Perfectly Suited

Sarah Rafferty is having fun as a wise-cracking sidekick on the USA hit Suits



Sarah Rafferty wouldn’t mind putting her little touch of stardom aside this minute for just another taste of her Connecticut home.

“This weekend I was so terribly homesick,” she sighed, calling last July from Toronto where her TV series, Suits, is filmed.  “I’m usually always in Connecticut for a big home visit this time of year.  But work is keeping me away.”

It’s not bad work at all. Suits, a hit drama about high-powered New York lawyers, is entering its second season on USA Network. In her role as Donna, the all-knowing executive assistant, she gets to knock out a lot of zingers.

Actors often reveal a lot about themselves when they talk about the characters they play, and Sarah is no different as she recounts her favorite moment in the show. “It might have been the first Donna Moment when you realize that she could put on any kind of mask to get what she wants, and have fun doing it.” That would be when the obnoxious, paranoid lawyer Louis asked Donna’s boss if he could borrow her. “And Donna cries and says, ‘My soul hurts now.’ She absolutely freaks and runs away in tears. I could see that Donna is not above a few histrionics to get what she wants, and that’s really fun for me.”

She was brought into acting by a simple twist of fate in the tenth grade. The youngest of four girls in the Rafferty house, she was brought up in Riverside by parents who combined artistic leanings with the well-ordered life. Mimi Rafferty was the co-chair of the English department at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and father Michael was a venture capitalist with a strong urge to paint (see golflinksportraiture.com for his golf landscapes).

“I have three sisters, so the dinner table was packed and I don’t know how my Mom did it. She cooked every meal after working full-time. Everybody had crazy schedules. In Riverside, you could just jump on your bicycles and go over to friends’ houses or Binney Park. It was safe and easy. It was a different time than now, of course.”

Sarah went to Andover and one day when late to field-hockey practice she ran across the yard of a faculty member’s house. It was a drama teacher who walked out and stopped her and said, “Hey, Rafferty, why are you doing sports? Why don’t you come do a play with me?”

Just like that she was working on Richard III. “He shifted my gears and changed my life. I was suddenly with the drama crowd.”

Her theater work continued at Hamilton College and then at Yale Rep. While at Yale she had a date arranged with a calm, relaxed Finnish fellow named Santtu Seppala. He was business major from Wharton. They clicked, and her folks fell in love with him right away.

When her father took her aside and said, “Most of all, he can handle you,” Sarah was naturally indignant, but she knew what it was. He was just referring to her “redheaded personality.” She sighs: “And now my daughter is redheaded, and I’m parenting the same kind of child. The strong will and the big personality. Feeling things intensely, the ups and downs, the positives and the negatives.”

With the birth of her first child Oona five years ago, Sarah and Santtu gave up their West Village apartment for a house in West Hollywood. Santtu is now a portfolio manager for a Beverly Hills hedge fund. Five months ago they had a second daughter, Iris.

But Sarah misses the huge gatherings that now take place at her parents’ New Canaan home. “We try, at the very least, to get there at Christmas time and the Fourth of July.

“Just being near the Long Island Sound feels like home, so we spend a lot of time at the beach, playing tennis and having barbecues. My mom always makes a big lobster dinner and all the kids get together and play and jump in my sister’s pool.”

The bright-eyed redhead shouldn’t be hard to spot around town. And yes, she will be back.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese

    2014.09.24
     @ Meli-Melo

    Meet Holistic Health Practitioner Kevin W. Reese & Take Home a Signed Copy of His New Book! Kevin is a holistic health practitioner,...

  • Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.25
     @ Milbrook Club

    Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Annual State of the Town Address and Luncheon will be held at Milbrook Club. Registration 11:30am; start at...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Verismo - Opera Arias and Ensembles

    2014.09.26
     @ Round Hill Community Church

    Music from the Heart at Round Hill  “Verismo – Arias and Ensembles,” an opera concert, will bring drama and passion...

  • Aaron Henry Trunk Show & Personal Appearance

    2014.09.26
     @ Richards

  • Curiosity Concerts Season Opening: SONIC ESCAPE

    2014.09.27
     @ Greenwich Library Cole Auditorium

    The Greenwich Arts Council's Curiosity Concerts opens its second season of free classical music concerts for families on Saturday, Sept. 27,...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Bistro Versailles Wine Dinner

    2014.09.29
     @ Bistro Versailles

    Wine dinners at Bistro Versailles are entertaining social events held on a regular basis. Socialize with friends and mingle with other...

  • Joie Special Shopping Event

    2014.09.30
     @ Joie

    Joie invites you to a special shopping event! Enjoy wine & hor d'oeuvres while shopping 20% off your purchase Enter to win a...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance's Go For Pink Shopping Event

    2014.10.02
     @ Greenwich Avenue area

    Breast Cancer Alliance announced that it is partnering with Greenwich merchants for a special day of events and shopping on Thursday, October 2nd...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun Walk

    2014.10.05
     @ Camp Simmons

    Are you ready for some MUDDY fun? Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is proud to host the 3rd annual Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun...


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