‘Law & Order: SVU’: Peter Scanavino Had a Hilarious Problem His First Day on Set

by John Jamison

By the time Dominick Carisi Jr. actor Peter Scanavino joined Law & Order: SVU, the show was already 14 years deep. That’s intimidating enough. But then they handed him a prop gun and told him he was using it in one of his first scenes.

Peter Scanavino wasn’t exactly a gun handling expert at the time. No shame in that whatsoever. His character is a lawyer these days anyway. So if a gun gets drawn, something has gone terribly wrong.

Still, there was Scanavino, walking onto a set with actors who’d been drawing guns on screen for more than a decade. He recalled the hilarious experience during a 2015 interview with The Knockturnal.

“Well, my first episode, they gave me a gun, and they said, ‘Ok, you’re storming this thing.’ And I swear to God, if you look in one of the takes, in the back, you see me try to holster my weapon, and I had no idea, so they went, ‘Hey, hey, calm down.’ And I’m like, ‘What do I do!? This thing!’ So yeah,” said Scanavino.

What did they expect? Keanu Reeves fresh off of his training for John Wick? Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like Scanavino’s blunder made it into the episode. Still, quite the sink or swim environment at SVU, it would seem.

Raúl Esparza, Scanavino’s co-star on Law & Order: SVU, joined the show a year before him in 2012. He didn’t have as many problems with the props. But the Barba actor did take exception to some of writer Warren Leight’s lines.

“Slowly but surely, you learn on your own. I’m fine with props. As many props as I can possibly handle. And those insane words. Warren [Leight] would write those lines just to see if I can say them,” said Esparza.

Fast Forward to 2021 and Peter Scanavino and Raúl Esparza Are ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Vets Ready to Do Battle

Law & Order: SVU fans came to love both Scanavino’s Carisi and Esparza’s Barba. Esparza left the show behind a few seasons ago but has made a few guest appearances since. Now, fans await an epic showdown between Barba’s returning defense attorney and his former colleague in Carisi.

Shockingly, Barba has agreed to represent Richard Wheatley. Will he best Carisi and let the villain walk free?

Law & Order: Organized Crime star Danielle Mone Truitt, who plays Ayanna Bell, spoke to TV Insider about the upcoming trial.

“Like with any trial, the defense and the prosecution are definitely gonna play a certain narrative, and it’s whatever narrative sticks with the jury best. Carisi is a great lawyer, and so is Barba. And they both are really good at giving a certain perspective to the audience. So we’ll see which one works,” said Truitt.