(7) Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
It’s fair to say I was playing someone whose power and authority across the international art world are perhaps still a work in progress. In this, the very first episode of Season 1 of the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, my character was the kind who has a tweezy poise and a ferny fragility, don’t you know, and he was probably a bitch on a stick—because after all, this was the art gallery district on the far west side of Chelsea. In this environment of painful hipness, the less money you were paid as an Art Gallery Assistant, the more pouty and pantsy and tragically chic and generally up-yourself you were expected to be. (The casting was against type, of course—I had to stretch for this one.) With Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni and Ronald Guttman.
In that Chelsea gallery among all those big red lips, probably no one expected that this premiere episode, which aired on 20 Sep ’99, would lead to 23 seasons, with Mariska Hargitay recently appearing in its 500th episode. I like her smile of suppressed mirth in our scene here.
I get quarterly royalty cheques from L&O:SVU that are just about enough to buy me a raspberry Frappuccino with sprinkles (and in some quarters, the cheque won’t even stretch to the sprinkles). This episode’s IMDb listing is here. Being the first-ever episode, and being written by the whole Law and Order world’s creator Dick Wolf himself, this episode is unusual in also having its own Wikipedia page, here. (49”)
(See video here.)