Some painful memories can last a lifetime. Just ask Connie Nielsen. Fourteen years after wading into the world of Law & Order: SVU for a multi-episode arc back in 2006, Nielsen has strong thoughts about a potential return. She has no interest in one, and you can thank the haters for it.
First, some background. Back in 2006, Law & Order: SVU’s long-time lead actress, Mariska Hargitay, went on maternity leave. The crime drama attempted to fill the void left by Hargitay’s short-term absence by casting Connie Nielsen as Detective Dani Beck. Asked about reprising her role as Dani Beck, Nielsen told ComingSoon.net:
Are you kidding me? NO! Because literally there are these people who are obsessive about hating her! I’m like, ‘Chill the fuck out, people!’ There are people who are professional Dani Beck haters and I never knew even that they existed until they went on Instagram and started tagging me on there. I was like, ‘WHAT?’ There are people who hate this character I did 10 years ago while Mariska Hargitay was giving birth. They should be grateful to me, I allowed her the time to be home with her baby. (Laughs.) Instead some asshole is like, ‘We hate Dani Beck.’ Well fuck you too! I cannot believe it. ‘Law & Order’ is not for sissies, let me tell you. They have a shooting schedule that is mindboggling.
It sounds like Connie Nielsen’s experience with haters has been an intense one! The topic of Nielsen potentially returning to Law & Order: SVU was broached due to some surprising news. It was recently announced that Christopher Meloni will be reprising his role as Elliot Stabler for an upcoming spinoff. Not a return to Law & Order: SVU, but sort of.
For her part, Connie Nielsen is ready to put her time on the recently mega-renewed series behind her. Nielsen did not go into much detail as to why there is so much vitriol aimed at her Law & Order: SVU character. It is not as if Nielsen’s Dani Beck was a permanent replacement for the beloved Mariska Hargitay.
There are some theories that line up as potential suspects for why some Law & Order: SVU fans have expressed their dire ire at Connie Nielsen’s character. First off, during her multi-episode arc, Dani Beck and Stabler shared a kiss. Fans of the chemistry between Benson and Stabler may have been a bit raw about that.
Getting between the potential of a pairing between Benson and Stabler (even if it was temporary) may not have sat well with people. When you consider that Benson and Stabler never hooked up on Law & Order: SVU, you have a powder keg of tension.
That said, Connie Nielsen did not stay on Law & Order: SVU for long. Despite contemplating leaving the show, Mariska Hargitay has stayed on for the long haul. Her co-star, Christopher Meloni, did exit the series, destroying any hope of Benson and Stabler’s relationship status changing. So, why are fans still angry about Dani Beck? Those who hold her in contempt know the answer.
It is interesting to note that Connie Nielsen also mentioned the schedule that Law & Order: SVU keeps. Is that one of the reasons she would not want to return? Based on how she described it, it sounds pretty brutal. Regardless, the show is moving forward despite some episodes cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. If you want to consider some other viewing options while anticipating new installments of the crime procedural, you can check out this spring’s premieres.