that set. Everyone’s challenging each other. We’ve all become an ensemble,” Macht said of his Toronto colleagues.

The Suits pilot was shot in New York City, before the producers shifted the series shoot across the border.

And while there’s yellow checker cabs and hot dog stands in shots to help Toronto double as Manhattan, Macht insists something intangible is missing.

“I really believe that when you’re walking in New York City, the people walking around, the extras, there’s a different take, a different sensibility,” he said.

“I spoke with one of the producers, and he said we’re running out of streets in Toronto to make it look like New York City,” Macht added.

But whatever the Toronto crew is doing with interior and exterior shots, it’s working.

The rookie season of Suits made USA Network the top-rated network Thursdays at 10 p.m. in the key P18-49, P25-54, and P18-34 demos.

Macht credits the Suits writers, led by series creator Aaron Korsh, for a freshman legal drama that pulls in North American viewers.

“The show resonates because of the writing. It’s really smart. The writers did well creating three dimensional characters that have a great arc at the beginning -- we know that when we’re dealing with Harvey and Mike, we’re dealing a relationship that evolves,” he said.

Suits, which is all about closing the deal, features Macht alongside Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross, a brilliant lawyer without a degree and who keeps stumbling.

“Mike gets into trouble a lot, but he’s a very bright guy, and Harvey knows he’s his ace in the hole, he knows the kid will learn exponentially,” Macht said, foreshadowing the second season.

The ensemble cast includes Rick Hoffman, Gina Torres, Sarah Rafferty and Meghan Markle.