Gina Torres, Rick Hoffman and Sarah Rafferty talk to PEOPLE about working with the legal icon, their group texts and where their characters are now
In a PEOPLE exclusive, e.l.f. Cosmetics is premiering it’s 60-second commercial spot titled “Judge Beauty” — starring Judge Judy, in her first-ever commercial appearance. And joining the Emmy-award-winning legal icon are three stars from Suits: Gina Torres and Rick Hoffman (who play courtroom adversaries in the spot) and Sarah Rafferty as the court reporter.
This all comes, of course, on the heels of news that the former USA Network series was the most streamed show last year after dropping on Netflix.
The commercial, which was creatively conceptualized, cast, and scripted by Shadow, e.l.f. Beauty's long-term creative marketing and communications agency, focuses on the brand's top-selling product of 2023, Halo Glow Liquid Filter complexion booster with the premise that it's a beauty offense to overspend on makeup.
Joining the courtroom in the jury box are comedian Benito Skinner (also known as Benny Drama) Jury Duty's Ronald Gladden, with HeidiNCloset from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Grammy-winning singer Meghan Trainor. (Along with a few extras, including this PEOPLE writer and Judge Judy’s granddaughter, Sarah Rose, who appears on Judge Judy's new show, Judy Justice, as a law clerk. Bestselling Author and former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho stands beside Judge Beauty as the courtroom bailiff.)
And since the commercial is all about beauty misdemeanors, PEOPLE asked the three Suits stars to confess their real-life criminally aesthetic acts.
For Torres: “Back in the day, thin brows.” For Rafferty: “Growing up, there was some really, really shiny lipstick. Silver City Pink lipstick. Very silvery!”
“The frost!” Torres remembers.
For Hoffman, it’s a matter of sunblock, or lack thereof. “I should listen to Sarah,” he says, remembering a trip to Australia the two took. “I should listen to her, it would be helpful — and so I don't look like a leather bag one day.”
“I do worry about the amount of time I spend thinking about your skin,” she says.
Not only did the Suits trio jump at the chance to work together once again, but they were also thrilled at the opportunity to meet Judge Judy.
“I made a fool of myself,” Hoffman says, “I literally became starstruck just because for years, I grew up watching her. And then ultimately, I was like, 'I have to ask her to make a video for my mom.'" She agreed to do it. "I have a video of you making your video," Rafferty tells him. "I'll text it to you."
This Super Bowl reunion comes on the heels of the other reunion, at this year's Golden Globes Awards, where Torres and Rafferty presented with Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht. Torres, who played the steely managing partner Jessica Pearson, says the renewed interest in the show has been, "kind of odd and wonderful. It's like, 'Oh, right. They're still here. They did incredible work.'"
Hoffman, who played the sometimes-villainous Louis Litt, was thrilled to work again with Torres and Rafferty. "It was peak happiness." Adds Rafferty, who played legal secretary turned chief operating officer Donna Paulsen, "It was like coming home."
There is, at the moment, a lot of talk about the possible new Suits series. Last week, PEOPLE confirmed NBCUniversal ordered a pilot for the series, which will be set in the same universe as the original legal drama. The project, helmed by Suits creator Aaron Korsh, will feature a brand new cast, though it remains unknown if the actors from the original, 2011-2019 series will make an appearance. It is titled Suits: LA, and will film in Vancouver, with production tentatively slated to begin in March.
Says Torres, “I have no information on that.”
Rafferty says, “I mean, if they need Donna and I'm assuming if they need — I'm just gonna speak for my friends here — Jessica or Lewis, we'll all put on our high heels and we'll march on up to Vancouver!”
It is interesting, the three agree, to wonder what their characters are currently up to, off in another part of the multiverse.
Torres pauses. “I mean what is Jessica Pearson doing at any given moment in time? Sharpening her stilettos and figuring out which corner of the world she's going to take over next!”
Hoffman thinks his character is, "probably causing a lot of chaos, but then at some point, somehow making up for the crap that he just laid in the office. And he somehow cleans it up."
Torres says, "He’s a lifer for sure."
As for Rafferty's character, she says, "Donna's crushing it at work and yes, she's wearing her outfits and all the things. And she's still keeping all those bonds, like juicy and strong with Jessica with Louis, with everyone."
Hoffman says, "I think Louis keeps calling Donna to beg her to come work."
But here in this IRL universe, the cast keeps their bonds strong off set, whether it's Suits or the e.l.f. commercial. There is, to be sure, a lot of texting. If you're wondering who is the fastest to reply, that's Gina they say. "Yeah, our boss," Hoffman says. Most emojis? Also Torres. Dirtiest jokes? Torres and Hoffman say, "Sarah," at the same time. "She goes low, man," Hoffman says.
Then Rafferty says, "I wouldn't even say it's emojis or dirty jokes. I think we have the strongest GIF game. I will reveal very little here about the content of the GIF game, but we can go GIF after GIF after GIF. Without typing a single word."
"And," says Torres, "by the way, 70 percent of them are our own GIFs from Suits!"
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