“Every single thing.” That is what Natalie Charles says when asked what she likes about acting. The Toronto native says there is nothing she doesn’t enjoy about her craft, even the struggles are worth it. Every time she walks onto a set, she is living her dream.
“It can be maddening, depressing and some days you loathe the process but at its heart, for me, it is an experience I can’t let go of. I have to do this,” said Charles.
Throughout her career, Charles has proven to audiences all over the world why she is such a renowned actress. From her recurring role in the award-winning series Mary Kills People to her captivating leading performance in the telling drama Residue, her versatility and talent are evident. She has also worked alongside many international stars, including Kim Cattrall in HBO’s Sensitive Skin and Meghan Markle on Suits.
The world knows Markle now as royalty, but Charles worked closely with the now Duchess of Sussex when she was an actress on her hit television show. Suits tells the story of brilliant young college dropout Mike Ross, who, while running from a drug deal gone bad, slips into a job interview with one of New York City's best legal closers, Harvey Specter. Tired of cookie-cutter law school grads, Harvey takes a gamble by hiring Mike on the spot after he recognizes his raw talent and photographic memory. Mike and Harvey are a winning team. Even though Mike is a genius, he still has a lot to learn about law. And while Harvey may seem like an emotionless, cold-blooded shark, Mike's sympathy and concern for their cases and clients will help remind Harvey why he went into law in the first place. Mike's other allies in the office include the firm's best paralegal Rachel and Harvey's no-nonsense assistant Donna to help him serve justice. Proving to be an irrepressible duo and invaluable to the practice, Mike and Harvey must keep their secret from everyone including managing partner Jessica and Harvey's arch nemesis Louis, who seems intent on making Mike's life as difficult as possible.
“Although it is a legal drama, Suits delves into the lives of the people we think we know. Most people think they know how the high profile/powered individuals live. For some reason they are supposed to be exempt from everyday emotions. This show demonstrates that no matter our income level, we all share commonalities,” said Charles.
Charles comes in during the show’s sixth season, when Mike is finally incarcerated for practicing law despite not actually being a lawyer. Desperate to see Mike, both Rachel, played by Markle, and Harvey, played by Gabriel Macht, travel to the detention facility where they encounter Charles’ character, Officer Wendy Boyle, a woman who makes it clear she is not afraid of anyone.
Wendy is no nonsense, straight to the point, and does not suffer fools gladly. She knows her job and does it well. She is not a woman who is easily pushed aside. She has been at the maximum-security prison for many years and she has seen what happens when ‘entitled’ people show up. Wendy has built her professional reputation, and no one will mess with that. Because of this, she refuses to permit Harvey or Rachel access to Mike. She has no interest in letting these lawyer push her around, and doesn’t break the rules for them. This is key to many of the episodes in the season, and Charles, as a fan of the show, was more than eager to put her touch on the character.
“Watching the pilot/first episode of the show was incredible, I loved what I was seeing. The actors, theme, storyline, costumes, location vs shooting location. I knew instantly I had to, not wanted to, had to be on this show. There was something about the chemistry, you could feel, the performers were working tougher as a unit. That is exciting as an actor,” she said.
Suits is available to stream on Netflix around the world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check it out to see Charles’ performance as Wendy Boyle.