When the news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s relationship broke back in 2016, the actress found herself at the center of ongoing rumors as to her commitment to Suits, the show she’d starred in as Rachel Zane since 2013. As we now know, Meghan eventually made the decision to step back from her acting career, with Suits‘ soon-to-air seventh season set to be her last.
But how did the will-she, won’t-she narrative impact upon the Suits writing team? In a new interview with Variety, the show’s creator, Aaron Korsh, revealed how he used his awareness of Meghan’s royal romance to shape an exit strategy for her character early on.
“I made a decision early on –— I don’t remember exactly when in the season, but Meghan’s relationship looked like it was going well,” he told the magazine. “And if that was the case, I guessed that if she married a prince that she wasn’t going to stay on the show.”
“So we decided, in our own hearts, to bank on her finding love, and kind of having a fairytale ending in her own life, and assuming that good things were going to happen for her,” he said, adding that it would be better from a writing perspective to decide how to close Rachel’s narrative properly, rather than having a well-loved character leave after some freak accident or unbelievable plot twist.
“It would be easier to undo a decision to write her off than it would be to at the last minute have to make her leave,” he said. “She would have to get hit by a bus or something, and I didn’t want to do that. So, as the year progressed we were assuming that Meghan was going to go.”
Meghan as Rachel Zane on Suits.
Korsh had previously described choosing to play the long game as a “gamble,” telling Radio 4’s Today show that he and the rest of the Suits team decided to bet on real-life happiness for their star… which is either sweet, or slightly bizarre, when you consider a boardroom full of writers leafing through the British tabloids. “What we decided to do [was to] say, ‘Look, I would rather have good things happen to Meghan in her life,’ which would likely mean her leaving the show. So let’s plan on that and it’s much easier to undo that, if it came to it, than to just plan on her staying forever and then finding out she’s going to go.”
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This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. It originally appeared on our sister site, Grazia Daily.