While Christopher Meloni may have disappeared from the “Law & Order” world for about a decade, he never left the acting world behind.
He appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” from the beginning of the series all the way until season 12. From there, Meloni took a break to pursue other career goals until he was eventually pulled back in for the franchise. He currently leads a team in “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” which will air its second season in the fall.
Christopher Meloni on ‘Pose’
One role he had in between “Law & Order” projects was on the TV series “Pose.” He was a guest star named Dick Ford, he was the lover and finance of Elektra.
The show is a drama series that focuses on New York’s African American and Latinx LGBTQ and gender nonconforming drag ball culture. It first sets itself in the 1980s, but by the third season progresses to the late 1990s. The characters are dancers and models all working to get recognition in this underground community.
It was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals and aired from 2018 to 2021. It features Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek, MJ Rodriguez, Dominque Jackson, Billy Porter, and many others in the ensemble cast.
Meloni was a huge fan of his work on the project.
“Now that was eye-opening. I really learned a lot about the people that inhabit that community. I’m good friends with Billy Porter, who’s one of the stars of it. I didn’t have scenes with him, but I got to see him do his thing. That was great. But truly, I’d talk to my co-stars and learn their histories, and…everyone should be exposed to it. It’s not a world that I would ever know about in personal, in-depth detail. It really was eye-opening,” Meloni said to Decider in 2019.
The show is exceptionally popular and critically acclaimed. In 2019, Billy Porter was also awarded the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. This made him the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy in a lead acting category. The show has several other key nominations.
Meloni’s Exit from ‘Law & Order’
While fans of Meloni were glad to still see him on the screen in other roles, many wondered why he left “Law & Order: SVU” to begin with.
Over the years he’s really dodged the question of a “Law & Order” universe reunion. However, during his interview with Men’s Health recently, Meloni began to open up about his exit.
It had to do with money. NBC wasn’t willing to pay him more for the role or implement any of his suggestions.
“My thought was: Instead of 22 episodes, bring me back for nine episodes, or bring me back for 18 episodes. They literally came to me on a Thursday night and said, ‘This is the deal. We want the answer by tomorrow. It’s our way or no way.’ … I don’t want to f**k around with you guys. This is what I want. If you can’t do it, that’s fine. Let’s figure out my exit.”
He isn’t stressing as much this time around. The star says he has a “clearer understanding of things, of your holes and of your gifts.”