For his very first television role, long before he landed the role of Elliot Stabler on “Law and Order: SVU,” Meloni auditioned for a role as Team Leader – also known as the leader of an “assassination” squad in one of the “Equalizer’s” early episodes.
“So I go in, I’ve got the audition,” Meloni remembered of the early television role.
“I am the leader of an assassination squad, we go in, we go down these hallways, and we’re going to kill all these security guards,” the actor continued in an interview with the AV Club. “But when we get there, all the security guards are already dead.”
It’s at this point the “Law and Order: Organized Crime” star is supposed to say his line: “Looks like somebody already did our job for us.”
“My second-in-command says, ‘What do you want to do?'” the actor remembered. “And I say, ‘Burn ’em all.’ Because we’re an assassination squad who conveniently has a flamethrower with us.”
For Meloni, this is all part of a comedic situation, because as he puts it, of course, his crew has a flame thrower. As he puts it, “every good assassination squad should have one in their arsenal.”
A pretty simple role for our favorite “Law and Order: SVU” detective, right? Well, not so much once Meloni tells the rest of the story.
After an awesome audition, Meloni was excited to learn he got the part as Team Leader on the “Equalizer.”
Not long after receiving the call, Meloni arrives on set for his fitting in order to prepare his “assassination squad” team leader outfit. All seems just fine to the budding actor. In fact, maybe good preparation for his future “Law and Order” detective.
“This is my first gig ever!” the actor remembered.
“I go to wardrobe, they put me up in a black jumpsuit and black boots and black gloves and a black vest where you can hook on your hand grenades and extra ammo,” said Meloni.
However, the outfit is not yet complete. According to Meloni, the crew hands him a black knit cap. He puts the cap on, and as he does, Meloni realizes it’s more than just a cap…it’s a mask.
“They roll it down over my face,” Meloni said of being fitted for the piece of his costume. “Now you can’t see me. And this is one that only has the holes for the eyes.”
Despite the unexpected costume, the “Law and Order” star goes on to shoot his scene.
Weeks later, Meloni invites friends to watch his television premiere. However, his face isn’t the only thing covered in Meloni’s one and only scene.
“They dubbed my voice,” the “Law and Order” actor laughed. “To make me sound more manly.”
Well, this may have been his first television experience, but as we all know, Christopher Meloni is manly enough. And, as we prepare to see more of him in the upcoming seasons of “Law and Order: Organized Crime,” we are certainly glad we can see more than just his eyes!