Christopher Meloni once played a serial rapist by day and a special victims detective by night.
Meloni talked about the striking dichotomy between his roles on “Oz” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” with “Inside the Actor’s Studio” host James Lipton.
The actor portrayed the roles of prisoner Chris Keller and officer Elliot Stabler simultaneously for a few years.
“I knew I was the luckiest actor in New York City,” Meloni said. “To be a working actor in New York City is good enough. To have a steady gig in New York City is a dream come true. To have two, which are awesome shows—forget about it.”
Meloni said it wasn’t easy playing too different characters on opposite sides of the law on the same day.
He mentioned working on the set of “Oz” from 6 a.m. until noon, playing a prisoner who kills and sodomizes people. Then the actor would travel to the set of “Law & Order” where he finished the day arresting murderers and rapists.
Meloni starred on “Oz” for five seasons and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for 12 seasons, earning an Emmy nomination in 2006 for his performance as Elliot Stabler. The actor currently stars on the WGN drama series “Underground,” about a group of slaves trying to escape a Georgia plantation.
Meloni’s episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” airs Thursday, March 31 at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
Watch the actor compare his roles on “Oz” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” below.
Inspired by this post? Check out our television audition listings!