Why ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Peter Scanavino Said Filming ‘Criminal Intent’ Episode Was ‘Really Hard’

by Amy Myers

As we know from the Benson-Stabler chronicles, it’s not unusual for a Law & Order star to branch into a different series within the franchise. Like his co-stars, Peter Scanavino, the actor behind SVU detective Dominick Carisi, Jr., has also crossed into different casts. And while the tone and director might be the same for these series, the demands are very different.

During a past interview with The Knockturnal, Scanavino shared which series was the most fun to film and which one was most difficult.

“I did one episode of Criminal Intent, and one episode of what they called the ‘mother ship’ of Law & Order. Actually, the Criminal Intent episode was really hard to film,” Scanavino admitted. “And it ended up being a very good episode. The Law & Order episode was some of the most fun I’ve had on these very stages. Over the course of two weeks, the episode’s not probably as good. But we had a great time doing it.”

At the time that Scanavino guest-starred in the “mother ship” series, his main job was on a stage rather than a set. Because of that, it was difficult for him to split his time between the two roles.

“You know, I’ve been doing so much theater work that there was no way to make curtain and also have the time to film an episode as a guest star so I hadn’t done it for most of the time that I’ve been in New York.”

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Also Explained What Made the Transition from Stage to Set So Difficult

Understandably, the change from a stage actor to a set actor is a significant one. Most obviously, the actual acting styles are completely different. On stage, the stars have to overact so as to convey their emotions to the back of the room. Meanwhile, on set, it’s all about subtleties.

For the Law & Order: SVU star, though, the hardest part about the transition happened to be the fact that Scanavino could actually watch and review his performances after he aired.

“Well most of my career has been in the theater so I don’t watch myself obviously on stage. That’s been the hardest transition for me. When I first started here, I started watching a little bit of what I was doing. But now I don’t go through the SVU camp stories because I can’t connect to the past of the show. Or how the show was shot or even how it looks like because you have to try to keep making it your own. You’re so aware of the history of what it represents. Just try to live up to the best that you can do,” the Law & Order: SVU star explained.