Jeff Malone is back, and right on time. D.B. Woodside is reprising his role as the hard-charging lawyer (and ex-beau of Jessica Pearson) on USA’s original series Suits in tonight’s episode, and LA Fan Cultures Examiner spoke with him last week about returning and how it contrasts with his new gig as Amenadiel on FOX’s Lucifer.
“I was absolutely excited and down to come back because I love this show,” he enthused. “I love, love, love this show. I love the people on the show. [Series creator] Aaron [Korsh] is fantastic and the writers are just amazing – I would say some of the best writers on tv right now.
“When you’re an actor like me and most of your career is journeying from shows to shows hoping to hit something, connect to some great material, that’s the draw for me for Suits. Every time they want me to come back, I’m going to jump at it, because it’s just great writing and they’re lovely people.”
Things are less than lovely for Jeff and Jessica (Gina Torres) when they see each other again. Having broken up with her because of her inability to tell him the truth, Jeff subsequently resigned his partnership at Pearson Specter Litt and is now working at another law firm. But he hasn’t forgotten what happened just a few months earlier.
“It’s like one of those things that I think happens in couples,” D.B. said of where we’ll pick up with his character. “Where you give someone an opportunity to come clean and they never do. We saw him pissed, but I think his heart was broken. This is the woman he loves. I would even venture to say this is his soulmate. This is the woman that he wanted to, and probably still wants to, spend the rest of his life with.”
Now Jeff is aware of exactly what Jessica was keeping from him, but that doesn’t change that he doesn’t agree with what she did. “I think he’s probably come to a place of accepting,” the actor said. “The thing that makes those two so different in the professional world is Jeff is one of those old school, upstanding guys.
“He is, as they say in the world of Scandal, he’s the guy that wears the white hat. He’s the guy that’s always going to tell you the truth and I think the firm operates differently,” he continued, “but he still loves who he loves. I think it’s just going to take him a while to accept the way she does business.”
Having said that, when Jessica comes to Jeff in the firm’s continued attempt to control its latest scandal, that personal part of their relationship isn’t buried either. “He’s a guy that’s full of heart, so he is still in love with her,” D.B. said. “What I would tell people to look out for is a possible reconciliation and that he is going to do whatever it takes to defend the woman that he loves. Even if that means going up against lawyers in her firm if they don’t have her back. He is a loyal bulldog.”
Off-screen, Suits fans can continue to enjoy the rapport between D.B. and Gina Torres, who have worked together several times together over the years and it shows. “I adore Gina,” he told us. “This actually marks our third time [working together]. We did a television pilot many years ago that starred Danny Glover and we were a married couple then. Then we wound up on 24 together as a couple and this is our third outing. It’s fantastic.
“I think there’s something when you’re able to act with someone over a long period of time. You just know each other, you’re really comfortable with each other, you’re comfortable to challenge each other, to really seek the truth of a scene, and Gina’s fantastic for that,” he continued. “We have such great chemistry and we’re also in real life good friends.
“I love her husband, he’s a phenomenal guy and of course he’s an actor I’ve always looked up to,” he added. “They have an incredible daughter that’s around the same age as my little girl, so there’s always a lot of new pictures shared and new stories being told, like the joys of parenthood!”
The show is another feather in the cap of one of TV’s reliable actors who’s always leaving an impression somewhere, be it on Suits, as Wayne Palmer on 24, Robin Wood in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Derrick Altman on Hellcats. Wherever he goes, good memories follow and what he’s doing now on Lucifer should continue to open eyes as to just how talented D.B. really is.
“I get to play a badass warrior angel from Heaven, which has been fantastic,” he told us. “It’s a guy not in suits and ties. He’s a warrior, he’s very physical and that, to be honest, is a little closer to my true personality, in the sense that I’m not a warrior God but I am a very physical guy. I love to be physical. We have a lot of fight scenes and it brings me back to the days of Buffy, and it’s just something that I love to do.”
“It’s much easier for me to be more physical and to play a character that actually is more reactionary. A guy that does things based off how he feels in this organic way versus this highly intellectual way,” he explained. “I’m a smart guy but I follow my heart, I follow my gut and I really connect with characters that do the same thing right away. Those are the guys that I can just understand on a visceral level right away.”
Now that he’s bringing Jeff Malone back to Suits, is there another character that he’d like to reprise next? “There would probably be two shows,” he told us. “I would love a chance to reprise Wayne Palmer on 24. I’d love to go back and get a second shot at that. I think that’s just an actor’s thing where I’m older now, I think with age you become a better actor and you’re able to see things and make different choices.
“And also to play with, work with, the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” he added. “I loved playing that guy and that character, another physical guy and goes off his emotions and that was so much fun. I loved that character so much so I’d love to see what he’s doing now in a world of vampires in Sunnydale.”
Whether he’s fighting vampires or federal lawsuits, wherever D.B. goes he packs a punch (sometimes literally). And he’s always an actor to watch. Be on the lookout for him when he returns to Suits tonight.
Suits airs tonight at 10 p.m. on USA.