Law And Order: SVU's Kelli Giddish Reveals Another Perk Of Christopher Meloni's Return As Elliot Stabler

law and order svu season 22 kelli giddish rollins nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Law & Order: SVU has been going strong for more than two decades now, and launched a spinoff earlier this spring that was winning big in the ratings right off the bat. Of course, starring former SVU leading man Christopher Meloni in his big return to the role of Elliot Stabler all but guaranteed that Law & Order: Organized Crime would be a hit, but based on some comments from SVU actress Kelli Giddish, there is another perk to Meloni coming back and reuniting with Mariska Hargitay's Benson.

Kelli Giddish, whose Rollins has developed a fan-favorite dynamic with Peter Scanavino's Carisi, spoke with CinemaBlend about Law & Order: SVU Season 22 and the return of Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler. With Rollins/Carisi as arguably the closest bond that developed on SVU since the days of the Benson/Stabler partnership, I asked the actress for her thoughts on comparisons between the two duos, and Giddish responded:

I hadn't even thought of that, to be honest. I'm so happy he's back, and it's opened up some really great avenues for Mariska [Hargitay] and I'm very happy about that. And I think the the fallout or the benefits of that will be... I think it It opens us, Liv and Rollins, up for more conversations about who he is, who he was to her, how her world has changed. Anytime we get like that, I think just further further develops and enhances our friendship and relationship.

While plenty of fans would undoubtedly love their own window into Benson's mind when it comes to who Stabler was and is to her, Rollins and Benson's relationship developing further because of his return can only be a good thing. With Stabler's return not exactly coming without strings attached and Rollins dealing with her dad drama on top of what the reveal of Carisi's relationship could mean for that duo, Benson and Rollins could probably both use a port in the storm! I would definitely say that this is another perk of Christopher Meloni's return as Stabler.

And the return of Stabler isn't the only reason for Rollins and Benson to open up to each other. When asked her thoughts on getting to play a working mom in such a high-stress job as a senior detective in Special Victims, Kelli Giddish explained:

It's great because Mariska's character is in a pretty similar boat. And those moments where we can drop the cop front and just be like, 'How are you?' I think it allows for those moments to be had between two women on TV that I think all of us in real life have. You know, like, 'Hey, how are you managing all this? You doing good?' Just logistically and emotionally, and so many people need things from her and from me. And then you also have the balance of family. It's just a cool opportunity in our friendship to kind of see that reflected on screen.

Law & Order: SVU can get pretty dark and heavy what with all the sexually-based offenses and especially heinous crimes, so peeks into the personal lives and friendship between Rollins and Benson can provide some welcome lightness to balance things out. Rollins has her two kids (although with Carisi sometimes on hand with his close bond with Jesse and Billie) and Benson has Noah, so they have something in common that neither has with anybody else in Special Victims on SVU, or even with Stabler over on Organized Crime.

SVU managing to not only continue thriving in Season 22 but also launch the Organized Crime spinoff (with another Law & Order spinoff on the way) is something unprecedented on television, even in the mega-successful Dick Wolf universe. Kelli Giddish weighed in on the continuing success of SVU with Christopher Meloni's Organized Crime return as part of the Season 22 package:

I'm just so grateful. And it speaks to the genius of Dick Wolf as to what he creates in these worlds in which, you know, one of your main characters goes away for ten years and then comes back and does a whole new spinoff for you. In terms of Chris coming back to do OC, it's a balance that he's struck between building these really relatable, like, understandable likable characters, and also having the freedom with the writers and all these geniuses behind every script, come up with something that's of the moment and that puts down something that's in everybody's heads and hearts. It feels good to see it portrayed by these competent showrunners, competent crews. Each producer, director, DP, everybody that's put this show on this year, I'm just so proud. I'm so proud of to be part of this family.

The Dick Wolf family of shows currently spans five series on NBC, two series on CBS, and two more spinoffs on the way, with Law & Order: SVU going strong as the longest-running by far and Organized Crime as the newest. And all things considered, fans don't have to worry that the shows are going anywhere any time too soon, and not just because SVU and One Chicago have all already received renewals for another couple of seasons.

Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime will return on Thursday, May 13 with a two-hour crossover event on NBC, starting at 9 p.m. ET with SVU and continuing with Organized Crime at 10 p.m. ET. For when both shows and many more will wrap for the 2020-2021 TV season, check out our rundown of upcoming TV finales!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).