Chris again talks about a possible return to LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT as our favourite sex crimes detective Elliot Stabler. Once again Chris doesn’t leave out the possibility, however, he won’t return for the long term. He’s still saying he’s open for a return for a half season wrap up of Stabler’s character. The one thing here is that his show UNDERGROUND has been renewed for a second season, so the possibility of his returning to Stabler for anything more than a short stay is iffy. Considering too that season 13-17 showrunner Warren Leight is departing and his disrespect for the character of Stabler has been evident in his need to push the character of Benson (Mariska Hargitay) to the fore despite the fact her character was the one with the least possible interest despite that ridiculous NBC driven “most liked/trusted/pimped” character on television… This in this author’s opinion, but for me Stabler has always been the most interesting character, of course I’m a bit biased considering I’m a huge Christopher Meloni fan….hence the existence of this site, but for me Hargitay/Benson has always been the weakest part of this show, her and Fin (Ice-T). I always felt that Stabler, Casey Novak played by the always wonderful Diane Neal, the short term character of Dani Beck played by Connie Nielsen, and the disgustingly treated character of Chester Lake played by Native Canadian actor Adam Beach.
August Pullman CHARACTERS CHRISTOPHER MELONI Det. Elliot Stabler Law & Order: Special Victims Unit TELEVISION Underground
How Christopher Meloni Feels About A Possible Return To Law & Order: SVU
We’re currently in one of the most hectic times of the TV year, as networks are dishing out cancellations and renewals like crazy, and new shows are coming together while current favorites are putting their season finales out there. But all this chaos hasn’t distracted us from our big bag of TV wishes, and one of the bigger ones in there involves seeing Christopher Meloni returning to the insanely popular Law & Order: SVU as the formidable former NYPD detective Elliot Stabler. The actor makes it sound like that would definitely happen, too, if certain other parties would just ask him to do it.
I just recently was talking about that. [Pause] I always presented that I’d be open to doing the last few episodes, so that’s really all I have to say about that. It’s not up to me, I’ll just say that. I’ve said my piece on it.
So, not only does it sound like Christopher Meloni would almost immediately grab a tie and shave whatever beard he happened to be sporting so that he could reprise his most memorable small screen role, but it seems like he’s a little perturbed that his agreeing to come back has apparently landed on deaf or uninterested ears. Or at least hit some ears that aren’t too invested in worrying about it just yet with this season’s final two episodes still left to air.
After all, Meloni told EW that he’d be down with acting in the final few episodes of the series, which hearkens back to how the rumors of his return started in the first place. Before NBC decided to renew Law & Order: SVU for Season 18, it seemed likely that Season 17 would be the last one, and showrunner Warren Leight had mentioned in an interview that his plans for the final season included talking to Christopher Meloni about going full metal Stabler. But those conversations apparently never really happened after the renewal, though that doesn’t imply one way or the other that they won’t indeed occur when it’s clear that SVU is going through its last year on NBC.
I expect a lot of fan-pleasing things will happen during that final season, with returning characters and other ways of looking back, and Stabler and Benson’s relationship had better get a fitting resolution when the time comes. Of course, I’d be totally down with Meloni reprising Stabler in Law & Order’s upcoming true crime anthology series. Does it matter that Stabler isn’t actually a real detective? Not to me. I’d be fine with Stabler hosting Wheel of Fortune, so it probably makes sense why I’m not in charge of anything.
With its current batch of non-Stablers getting ready to meet a Brad Garrett’s latest turn as a bad guy, Law & Order: SVU will air its two-part Season 17 finale over the next two Wednesday nights on NBC.
Chris was interviewed by The Wrap about his various projects including his just renewed series for the CW UNDERGROUND, his film I AM WRATH as well as he again teases a return to LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT as his eponymous role Detective Elliot Stabler. I would love to see him back as Stabler if not for anything but to give the character a proper closure, however, I don’t want it to be what could be considered a caricature of the character. We’ve already seen the show diss his contribution with that ridiculous line at the end of Danny Pino’s run as Amaro when Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) told him he was her best partner. I say bullshit! Pino, or as I call him Vanilla Boy, was only on for four years. Chris’ Stabler was on for twelve years and hardly something to consider trivial, which is what I felt they did with him.
August Pullman CHARACTERS CHRISTOPHER MELONI Colonel Hardy Dennis Det. Elliot Stabler FILM Gene I Am Wrath Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Man of Steel Oz Pascal TELEVISION The Diary of a Teenage Girl Underground Wet Hot American Summer
‘Underground’ Star Christopher Meloni Teases Return to ‘Law & Order: SVU’
“I Am Wrath” actor also weighs in on his “Oz” co-star J.K. Simmons joining him in the DCU and working with Marielle Heller
Christopher Meloni is TV royalty thanks to his turn as Det. Elliot Stabler on “Law & Order: SVU,” but these days, he has turned in his badge in favor of WGN America’s drama “Underground,” in which he plays conflicted slave trader August Pullman.
“Underground” is one of two series that could put Meloni in the thick of the Emmy race, along with his comedic turn in Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.” At 55 years old, the veteran actor is gunning for his first Emmy nomination in 10 years, and spoke with TheWrap about his two-tiered campaign in the supporting actor categories on both sides of the genre divide.
In addition to his work on the small screen, Meloni returns to features this weekend alongside John Travolta in Chuck Russell‘s revenge thriller “I Am Wrath,” which sees the actor re-embracing Stabler’s famous temper and going outside the law to deliver justice. It’s a far cry from his work in Marielle Heller‘s “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” which also came up during our brief chat.
Read TheWrap’s interview with Meloni below, and be sure to check out “Underground” on WGN America on Wednesdays, as he’s expected to return for the second season.
TheWrap: “Underground” is the first TV series to really tackle slavery like this, particularly the Underground Railroad. Why do you think it took so long for a story like this to make it onscreen?
Christopher Meloni: I find right now to be the golden age of television. You have so many platforms and outlets starved for real, deep, meaningful storytelling. This show takes advantage of that and lets us investigate our past — not in a dry, historical way, but in a provocative manner.
What’s the hardest part of playing a character who does despicable things for the right reasons?
The truth of the matter is, on a day-to-day basis, we don’t always live in such perfect circumstances. I think we always make choices that are convenient, or feel necessary. If you were brought up during [slavery], maybe you wouldn’t be so proud of your actions. It’s a very human trait placed in a more inflammatory setting, which is slavery. Maybe back then you’d get 20 percent of the population who think slavery is good, but the other 80 percent would think it’s unhealthy and immoral, so it’s kind of an inflammatory place to have a character act out his needs. I didn’t find it that difficult, but for me, I found the mechanisms that made it all too human. People will make a lot of excuses to explain away behavior that many would find odorous or less than good.
What sets “Underground” apart from other shows in this year’s Emmy race?
The writing feels so vital and alive. It’s complicated and complex, as well as truthful and important. Reading it, I had the same feeling I had when I read for the [Jackie Robinson] movie “42.” I thought slavery was an important subject to explore, and I’m very proud to be a part of it. Obviously I’m very biased, but there’s a sense of pride being a part of something that feels important.
Can you even imagine being a slave and having to make your own run for freedom? At what point might you have thrown in the towel?
I’ve thought about that a lot. It’s almost a concept that none of us can connect into. We’re so connected right now. It’s no longer even country-to-country, we’re a global society now. We’re completely globalized and there’s also an immediacy, visually, on our own personal devices. But what if you grew up and all you knew was a hundred-acre patch of land? Unless you were one of the privileged few blacks who were allowed to leave, you have no idea what’s out there, or really any concept of what the world is. And then, to have this feeling inside you where you want this thing called freedom, what does that mean? It’s a dangerous thought to have. So then you escape, but you escape to where? You have no idea what the world is like! I wouldn’t even call it bravery — it’s more this burning sense and desire for freedom that must’ve driven them to a place of madness. It’s a pretty profound thought to me.
You co-star alongside John Travolta in the revenge movie “I Am Wrath.” What do you think audiences find so appealing about those kinds of movies, and how was it working with him?
Your average human would be lying if they said they’ve never daydreamed about some kind of revenge scenario. Everyone has been wronged, whether you were bullied on the playground or something else entirely. Bu we’ve all had our revenge fantasies. That’s in our DNA.
Working with Travolta, you couldn’t find a more gracious guy with his fans. They’d line up outside until we wrapped at 1 or 2 in the morning, just waiting for John, and after a 14-16 hour day he’d walk over to them and sign autographs or take pictures until every person was gone. It’s part of the job, but watching him do it with such good humor was inspiring. It was just a pisser working with him.
Did you relish the opportunity to kick some ass in this movie?
Absolutely. I read the script and appreciated it, because I loved my role. I just think you’d be crazy to pass up a role that has a sense of humor and gives you the chance to do some ass-kicking.
Us “SVU” fans are still seeking closure with regards to your character. Do you think we’ll see Stabler back on the show at some point?
(laughing) I really have no idea how to answer that. From the beginning I’ve said I’d be more than happy to come back for the last six episodes.
Netflix just announced that David Wain and Michael Showalter are getting the gang back together again for “Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later.” Where do you think your character, Gene, would be 10 years later?
He’d be the CEO of some corporation. Maybe a senator?
That’s a far cry from a cook at a Jewish summer camp!
That’s what those people are made of though. Gene is cut from the same cloth as a good CEO or a senator.
You appeared in “Man of Steel,” but you were sorely missed in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Did you see it?
I could’ve told Zack [Snyder] that, but he wouldn’t have listened to me! Nah, I loved working with Zack on “Man of Steel.” I knew there was only a slim chance of coming back, but I was hoping I’d have survived the end of that film.
Your “Oz” co-star J.K. Simmons is joining you in the DC Universe as the new Commissioner Gordon. Do you think he’ll be better than Gary Oldman?
Yeah. I’ve gotta back J.K. Simmons!
You recently co-starred in Marielle Heller‘s indie gem “Diary of a Teenage Girl.” She’s blowing up now, working with J.J. Abrams on a Paramount movie that will star Daisy Ridley, and directing “The Case Against 8,” which tells the true story of California’s same-sex marriage bill. You famously played one of TV’s earliest gay characters on “Oz” — or at least had a gay love affair on the show — so would you work with her again on that film or another one?
Without a moment’s hesitation. She is a bright, unbelievably talented star. I love her, and I thought “Diary” was profound. I wish it had found its way to an Oscar nomination. The subject matter was handled brilliantly, delicately and insightfully. To bring people into a world — 1970s San Francisco — and pull it off on such a low budget? She’s a genius. I’m a big fan.
Speaking of directing, I know you were developing an adaptation of that David Vann novel “Legend of a Suicide” at one point. Are you still pursuing directing?
I let that pass. That was a difficult one to continue to work on. Right now, I’m not actively pursuing the directing thing, but the desire still resides in me.
In his recent appearance on INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO with James Lipton, Chris explained why when he was on LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT his character of Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) never hooked up. I’d have to say I agree with him. There should never have been any flirtation with the exception that Neal Baer wanted to give Olivia a family and a love life. I think it would have been such a wrong thing considering too that Elliot was in love with Kathy (Isabel Gillies) and his kids. At no point during the first six and a half seasons did we get any hint of any earnings with Benson, but then Dick Wolf was still fully in charge. When he went off to start his film company he left, bad mistake, Baer in charge who clearly had taken a shining to Benson due to his prior relationship with Hargitay on ER. I’m editorializing I know, but what I said is no less true. Onto what Chris said.
CHARACTERS CHRISTOPHER MELONI Det. Elliot Stabler Law & Order: Special Victims Unit TELEVISION
Chris Meloni Explains Why Benson & Stabler Didn’t Hook Up
Rachel and Ross got together. Jim and Pam hooked up and got married. Benson and Stabler…well…never did a damn thing.
Though Chris Meloni no longer stars on Law & Order: SVU, fans are still wondering why he and Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson never used those handcuffs on one another (wink, wink). Sure, Stabler was married, but he and Kathy’s separation would have made an office romance possible (and it did, though unfortunately with a different detective). Benson, meanwhile, had her own dating life and a schedule jam-packed with, you know, kicking ass. Still, couldn’t they have snuck in one little make-out session?
Meloni shed some light on why a hookup never happened during his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, airing tonight on Bravo.
“I think they [the producers] always knew [a romance] would be the death knell of that relationship,” he said. “I think they needed to keep that line taut and very clear… Keep the tension, never cross it.”
Ugh, fine. We can still ship, though, right?
Just like the title says, Chris is done with SVU. At the WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD premiere, Chris has more or less confirmed he’s over SVU. While Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson) keeps the buzz going, Chris decided to let that part of his life go. I’m glad for him. It’s about time. Considering the lacklustre ratings and the abysmal direction of the show I’d have to say there is no more room for Chris on this disaster. Sorry to have to say this but the original theme this show had has been given up in favour of idiot regurgitations of previous seasons. There’s nothing new to give after 16 seasons. With Warren Leight’s decision to to not bring back fan favourites like Stephanie March (Alexandra Cabot), Diane Neal (Casey Novak) and the departures of Dann Florek (Don Cragen) and Richard Belzer (John Munch) you might as well stick a fork in it. Here’s the article.
CHARACTERS CHRISTOPHER MELONI Det. Elliot Stabler FILM Law & Order: Special Victims Unit TELEVISION White Bird In A Blizzard
‘SVU’: Chris Meloni Reveals If He’ll Return
October 22, 2014 11:29 AM EDT
Chris Meloni giveth, and he taketh away!
After the actor’s former “Law & Order: SVU” co-star Mariska Hargitay told Access Hollywood she thinks Chris should return to the show as Sgt. Benson’s “baby daddy,” Chris Tweeted that he’d be up for it.
However, when we caught up with him in Los Angeles on Tuesday night and asked if any progress had been made on a Det. Stabler “SVU” return, Chris dashed our hopes into a million tiny pieces.
“I think the ship has sailed,” Chris told Access, shaking his head, at the “White Bird in a Blizzard” premiere in Hollywood. “I think that part of my life is done.”
The actor said “SVU” fans get so excited about any hint of a possible Benson/Stabler reunion that he has to be careful what he says.
PHOTOS: ‘Law & Order: SVU’s’ Leading Lady Mariska Hargitay
“I try to joke about it, but obviously I can’t,” he said.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, during a September appearance on Access Hollywood Live, Mariska said she stays in touch with Chris and that she’s been “trying” to get her ex-partner back on the show.
The actress joked that Stabler could come back as her “baby daddy” for her foster baby Noah this season, and Chris responded via Twitter and Facebook.
“Baby daddy for Benson? Why not, I’ve done it enough times for Hargitay,” the actor Tweeted at the time, along with a link to our Mariska story.
— Erin O’Sullivan
New Article about Chris and “SVU”
christopher meloni online ● October 7, 2013 ● 0 comments
Just found a new article on SVU, thought I’d share. Hope, as always, springs eternal.
I’m Still Not Over… Benson and Stabler never getting together on ‘Law & Order: SVU’
By Samantha Highfill on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:38PM
Like most television addicts, I am a big ‘shipper. I root hard for the couples I love. I cheered for Friends‘ Ross and Rachel, for ER‘s Carter and Abby, for Friday Night Lights‘ Tim and Lyla, for The O.C.’s Ryan and Marissa, and the list goes on. Confession: I even cheered for Xena and Hercules. But looking back through the years, I realized that there has rarely been a time when I genuinely went down with my ship, as they say. Sure, Carter and Abby didn’t make it, but they always had their flirtation. Rachel, of course, got off the plane, and even though Marissa died, she was still Ryan’s last thought as he attempted to move on (into bachelorhood). Oh and in case you’re wondering, I’m still holding out hope for Tim and Lyla.
But there has been one ‘ship that I have been fighting to keep afloat for years now, and I refuse to let it sink. Refuse! I’m talking about Law & Order: SVU‘s longest tension-filled relationship between onetime partners Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson.
I don’t know how the show did it, but for years, it kept me intrigued with nothing but longing glances, swoon-worthy hugs, and late-night conversations. For most other shows, I probably would have given up at some point, but there was just something about Benson and Stabler … and it was more than just the fact that Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni have amazing chemistry (though that helped).
Benson and Stabler were partners in every meaning of the word. These two were willing to die for each other; they were clearly attracted to each other; and each of them was the other’s shoulder to cry on. Even when Stabler was married, he was work-married to Benson, which is where he spent about 97 percent of his time. And even now that Stabler’s not on the show anymore, in last week’s premiere, he was the person Benson started talking about when she was kidnapped by a crazy man. Their love cannot be stopped!
I will admit that I have not seen every episode of Law & Order: SVU, so please correct me if I’m wrong (and tell me specifics, so I can watch!), but based on my research, the duo never so much as kissed. Not even a little peck on the lips! These two had/have the most (annoyingly) ridiculous self-control I’ve ever witnessed, real or fictional. Although, the one hug in the hallway — the one where Stabler ran to her — was better than any kiss I’ve ever seen. However, I would like to clarify that as great as the hugs have been, I still want to see an actual kiss. I need to see an actual kiss. This ‘ship cannot sink.
Look, I get that Benson and Stabler were trying to be professional, and that their love for each other sometimes got in the way of good police work (and there was the on-again, off-again infidelity issue), but if this series ends after 15-plus seasons, and these two don’t end up together, I will never get over it. I know Stabler’s no longer on the show, but if that man does not show up in the series finale (or before then), I might lose my mind. Or maybe Benson retires too, so now there’s no job standing in their way?!
I don’t really care how it happens so long as this hug-filled relationship is taken to the next level. Bottom line: No two people can have that much self-restraint (or self-hatred) for that long. They have to give in eventually. Right? Right?!
I never saw the Stabler/Benson dynamic as being the least bit romantic. I always saw it as having each others backs. Stabler knew Benson would be there to make sure he went home to Kathy and the kids each night. And Benson knew what was important to Elliot. I never got that romantic vibe with them. Ever! I understand the need to ‘ship’. Just not when the emphasis was placed so heavily on Stabler’s need for the ‘stability’ of his family. He loved his wife and appreciated it when Benson was there for Kathy in Paternity where she went into labour after the car accident. That’s what the hug was for. That acknowledgement that Olivia had his back when it came to his wife and her safety, hence Benson telling him she’d take Kathy to her appointment. But that’s my opinion. I know the die hard shippers don’t care for the rationale behind the non-shippers clear thinking.
CHARACTERS CHRISTOPHER MELONI Det. Elliot Stabler Law & Order: Special Victims Unit TELEVISION