What Meghan Markle's Co-Stars Have Said About Her

The following article includes brief mentions of suicidal thoughts.

Before Meghan Markle bid farewell to her working royal role, she turned the final page on another chapter in her life by announcing that she was retiring from acting. Basically, she was living out the happy ending of one of those feel-good fairytale movies for grownups by getting engaged to a prince from another country — so it was just no longer feasible to keep working in Hollywood. "I don't see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change," she said in a 2017 BBC News interview.

At the time, Markle had a starring role on the dramedy "Suits" as paralegal-turned-attorney Rachel Zane. Her royal engagement earned the approval of Patrick J. Adams, the actor who played her on-screen love interest. He tweeted a message for Markle's future husband, Prince Harry, that read in part, "Your Royal Highness, you are a lucky man and I know your long life together will be joyful, productive, and hilarious."

Before landing her long-term gig on the USA Network series, Markle had appeared in over two dozen movies and TV shows, playing everything from a FedEx delivery driver to a cold-blooded killer. Thanks to her prolific résumé, the press had a plethora of former co-stars to interview about what she was like before she became the Duchess of Sussex. Some of them simply shared anecdotes about their time working with her, while others had opinions about Meghan Markle's life after she married Prince Harry.

Gregg Sulkin believed she was ready for royalty

"Wizards of Waverly Place" star Gregg Sulkin got to know Meghan Markle when they co-starred in the 2015 crime drama "Anti-Social." Sulkin's character is a street artist who gets involved in his brother's criminal schemes. Markle plays his girlfriend, a glamorous model who is no fan of her beau's shady bro. On "Fair Game with Kristine Leahy" in 2019, Sulkin — who is British — shared his excitement that his American co-star had secured a spot in his country's history books. He also said that he saw some regal qualities in Markle while working with her. "Everybody does know her as a princess, but in real life, she genuinely is also like a princess," Sulkin explained. "She is one of the classiest, the nicest, one of the most sincere and genuine people I've ever met."

In an interview with "Access," Sulkin was supposed to be promoting his movie "A Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish" when he lavished Markle with praise once again. "If there's one person I would want to represent our country, it would be her," he gushed. Of course, Markle's Cinderella story didn't have your usual happy ending with the heroine remaining in the kingdom her prince came from, so she's not exactly repping Sulkin's country anymore. But no one can ever take away Sulkin telling Vanity Fair, "Out of all the actresses I've worked with in 12 years, I think [Meghan is] my favorite." And that's better than any silly old tiara, right?

Meghan Markle got dating advice from a Hallmark star

While Meghan Markle was filming the 2016 Hallmark movie "Dater's Handbook," she got some sage advice about her love life from her on-screen love interest. Kristoffer Polaha told SheKnows that he was on a "fake date" with Markle when their topic of conversation turned to her romance woes. "She was dating a guy in Toronto and she wasn't really into the dude, and I was like, 'You just got out of a marriage, why are you jumping into another relationship? Go be single, be free,'" he recalled. Markle did exactly that — and she happened to attract the attention of Prince Harry once she was unattached. According to Polaha, she later texted him to let him know that she'd found someone special.

Markle doesn't just have Polaha to thank for playing an integral role in bringing her and Harry together; the "We Wish You a Married Christmas" star is also one of the Duchess of Sussex's biggest supporters. On "The Sarah Scoop Show" in 2021, he weighed in on her and Harry's decision to step down as senior royals and forge their own path. "I'm 100% on Meghan's side," he stated. "... I think they could do some really cool things with their platform." He also said that he'd love to team up with Markle again on-screen, and there's some potential for a collab there — Polaha writes romance novels, and Markle told Variety in 2022 that she and Harry are interested in producing rom-coms.

Why Wendell Pierce was unhappy about her Oprah interview

Actor Wendell Pierce, who played the father of Meghan Markle's character on "Suits," was happy to share his fond memories of working with his co-star after her engagement to Prince Harry was announced. On the talk show "Harry," Pierce said that Markle used to speak about her royal beau in code when she was trying to keep their relationship on the down low. He also shared what he told Markle ahead of her exit from the show. "I said, 'I know your life is going to change, but always know, no matter where you are, I will always be your loving fake father,'" he recalled.

But after Markle made another big change by initiating Sussexit and explaining why she and Harry were leaving royal life to Oprah Winfrey, Pierce wasn't feeling quite so fatherly. In a 2021 interview with the U.K. radio station LBC, he appeared to lash out at the Sussexes, criticizing them for airing their grievances with the royal family amid a global pandemic. "In the midst of so much death, I think it is insignificant," he said.

Pierce later walked back his criticism when he saw that the Daily Mail was using his interview to attack Markle, accusing the outlet of twisting his words. He also referenced Markle's revelations that she'd struggled with suicidal thoughts. "In no way am I insensitive to suicide," he tweeted in part. "... As I told Meghan, I support her and wish her all the best."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Simon Rex wouldn't lie about Meghan Markle for money

In 2005, Meghan Markle and "Red Rocket" star Simon Rex had one-off roles in the sitcom "Cuts." Rex played the boyfriend of Shannon Elizabeth's spoiled salon manager character, but apparently, multiple tabloids wanted to cast Rex and Markle as love interests in real life. In a 2022 interview, Rex told The Guardian that unnamed publications had reached out to him and asked him to lie about having a sexual relationship with Markle. For his dishonesty, he would have received a payment of $70,000. "I was broke as f***!" Rex said. "... But I'll be on food stamps before I do that."

He apparently alerted Markle about the slimy offer, and to thank him for refusing to play the tabloids' dirty game, she expressed her gratitude in a letter. "She said: 'It's nice to know there are still good people,'" Rex said of the note, which was so meaningful to him that he framed it. To supplement her acting income during the days when she was only landing small roles, Markle told Good Housekeeping that she had a side hustle as a calligrapher, so we imagine that Rex's letter looked worthy of that frame.

Markle later won a small battle over a letter in her war against the tabloids. In 2022, The Mail on Sunday was ordered to pay the actor an undisclosed sum for copyright infringement after sharing the contents of a letter she wrote to her estranged dad, per The Guardian.

Abigail Spencer praised her kindness and compassion

In a 2018 interview with ET, Abigail Spencer revealed that she and Meghan Markle share more than a close friendship; they also have the exact same birthday. While the two actors appeared on "Suits" together, Spencer said that she and Markle first connected when they were auditioning for a different project years earlier. "She was just so stunning and there was just something about her," Spencer recalled. 

After The Times published its 2021 report about the bullying accusations a palace adviser made against Markle, Spencer defended her friend's character in a lengthy Instagram post. Referencing a time when they reconnected after not seeing each other for a while, Spencer recalled how effortlessly Markle integrated herself into Spencer's new group of friends, who were instantly charmed by her warmth and attentiveness. Of their own friendship, Spencer wrote, "She's been there for me — and physically held me — in my darkest hours: After my dad died. After a gut-wrenching breakup, she brought me into her home & nursed me back to health."

Spencer also appeared in the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan." She reminisced about the moment Markle informed her that she was dating Prince Harry, which took place at Bergdorf Goodman as they sipped on champagne. "It was very clear from the moment that she told me about him that they were in love and that they were gonna go to the ends of the earth to be together," Spencer recalled.

Abby Wathen bonded with Meghan Markle over relationships

When Meghan Markle appeared alongside "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" star Michael Rady in the 2013 rom-com "Random Encounters," she didn't play his romantic lead. That role went to actor Abby Wathen, while Markle was cast as the party-girl pal whose main purpose is to give her friend something to do when she's not with her love interest. According to Wathen, she and Markle also had an off-screen friendship that was strengthened by their parallel relationship timelines. "Meghan and I bonded because I was married and she was getting married. I was invited to her wedding but I couldn't go," Wathen recalled in the 2017 documentary "Prince Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply" (via the Mirror).

The wedding Wathen missed happened in 2011 when Markle and producer Trevor Engleson tied the knot in Jamaica. Two years later, the couple divorced. Around the same time, Wathen's own marriage ended. "We bonded on that too," she recalled. "I was destroyed, but she was empowered. She took her power back. It wasn't the right relationship for her, so she moved on." However, while Markle apparently felt like she was making the right move, one source told The Sun that her split from Engleson wasn't a happy conscious uncoupling.

While Markle and Wathen's movie didn't leave much of an impression on the audience, the Duchess of Sussex managed to land her starring "Suits" role soon after. As Wathen said of her friend, "I think she kind of always knew that she would be successful."

Christian Keyes got slapped by Meghan Markle

Working royals aren't too dissimilar from actors; part of their job is performing for the cameras that capture their every facial expression and gesture. So, it pays to possess the ability to look affable even when you don't feel like smiling and making small talk with your adoring fans. It also couldn't hurt to memorize some innocuous scripted conversations to have in your golden carriage as you wait for your coronation to begin, just in case Sky News consults with a lipreader. But as an actual actor, Meghan Markle didn't just have to smile and look engaged during public engagements; she also had to be believably vicious, seductive, vulnerable — you get the picture.

For her role as a photographer in the 2012 movie "Dysfunctional Friends," Markle had to be domineering while directing a male model played by "The Boys" actor Christian Keyes. When he dared to question her character's artistic vision, she delivered the line, "That's why you're not paid to think" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Markle also slapped Keyes at one point. "[Meghan] said, 'I might improv an extra smack,' and I was like, 'smack away!'" he recalled to People in 2018. "I knew she was going to put a little hand on it. She had some torque and rotation in the wrist." 

But when she wasn't smacking him around on set, Keyes said that Markle was a pleasure to be around. "She was super cool and approachable," he revealed. "She was a class act."

Howie Mandel's Deal or no Deal diss reaction

From 2006 to 2007, Meghan Markle appeared on the game show "Deal or No Deal" as one of the models who stood smiling onstage beside a briefcase — the job was a bit like being Vanna White with a lot less walking. And apparently, Markle didn't find it fulfilling to wait and see if she would be the lucky model who got to open her briefcase and react to its numerical contents. "I was thankful for the job, but not for how it made me feel, which was not smart," Markle admitted on her "Archetypes" podcast in 2022. She went on to say that she didn't want to be solely valued for her appearance.

The host of "Deal or No Deal," comedian Howie Mandel, has admitted that he has no recollection of Markle from their time working together. "I don't remember her to this day," he said on "Piers Morgan Uncensored" in 2022. However, while they didn't become besties back then, Mandel spoke out in support of Markle after her comments about his game show were criticized. "I don't think Meghan is complaining. I think Meghan just said she wanted to do more," he told Us Weekly. Mandel also revealed that he can relate to the Duchess of Sussex. "They had this pyramid of 26 beautiful, intelligent women standing there just staring at me like I was a piece of meat ... I felt like I am more than this," he quipped.

Patrick J. Adams fiercely defended the duchess

After Meghan Markle found her prince, her "Suits" co-star Patrick J. Adams assumed the role of her white knight. When Markle was accused of bullying palace staffers, Adams defended his friend in a series of since-deleted tweets. "It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media," one of his messages read. Adams also slammed Buckingham Palace for announcing that it would be investigating the bullying allegations, arguing that it was Markle who was a victim in the situation. "IMO, this newest chapter and it's timing is just another stunning example of the shamelessness of a institution that has outlived its relevance, is way overdrawn on credibility and apparently bankrupt of decency," he wrote.

In 2020, Adams told Radio Times (via People) that he hadn't called Markle since she married into the royal family. "Quite frankly, I think I'm intimidated," he confessed. "I don't know what I would say." But if he can ever muster up the courage to break the ice with someone he worked with for seven years, he'd happily do so again. In a 2022 interview with Extra, Adams said that he's totally up for collaborating with Markle on one of her Netflix projects. He also has a talented wife in "Pretty Little Liars" star Troian Bellisario, so she, too, could possibly benefit from Adams re-opening up those lines of communication with his former co-worker.

Meghan Markle's obsession with an Amanda Schull film

When New Idea spoke to Amanda Schull about her "Suits" co-star's relationship with Prince Harry, she didn't gush over how fortunate Meghan Markle was to be marrying into the royal family. "I don't know [Harry] personally, but he's a very lucky man to have Meghan in his life because I can only say wonderful things about her," Schull said. However, when Schull joined the cast of "Suits," she was the one impressing Markle. 

In the 2000 movie "Center Stage," Schull plays an aspiring ballerina who works hard to achieve her dream of joining the fictional American Ballet Company, refusing to give up even when she's told that she's not good enough. It's easy to see why someone as driven and ambitious as Markle would find the film appealing. "A fun little tidbit with Meghan — she was a 'Center Stage' fan," Schull told Us Weekly in 2018. "So she would ask me lots of questions about 'Center Stage,' which is really sweet."

Markle eventually became more than an excited, inquisitive fangirl in Schull's eyes, earning the respect and admiration of the actor she held in such high esteem. "Every single time I worked with Meghan she was so prepared and so focused with her work on camera," Schull said. As for what Markle was like when they weren't filming, Schull revealed, "She was just always such an open, lovely, generous person from the very first day I met her."

One co-star enjoyed their kissing scenes

In his memoir "Spare," Prince Harry confessed that seeing some of Meghan Markle's love scenes in "Suits" made him rather uncomfortable. "It would take electric-shock therapy to get those images out of my head," he quipped. But as an actor, filming such scenes was just part of the job for Markle, and "Suits" wasn't the only project that required her to fake intimacy with a co-star. 

The steamy scenes Markle filmed in character as an ex-stripper didn't help the 2008 pilot for "The Apostles" get picked up by a network, but they gave her on-screen husband something to talk about when Markle married Harry. And we can't imagine that Harry was exactly happy about what he had to say.

In a 2018 interview with BBC Radio 5, actor Keith Robinson said that Harry is a fortunate man to be married to his on-screen wife in real life. Robinson praised Markle's work ethic and attitude — as well as her appearance. "It's not hard to kiss a beautiful woman, so I'm glad they casted a beautiful woman to play my wife," he confessed. Filming love scenes can be awkward, but Robinson thought that he and Markle vibed as co-stars. "She was very into it, very giving. It wasn't a hard sell for me at all," he said (via the Daily Mail). "We had some pretty intense scenes." If footage of that pilot exists out there somewhere, Harry might want to resist the temptation to watch it.

Meghan Markle's supportive Suits squad

Meghan Markle's "Suits" castmates weren't bitter when she bid them all adieu to embark on her new life as a prince's wife. A number of her co-stars scored invites to her and Prince Harry's wedding in May 2018, after all, and that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ahead of the event, Sarah Rafferty spoke to "Today" about the close bond she and her castmates shared with Markle. "We were with each other for longer than we went to college or high school with our friends, so we became family, in a way. We're still family," she said. Rick Hoffman, another invitee, shared a heartwarming, wedding-related story about Markle. The end of a relationship had left him dateless for a Parisian destination wedding, so Markle offered to be his plus-one. He revealed that they had an absolute blast together.

Eric Roberts was one of the actors who defended Markle after she was accused of bullying members of her palace staff. "She's not a bully in my experience at all," he told "Inside Edition." Quite the opposite, in fact. "She could not have been more gracious, and she was always sweet to me," he said. 

D.B. Woodside found the allegations impossible to believe, as well. "Meghan is one of the sweetest, nicest, most intelligent, thoughtful human beings that I have ever met in my life," he told ET. He also praised her strength, saying of those who were calling her character into question, "They picked the wrong woman to mess with."

She's worked with some funny leading men

In the 2011 movie "Horrible Bosses," Meghan Markle plays a FedEx driver who catches the eye of Jason Sudeikis' character. He tells her that she's too attractive to be delivering boxes and asks her if she's really filming a prank show. (Spoiler alert: she's not, and this cringy attempt at flattery fails to impress Markle's character, who is just trying to do her job without getting hit on.) In a 2018 interview with ET, Sudeikis quipped that all it took was filming that scene to convince him that Markle would someday trade her FedEx cap for a crown. "She was regal in that moment, and it seemed like she's only gotten better at it," he said. While we're guessing that Markle's future didn't really flash before Sudeikis' eyes, she did make an impression on him. "She was very sweet," he recalled.

By 2020, Markle's star power had increased exponentially. It was so strong, in fact, that it powered the resurrection of a Comedy Central project that had been gathering dust for nearly a decade. It was titled "The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down," and her former castmates included "New Girl" actor Max Greenfield and "Happy Endings" star Adam Pally. "[Meghan] was very sweet and talented," Pally recalled in an interview with "Access Hollywood," going on to quip, "I think it was disappointing for her when she showed up and found out that I was her love interest and not the other male lead, Max Greenfield."

The co-stars whose Meghan Markle memories are a bit fuzzy

If Meghan Markle began acting again today, it's safe to assume that most of her co-stars wouldn't forget their experiences working with her. But before her name was featured in the headlines on a daily basis, she didn't leave a lasting impression on some of her castmates. When Us Weekly tried to talk to Emmanuelle Chriqui about the 2006 thriller that she and Markle filmed together, "Deceit," the "Entourage" star said, "She was in that? I didn't even know that! That is amazing. I had no idea. Mind blown right now! I don't remember that at all! That's hilarious."

Nathan Fillion, however, was aware that he had worked with Markle when ET spoke to him about her role as a serial killer who rocked a Sleeping Beauty costume and dressed her victims up like fairytale characters. Fillion recalled Markle being in the "Castle" episode and dressing like a princess, but confessed, "I forgot that she was the murderer, and I'm shocked."

Then there's comedian Russell Brand, who claimed that he snogged Markle for a scene in "Get Him to the Greek." On "Loose Women," Brand admitted that he doesn't actually remember the supposed kiss. "She weren't married to a royal person, so I wasn't paying attention," he said. As for why he believes it happened, Brand explained, "I think I saw a clip of it somewhere." However, according to the Daily Star, no such kissing scene featuring Markle exists in the movie.

Robert Pattinson remembered his brief Meghan Markle scene

Meghan Markle only had a small role as a bartender in the 2010 drama "Remember Me," but "The Batman" actor Robert Pattinson remembered her many years later. For her scene in the movie, Markle makes Pattinson's character smirk when she denies his friend (Tate Ellington) a drink, much to his bewilderment. When E! News asked Pattinson to comment on Prince Harry and Markle's engagement in 2017, he said of the future duchess, "She seems great. I worked with her, as well. She's in 'Remember Me' — it's my claim to fame!" He was asked if he believed that his history with Meghan would score him a wedding invite, to which he laughingly replied, "Hopefully."

Pattinson didn't attend the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes' wedding, but the snub is not an indication that Markle didn't enjoy working with the "Twilight" star; quite the contrary, in fact. "Oh, he's such a sweetheart," Markle gushed to Her World in 2013. "... He's a really lovely guy and a really great example to be able to watch someone who is young, whose stardom has really taken over his life in such a huge way, and yet he's still gracious, humble, and cool. I think that is really endearing."

Interestingly, Pattinson was once considered for the role of Harry in a biopic titled "The Spare," according to OK! magazine. If this dream casting ever comes to fruition, we're sure the actor will have a lot more to say about his former co-star and her husband.