Celebrity Scoop: Christopher Meloni
By Jacqueline Cutler, Zap2It | July 6, 2011
Christopher Meloni apologizes for eating, but this is his break between shooting two episodes of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the studio on the Manhattan piers that look out on New Jersey.
Turns out it is his final episode, which Meloni is keenly aware of as he talks about Detective Elliot Stabler.
"I had no desire one way or the other" to play a character for so long, he says of the NYPD character he played for 12 years. "You have to be employed, and it is at the whim of others."
Despite playing Stabler for 272 episodes, Meloni doesn't see many similarities between the character and himself, other than both are husbands and fathers.
"His circumstances are far different," Meloni says. "What he deals with and how he deals with it is a little bit different than mine.
"I'm surprised, pleased and amazed it has gone on for so long," he says.
Meloni says he had played out Stabler's final scenes in his head, and he wants him to remain the stand-up character that he always was.
"As I've attempted to play him, I always felt the mood of him was the quiet hero, the flawed guy," Meloni says. "He's taken this code of honor to protect and serve. It's indelibly tattooed onto his brain, the mundane pressures of kids, bills, wife.
"At the end of the day, he has a heroic core, or heroic thread," Meloni continues. "He is the best kind of hero. He is not going to bust through the wall with two guns blazing. He lived up to the best promise of himself. In the end, his framework is the code. You can fault him for being overexuberant, but you can't fault him for not caring."