So if Aaron Korsh (loosely) based the character of Harvey Specter on his old boss, then was Mike Ross supposed to be a version of himself? The answer is … kind of! Although the “Suits” creator denies having a photographic memory, he explains, “I was able to do very well academically with little to no effort and it was both, I would say, a blessing and a curse. In some ways, I could do really well, but it put this pressure on me to do really well without trying. Or I kind of put that pressure on myself […] to impress people and show them how smart I was.” Yeah, that sounds a bit like Mike!
But that’s where the blend between fact and fiction ended, for the most part. Both Harvey and Mike went on to become vastly different characters than they were in the first season, aided in large part by the many experiences they shared together. When asked whether “Suits” pulled from real-world cases, Korsh shot that down pretty quickly:
“We try not to use real cases just because […] my rule has always been, it doesn’t have to be real, it just has to seem real. Because sometimes the way it would be in reality is just not as interesting or exciting. So we try to stay away from real cases. Sometimes, obviously we’ll know about a case or about something that will inspire us to use a little piece of something. But for the most part, we just make them up.”
Whatever the ratio between fact and fiction was, clearly Korsh and his creative team did something right. “Suits” went on to become a runaway hit on Netflix and now we’re looking at the possibility of another spin-off show. Not bad at all!