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

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     @ 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • New Goergen Lecture

    2014.10.02
     @ Bruce Museum

    Reflections on Highlights of the Hohenbuchau Collection featuring Peter C. Sutton Known today as the "Golden Age" of Netherlandish...

  • 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...

  • Muddy Up 5k & Family Fun Walk

    2014.10.05
     @ Camp Simmons

    Race starts at 9:15 a.m. REGISTRATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MON. SEPT. 29 at 8:00 A.M. DON'T LIKE THE MUD? SPONSOR A CLUB MEMBER TO RUN...

  • Sweat for a Cause

    2014.10.05
     @ SoulCycle Greenwich

    The Young Women's League of New Canaan (YWL) is sponsoring its first fundraiser of the season, "Sweat For A Cause" at SoulCycle...

  • 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!...

  • Tuesday Toddler Tours

    2014.10.07
     @ Bruce Museum

    Come to the Bruce this fall to take part in our exciting new children and family programming! No advance registration is required and programs...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Lyme Research Alliance 3rd Annual Golf Tournament

    2014.10.09
     @ The Stanwich Club

    Tee up and raise funds & awareness for Lyme disease awareness at one of the area’s finest golf courses. The golf tournament is part of...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Annual Outdoor Arts Festival

    2014.10.11
     @ Bruce Museum

    There is plenty to discover on Columbus Day weekend, and this year much of it will be in Greenwich, on the grounds of the Bruce Museum.  On...

  • Outdoor Arts Festival

    2014.10.11
     @ Bruce Museum

    Come and enjoy the Bruce Museum’s 33rd Annual Outdoor Arts Festival. More than 85 artists from all over the country, many of them new to...

  • Lookbook Live Tour

    2014.10.12
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    In September + October 2014, Simon will team up with three of the world's top fashion magazines, Glamour, GQ, and  Vogue on a nationwide...


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