Octavio Pisano plays Detective Joe Velasco on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. New episodes of season 24 air Thursday nights at 9 PM ET on NBC. It is the longest-running primetime live-action series of all time. During the Law & Order Season Premiere red carpet, I had the opportunity to interview the actor!
This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the lives of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate crimes of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.
To start off, I spoke with Octavio Pisano about all of the different dynamics on SVU and if he had any favorites for his character. “Yeah, off-screen, Mariska and Ice-T have been mentors of mine and it’s just amazing to work with them. On-screen, I feel like it translates almost like meta, you know? My character’s learned a lot from them and he’s new to this world of sex crimes, so yeah. I mean, and also just having fun with them,” he told me.
Considering how long the series has been on, it’s no surprise that it has a huge and extremely passionate fanbase. The actor opened up about what it’s been like to see the fan response to his character: “It’s a rollercoaster because obviously, the true fans have been fans from the beginning, right? So when somebody new comes in, they’re always put off and it’s like, ‘Well, who is this guy? Let’s make sure that he fits.’ So it took them a while to kind of embrace me, but I feel like– I hope now that they have. I’ve ran into a couple of fans on the street and it’s just so much love, so much knowledge. They pay attention to every single little detail.”
We also discussed his favorite part of being able to film Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in New York. “There’s no dull moment in New York,” he expressed to me. “I’ve never been to New York before this show. So for me, I’m getting to know the city as I’m shooting the show, but the character’s been here for a long time so it’s kind of a little bit of a mental rollercoaster.”
Lastly, I asked Pisano about what he would consider a dream storyline for Velasco. “Oh, that’s a tough one. I think anything related to his family. I’m really close to my family and yeah, anything related to getting to know more of his background and more of his family would make me more in touch with him so that’d be great,” he said.