‘Law & Order: SVU’: Peter Scanavino Revealed the ‘Hardest Part’ of Transitioning from Stage to Screen

by Chris Haney

During a past interview, Law & Order: SVU star Peter Scanavino opened up about how difficult it was to transition from acting in plays to television.

Scanavino joined the main cast of the long-running NBC drama in 2014 during Season 16 of the series. Yet even before that the Dominick Carisi actor had multiple guest appearances on the show and its various spinoffs.

Dating back to Season 5 of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2005, he guest-starred as petty criminal Johnny Feist. In 2009, he made an appearance as a graphic designer in an episode of Law & Order. Additionally, in 2013, Scanavino guest-starred as Johnny Dubcek in the 14th season of SVU. That next year though, the actor solidified his position within the popular TV series.

However, the actor spent most of his career in the theater. During a September 2015 interview with The Knockturnal, Scanavino revealed what made his transition to acting on television a tough one.

“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.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Talks About the Actors’ Responsibility To the Show and Its Fans

Law & Order: SVU has been going strong since its debut on NBC back in 1999. Now, 23 seasons later, the hit NBC series has a legion of fans with a massive following. Not many TV dramas make it a decade, much less more than two decades.

Yet with that type of unique and long-lasting staying power on the network, it gives the actors the added responsibility of living up to the history of the show season after season. Series star Peter Scanavino once spoke about the responsibility he feels to the show and its diehard fans.

“As an actor, you just wanna work and you get on the show and it’s a job,” Scanavino said. “But, this job comes with a bigger responsibility, and you kind of realize that the longer you’re on the show. The more you have people come up to you and tell you what the show has meant to them personally and how it’s changed their lives. And I think that’s something that a lot of actors don’t quite get.”