Suits interview - Michelle Fairley

The Games of Thrones and Resurrection star tells us more about her role as Ava Hessington.

Michelle Fairley

Tell us a bit about Ava Hessington – what has she come to Pearson Darby for help on?

Ava Hessington is the owner of Hessington Oil, she has PHDs in chemical engineering, petroleum exploration and is just a really intelligent and driven woman. She’s an extremely hard worker who expects a lot from herself and therefore a lot from the people she employs too. She’s got a sense of humour but she’s a tough woman and she’s learnt to be this way in such a male dominated world.

Is she really as hard-faced as we’re led to believe? She gives Harvey a run for his money!

Well she’s employing Harvey so she expects him to do his job to the best of his ability, otherwise she’d do it herself but she’s not a lawyer so has to rely on Harvey. She’s paying top dollar and it gets layered and complicated so she expects the best.

What’s the backstory with her and Edward Darby? Was it a lovely coincidence that he is played by former Game of Thrones co-star, Conleth Hill?

Ava’s father was Darby’s mentor and they worked together, but I can’t reveal any more than that… She’s known him a particularly long time and she respects him, it’s another case of Ava’s loyalty so their relationship is tested, to say the least.

It absolutely was a coincidence, and Conleth and I have grown up together in Ballycastle so have known each other since I was 7, actually. It was a wonderful coincidence. The weird thing is Conleth and I hadn’t worked with each other until it got to Game of Thrones and suddenly we are straight in again on Suits which is brilliant. You actually get to hang out with your mates and have fun.

Was it hard keeping your Game of Thrones secret when you joined Suits?

Yes and no actually, there was no way I was ever going to mention Lady Stark’s outcome, one because it would have ruined the fans viewing but also my life wouldn’t have been worth living – HBO would have killed me (laughs)! When it was aired people around set were like, “how did you keep it a secret?”! It was lovely because the guys all really loved the show, and they try and slip references in every now and again. Patrick J Adams is a huge fan – we had such a laugh together. Gabriel, Patrick, Gina and I had so much to do but we had such fun.

What else can we expect from Ava Hessington?

Her story gets more and more layered, and dark as the season progresses and she ends up seeking a form of revenge…

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