The new seasons of Law & Order, Law & Order: Organized Crime, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premiere tonight on NBC. This will mark a historic crossover, bringing all three of the brand’s casts together for a special night on television. At the Law & Order Season Premiere red carpet, I discussed the event with Ice-T, Hugh Dancy, Danielle Moné Truitt, Octavio Pisano, Sam Waterston, Ainsley Seiger, and Camryn Manheim.
What was your personal favorite part of filming the crossover event and what are you most excited for fans to see?
Hugh Dancy: My favorite part of it was probably spending the day on the SVU set with Mariska because it felt like a day out — like at school when you get a little day out, you know? They let you out and you have your little lunch box. Mariska is wonderful, famously delightful so that was a great day. Also, seeing the work that the writers put into creating this huge — I know we’re calling it an event because it is an event, I suppose, but really it’s just a lot of work by a lot of people to make this thing that much bigger than usual.
Octavio Pisano: I’m actually really excited about the action sequences. They’re beyond this world, that is not something we usually get to do, so I’m excited about that.
Sam Waterston: Well, I think the most exciting thing is what you see on the face, which is that it’s all the companies of Law & Order together, telling the same story in three hours of TV, owning the night, and it’s a really, really good story, which is what you come to expect when you turn on the TV and watch Law & Order. This is a really good story.
Camryn Manheim: It was really fascinating to do the crossover because every show has a very unique feel to it. I always think like our Law & Order’s kinda scrappy, we have the same set they had 30 years ago, it’s the same pea green walls, and the phones look like the first invention of Alexander Graham Bell, it is so old and it’s like we got nothing. We just have nothing. Then you go over to SVU and it’s a little bit more shiny, they got more technical stuff going on, then you go over to Organized Crime, it’s like they live in a loft, you know? We shot these in three different boroughs, it was amazing — the streets of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, and it was just amazing to know that yeah, we have three different shows, but we’re the same heart.
Ainsley Seiger: I’m so excited. I can’t wait to actually sit on my couch on Thursday and get to watch it for three hours instead of just kind of speculating about what everything is gonna look like. I’ve seen bits and pieces, but I’m really, really looking forward to sitting down and watching it all from start to finish.
Ice-T: When we shoot crossovers, it’s not like we’re shooting them the way you’re going to see them. We’re shooting an episode, then you do a crossover, and then you go back to your episode cause we’re on episode 6. So we’re doing these simultaneously so I just jumped in, did some crossover stuff, and came back. The next day, I’m shooting and they’re like, “this is for the crossover.” I do not know how this thing is gonna come out, I’m gonna watch it on Thursday with you guys because I’m not in every scene so I don’t know. It’s gonna be amazing to see this thing put together.
Seiger: Yeah, everything is happening all at once and it takes so much personal responsibility to be able to before the day, be like, “Okay, wait, tomorrow I’m in SVU, I’m doing this, and this hasn’t happened yet so I need to pretend that hasn’t occurred.” Then, you know, even from a technical level, you do so many different takes of different things and I have no idea which are the ones that are gonna get used. So when I go to actually watch the show, I’m like, “Oh, they decided to use that one, interesting.”
Getting to see all of the different characters interact is always so much fun. Do you have a favorite interaction or dynamic that you can tease?
Danielle Moné Truitt: Oh my gosh, our scenes together were so fun. It’s funny because it’s such a serious show but we’re all super goofy. So I kind of wish they could play the outtakes. We’re telling jokes and then they’re like, “Okay, rolling,” and we’re all super serious again. We had so much fun. I hadn’t met Camryn yet, and so it was like really cool to meet her, and Mehcad, I hadn’t met him yet so it was one of those things where like we’re meeting each other, we’re telling each other how much we love each other’s work, and then we get to work together. It’s gonna be a great crossover, you guys are gonna love it.
Dancy: Me and Mariska, let’s say that. No, I don’t know. I think it’s seeing all the crossovers, I mean, to use the word that’s, I guess, been used for years on this. But to see it’s not just a regular crossover in the sense that it’s not me popping up on SVU or whatever it might be. It’s that all of these characters are woven together for the full three hours and I think that’s gonna be something new for fans of the show.
Pisano: Yeah, there is. There’s a couple of scenes I did with Mehcad Brooks and Jeffrey Donovan.
Seiger: So I did get to work with Camryn Manheim and Jeffrey Donovan for the first time and they’re both so lovely. Camryn and I are both huge fans of theater so we got to talk about that as people. But I’m always intrigued by how Jet handles interacting with people who have some level of authority over her but in a different jurisdiction than her, so obviously still reporting to her higher-ups, but how that interaction and that power dynamic works itself out. I’m still really holding out hope to actually — and I don’t know when or how this would happen, but I want to work with the courtroom side of it on the mothership so badly. I haven’t gotten to do that yet but I’m manifesting it.