We get personal with one of the stars of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

2017-09-20 09:44
Kelli Giddish

Cape Town - Channel24 TV got the chance to talk to Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’s Kelli Giddish ahead of the seventeenth season of the long running series being aired on The Universal Channel (DStv 117). 

The relaxed long distance chat happened over a crackling telephone line with us sitting in Cape Town and Kelli in New York where the show is filmed. 

Kelli joined the Dick Wolf helmed spin-off in its thirteenth season, with Mariska Hargitay and an established cast and crew who she says welcomed her with open arms: “It was crazy, working with everyone and Mariska was really kind. It was a chance to work with an amazing cast and crew so it was a once in a lifetime experience.”

Kelli Giddish 

The experience working with the cast and crew on SVU might have been new all those years ago but Kelli’s role as Amanda Rollins wasn’t the first time that she had worked with the show’s creator Dick Wolf. The American star also worked with the TV heavyweight on one of his other shows, Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Her SVU character Amanda, has also crossed over onto Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.

Kelli says that even though Dick is based in California he still has hands on approach with SVU: “He’s in California and he comes down and changes things and works on characters. He’s amazing. We have worked together before quite a bit and he’s a big part of the process.” 

Kelli Giddish

The process for season 17 of SVU– which is currently airing on local TV -  hasn’t always been easy for Kelli as she revealed: “Going into the season which you will be watching, there were some things that really hit home with me.”

Anyone who has watched even one season of the crime show can definitely see why this might be true, because SVU deals with some of the worst and best aspects of humanity, in that world, Amanda is one of the tougher characters, who seems to take everything in stride; a trait that seems to be the common link between the actor’s roles. 

Kelli Giddish

What makes Kelli want to play characters like this? She said at first it wasn’t necessarily by choice but more destiny: “You know as an actor when you’re starting out – I’ve been doing this for many years - sometimes you take what gets given to you and you run with it. (Meaning) I never went searching for specifically tough characters like this, they found me.” 

When asked how Kelli’s character of Amanda and Mariska’s character of Olivia’s relationship has changed between the first season that they worked together Kelli said: “Their relationship has developed over time, I think Amanda really looked up to Olivia not only as a cop but as a single mother. Now they are in place of mutual understanding, they understand each other’s limits. That we’re all trying and that we’re all different. “

It might be difficult for viewers to imagine the show without her but the established actor – who is at the top of her game – didn’t always think she would be lighting the small or big screen and actually saw herself in a lab. She said: “I was supposed to study physics, but it didn’t work out.” 

Does Kelli ever see destiny bringing her to SA? She closes by saying: “I would love to come to South Africa; it’s actually on my list, maybe one day.” 

Watch a trailer here:

Catch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mondays at 20:00 on Universal Channel (DStv 117).

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(Photos supplied)

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