The lobby of Tech was flooded with students. No, there wasn’t a Psych or Modern Cosmology midterm. There wasn’t an unexpected fire alarm either. Rather, an estimated 600 students filled Ryan Auditorium on Tuesday for a screening and panel discussion hosted by USA Network series Suits featuring Northwestern alumna Meghan Markle (Communications ’03).
Currently the network is promoting their March 6 mid-season premiere of Suits, which follows the drama and excitement of a fictional New York law firm. As part of their marketing push, cast members are participating in a college tour at seven universities across the country, with Northwestern being the fourth stop of the tour.
Lines formed outside of Tech auditorium starting at 5:30 p.m. where students picked up passes for the event along with Suits-inspired swag including T-shirts and sunglasses. To pass the time before the 9:30 p.m. screening, refreshments were served and students could participate in trivia games or take photos with cardboard cutouts of the cast.
Communication Studies freshman Nikita Kuekarni spent over five hours at the event and she thought it was worth the wait.
“I didn’t think it was real when people first told me about it,” Keukarni says. “I thought people were messing with me, so I was excited to have Meghan come.”
During the Suits College Tour fans view an early screening of the mid-season premiere followed by a Q&A session with select cast members. Northwestern’s panel discussion featured Markle and Rick Hoffman who portray Rachel Zane and Louis Litt respectively. Creator and writer Aaron Korsch made an appearance when he telephoned Markle, who put him on speakerphone during the event. Korsch explained he was calling to make sure they weren’t “fucking it up.”
During the Q&A session the audience was treated to a few spoilers involving the last six episodes of the third season, coupled with a few Season 4 spoilers as well.
“I was afraid I was going to be out of a job when I read that Rachel was going to law school, but luckily our writers are creative and decided to have Rachel attend night school so she can still work at the firm,” Markle says. “But now she is in a new environment meeting new people and perhaps different suitors will come into the mix and shake things up.”
Markle suggests fans can also expect to see a new side to Rachel’s attitude as well.
“In the back six episodes we’ll revisit the girl we met in the pilot who is a badass,” Markle told North by Northwestern. “She’s layered and humanized; even though she seems so confident, she really has all these insecurities and vulnerabilities, and I relate to that as a woman and I think the fans will too.”
As for Louis, “viewers can expect to see a whole new dynamic to the relationship between Sheila and Louis,” Hoffman told North by Northwestern.
During the event, a few fans were even asked to join the cast on stage to take pictures and to sign posters. And Markle even snapped a picture of a few audience members who brought posters featuring Markle’s sorority composite photo, which she had seen on television during ESPN’s College GameDay visit this past fall.
During her visit at Northwestern, Markle also reminisced on her time at Northwestern.
“It’s surreal being back because I haven’t been back since I graduated and as I am walking around I remember things like the schlep of getting to South Campus from up north,” Markle told North by Northwestern. “The 24-hour Burger King also definitely helped me put on the Freshman Fifteen.”