A commonly agreed upon fact by guys is that in law enforcement, be it the uniformed highway cop, congressional aide or, if you’re lucky, parole officer, we are more than willing to be talked down to by a ravishing beauty than local Officer Bob. Epitomizing this fantasy is our gorgeous woman to watch this week who steals every scene with her sexy-as-hell looks, cutthroat backtalk and cunning ability to make playing hard to get a game we’d indulge in all day (or night) long.
After getting her start as one of the “case girls” on Deal or No Deal years ago, our newest Femme on Fire found her groove in hit crime dramas CSI: NY and Without a Trace which led to a recurring role as FBI Special Agent Amy Jessup in paranormal thriller series Fringe.
Returning to television sets nationwide tomorrow night on USA’s quirky law firm drama is none other than the gorgeous Meghan Markle. On Suits, Markle plays the spunky Rachel Zane, an ambitious, whip-smart paralegal ready to do what it takes to get where she wants. Rachel also plays an instrumental part in keeping new associate (and law school pretender) Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) out of trouble at firm Pearson Hardman.
Markle took a moment to check in with us while filming to chat about the upcoming season, playing with politics and the risks of a casting couch.
Playboy.com: You used to work in foreign affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. What convinced you to shift to modeling and acting?
Markle: I hated the idea of being this cliché girl who grew up in L.A. and decided to be an actress. I ended up going to school and doing a double major in theater and international relations because I was passionate about acting but also the world of politics. My senior year I went to Buenos Aires, initially as an intern, and they were short-staffed after the devaluation in Argentina — so I ended up with my own office and sitting in a motorcade with the Secretary of Treasury at the time! I came home for a holiday and a friend suggested I get into the industry. I gave it a shot and it’s working. [Laughs]
Playboy.com: What’s been the most challenging role you’ve had on TV or film so far?
Markle: It has to be, from playing a full arc, is playing the role of Rachel Zane. (The writers and creator) have created such a strong and complex female role. Past roles like recurring on Fringe — that was challenging just because of how physically strong I had to be, kicking down doors and whatnot. I will say working on Suits, I’ve tried to create a nice arc for where I see Rachel starting and where I see her going.
Playboy.com: How would you describe your character, Rachel?
Markle: Incredibly intelligent and polished; when we see her first in season one she’s a little jaded — always dealing with these hotshot associates. But then we see her soften a bit. She’s not a lawyer on the show…yet. But I hope we will see that down the road. For now she’s just a savvy paralegal who likes to eat. [Laughs]
Playboy.com: Rachel comes off as confident, sexy and ambitious. The only time we see a crack in that façade is when she attempts to hire Mike to take the bar exam for her. Have you ever taken a risk to get ahead?
Markle: As an auditioning actress you take all sorts of risks. And no, I’m not talking about any casting couches! Also when I was at the U.S. Embassy, much like Rachel, I was trying to take the Foreign Service Exam and I could not pass it! So I think it’s funny the parallels that come up between myself and Rachel.
Playboy.com: Last season of Suits ended on a major cliffhanger with Mike’s secret about to be revealed to Jessica; what happens after the break?
Markle: You know I can’t tell you that! But I can say that by the end of the first episode not all of the cliffhangers have been resolved. I think the viewers and audience will be happy with it. By episode two and three you will definitely see where things stand.
Playboy.com: We see a glimpse of Rachel getting frisky in the office. What are your views on office PDAs?
Markle: I think in an effort to save your job you would probably not want an office PDA. My only comp for working in an office was at the embassy and I’m sure frisky things go on behind closed doors — I just wasn’t privy to them!
Playboy.com: What is it like fictionally working in the legal industry? Would you ever consider it?
Markle: Paralegals do not dress like Rachel Zane! So I do like the TV perk of the outfits [laughs], the sexiness in which they dress me. I think the way in which I speak sells it as though I know what I’m talking about!
Playboy.com: What’s next for you?
Markle: I looking forward to playing around and doing some fun stuff on hiatus, but we’re shooting until October with our Suits family. I’d love to do an indie film or delve into a big-budget feature.
Playboy.com: What’s on your iPod?
Markle: I’m on the Foster the People kick — but my all-time favorite is Girl Talk.
Playboy.com: What was your first Playboy?
Markle: I’ve been told that there are some great articles. But I was a Catholic schoolgirl, Playboy was not what I was looking at! But I’m flattered that you guys wanted to chat with me!
SUITS returns tomorrow night at 10/9c on USA. Follow Meghan on Twitter at @MeghanMarkle