‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Peter Scanavino Once Addressed Dealing With Fans’ Reactions

by Suzanne Halliburton

Peter Scanavino, who portrays a Law & Order: SVU prosecutor, remembers what it’s like to feel the wrath of fans.

This was back in 2016, when Scanavino joined the Law & Order: SVU cast for what was intended to be a three-episode story arc. His Dominick Carisi character was a detective then and a temporary replacement for Danny Pino’s Nick Amaro. Carisi was an unrelenting, abrasive kind of character. It certainly took a while for fans to embrace him. Those first few episodes, Scanavino said he got a lot of hate.

“It was my first TV show,” the Law & Order: SVU star told the Hollywood Reporter in 2016. “But I’ve also done a lot of plays and I’ve been panned in plays, but you don’t let it affect you. You can’t get bogged down in that. You have to bet on yourself, bet that what you’re doing is good.

“Even if that turns out not to be good,” Scanavino said. “At least you know that you did what you wanted to do and you didn’t let somebody’s opinion of you guide you.”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Scanavino said that SVU writers told him fans eventually would love him. Pino received similar hate from social media when he first replaced Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler) in the cast. Scanavino said he could tell the fan reaction was starting to evolve after an episode called Pornstar’s Requiem.

Then came Glasgowman’s Wrath. In this Law & Order: SVU episode, detectives investigated the events that led to one girl’s grave injuries and the disappearance of two others. The episode had a supernatural feel to it, since the Glasgowman was a ghost. But the ghost also could’ve been a homeless man.

In the episode, Scanavino said, “there was a mentally unstable person who we thought could possibly be the killer. And I was able to talk to him and relate to him and I had some very tender scenes with him. That’s when fans started to turn and say, ‘This guy isn’t just a brash guy from Staten Island, but he has a heart and he’s able to listen.'”

On the series, Carisi went from detective to prosecutor. He also became involved with Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish). Social media adores the couple. The two are called, collectively, “Rollisi.”

When Law & Order: SVU ended its holiday hiatus this past Thursday, writers tested “Rollisi.” The case of the hour involved hate crimes happening throughout the city on Christmas Eve. Donal Logue, who played Declan Murphy in 2014-15, returned for the episode. Murphy no longer was working undercover. Rather, he now was the head of NYC’s Hate Crimes Division. He also happens to be the father of Rollins’ oldest daughter.

In addition, Sgt. Khaldun also was working the case. Ari’el Stachel played Khaldun. And he was another potential Rollins’ love interest in seasons 21 and 22. The two worked undercover together. And part of their cover called for them to be in a relationship. Khaldun also wanted that same role in Rollins’ everyday life.

So stay tuned for more Law & Order: SVU episodes to see if Scanavino and “Rollissi” remain fan favorites.