Being an actor, even an established one, requires a lot of waiting. Constantly auditioning, never knowing if a show will get renewed, seeing how audiences respond to a series or plotline — it all takes a lot of patience. But Katherine Heigl tried something new to win her role on Suits, and her tactic was all about aggressively going after what she wants.
“I totally pitched myself,” the Heigl told E! News’ Giuliana Rancic. Heigl explained that she’s been a huge fan of the show since it first began, and her mother, who she works with, came up with the idea to call the showrunner. “We didn’t know at that point if it was going to go into an eighth season. So when [the show’s creator] said, ‘I’m going to be busy with the eighth season,’ I was like, ‘Really?’ Do you need anybody? ‘Cause I’m available.” It worked — especially since Suits star Meghan Markle happened to be leaving the show to marry Prince Harry.
Rancic asked Heigl the best part of being on the series now and the actor replied that it’s being such a big fan of the show. “I get to walk into something that I know I already love. It’s just been thrilling to kind of peek behind the curtain of a show I’ve kind of geeked out about.”
It’s not often that a show’s superfan gets to join the cast, but Heigl joked that she’s going to try the tactic more often now. “I’m going to do that all the time. I’m just going to call everybody — the showrunners of all the shows I love — and be like, ‘Do you need a new character?’”
According to Variety, Heigl will play Samantha Wheeler, a new law partner at the firm “who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally or most powerful enemy.” Heigl told the publication “Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an EP I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am immense fan of. I have watched Suits from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”
It appears that the character will be a formidable member of the firm. Heigl recently posted a set photo showing her character as all business. (Also, great shoes.) “Being a boss! #SmanthaWheeler has a badass office that I am thoroughly enjoying pretending is mine! #suitsusa #girlswithgumption #anythingyoucandoicandobetter,” she captioned.
So, while Suits fans may be mourning the loss of Markle’s character, it looks like the show’s legacy will remain safely in the hands of someone who loves it just as much. Season 8 will premiere on USA in the fall.