‘Law & Order: SVU’: Here’s Why Detective Nick Amaro Actor Danny Pino Left the Series

by Kati Michelle
(Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

“Law & Order: SVU” star Danny Pino made his mark with his beloved Detective Nick Amaro character on the crime show series. Hearts broke with his departure after the season 16 finale. Throughout the series, Amaro’s passion and hot-headedness often caused difficulties not only for himself but the entirety of the team. In a lot of ways, Amaro mirrored Stabler, who he was essentially replacing. Actually, fans drew a lot of parallels with Amaro’s relationships with other castmates as well. One of the most recent fan theories garnering attention likened the Stabler-Benson dream duo to Amaro’s relationship with SVU’s Amanda Rollins. While Danny Pino didn’t address the fan theories, he did offer some insight into his departure from the series.

Leaving ‘Law & Order’: Forced or By Choice?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Law & Order: SVU” executive producer Warren Leight spoke up about the casting changes experienced by the show over the years. Danny Pino’s character, Nick Amaro, came up in the conversation. EW asked whether the decision to split was from the network or Pino himself. Leight recalls it being a combination of the two and provided this lengthy quote:

“It was, at the end, a good mix of the two. Danny did seven years of Cold Case and The Shield and then four years here. Even last year, he was beginning to want to spread his wings a little. I understood that. At the same time, from a character point of view, we had put his character through a lot. Although his intentions were good, a lot of what he’d gone through ended up putting him in trouble.”

Leight went on to describe how Amaro’s storyline just could not be reconciled with reality anymore towards the end. The show wanted to be as realistic as possible, and with all of Amaro’s mishaps in the series, executives just could not justify a different ending for the character. However, the executives left Pino’s character alive to leave room for the small possibility of a return somewhere along the line. It isn’t likely, but it isn’t impossible either.

Dear Danny Pino

The “Law & Order” star clearly moved on from the emotionally jarring and intense series. However, his latest project isn’t a stranger to profundity and exploring emotional depths either. Joining a star-studded cast, Pino has been excitedly promoting the Dear Evan Hansen movie dropping in theaters September 24th. Showcasing one of the most prolific and well-known playlists of all time, the movie will stay true to the original soundtrack. It will explore themes of love and loss from adolescence to adulthood. ‘

Pino voiced his gratitude for his role on the film in a recent tweet, which also includes a first look at some of the tracks. He says the music is a reminder of the fact that “There’s not only one person, there’s quite literally an army of people who care about you.”

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