Law & Order: SVU’ Star Ice-T Talks Learning from ‘Experience’ and ‘Smart People’

by Allison Hambrick

Law & Order: SVU star Ice-T shared a video advising followers to learn from experience—just not their own.

“Dumb people learn from experience,” the actor explained on his Instagram. “Smart people learn from others’ experiences. So when someone’s giving you some game like you’re giving him, you gotta take it. If you tell me ‘Ice don’t go on that side of town, they’re shooting,’ I’m going to be like ‘I ain’t going to go over there. My man told me they’re shooting.’ I ain’t going to be like ‘Ellis don’t know.’ You gotta listen to warnings.”

Ice-T has experience both from his own life and his long-term role on Law & Order: SVU. While he rose to prominence as a rapper, Ice-T had a history of committing crimes such as robberies. After an incident when a friend took the blame, the actor took this as an opportunity to abandon the criminal lifestyle.

“You know, there’s a reason I’m still around here,” Ice-T continued. “I used to break four, five, six felonies a day, and I’m still here. So these dumb [expletive] out here doing stupid shit—they’re not even getting money for it. They’re just doing dumb shit. Go to jail for some dumb shit, they treat you like that when you get there too. You need to be going in there like ‘yeah, I was racketeering. I was making some power moves.'”

His role of Fin Tutuola made him face the opposite side of crime, which gave him a different perspective.

Law & Order: SVU Inspires Cast to Dig Deeper

Working on a heavy show like Law & Order: SVU has an impact on actors. Like Ice-T, series star Mariska Hargitay changed after playing her role of Olivia Benson.

“I had to ground myself and be brave,” the actress told TV Insider in 2018. “The show is about the worst things people do to each other in the darkest part of humanity, which means many stories are difficult.”

Hargitay then explained that the storylines “when a child suffers — those hit us hardest.”

After so many years on the air, Hargitay says the role of Law & Order: SVU in society has changed. The writer went, “from ‘Let’s shine a light on these issues’ to ‘Time’s up, let’s make changes and stop these issues.’”

Mariska Hargitay Goes Beyond Olivia Benson

Hargitay views her role as “a champion of healing — the mother figure we all want.”

As such, she carries that into her real life as well. Since starring as Benson, Hargitay established the Joyful Heart Foundation, which champions the rights of victims of sexual assault. Her goal was to “honor the acts of courage” that victims represent.

The cast and crew of Law & Order: SVU take their roles in the show seriously. Just one look at the Instagram accounts of Hargitay and Ice-T shows fans they care about the influence they have.