‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Peter Scanavino Explained Why Show Is ‘Much Harder’ Than His Other Work

by Amy Myers

Law & Order: SVU star Peter Scanavino recently explained why his role as Dominick Carisi has been the most difficult to depict throughout his entire career. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the lines or the direction that gave Scanavino such a hard time. Rather, it was the significance behind the show.

In order to best serve the storylines and perspectives of real victims, Scanavino feels that he has to emotionally commit to the role. And after eight years on Law & Order: SVU, that kind of devotion can be exhausting.

“This show, because you have to stay as human as possible, and as possible as in reality, I find that it exhausts me,” Scanavino admitted to The Knockturnal. “It wears away at you at such a matter that you’re talking about—you have to really internalize so that you are as believable as possible and you’re relating as simply as you can to the most painful issues. So it’s this completely different kind of acting.”

Likewise, ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Co-Star Detailed the Delicate Balance of His Job

For nine years, Raul Esparza has portrayed ADA Rafael Barba in the popular series and feels that the sympathetic side and lawful side of his character can sometimes battle each other.

“There are challenges of this show. I think being a police officer that trying to be very real, but also having that empathy in every case that you want to tell the story so being a cop in this show, you always have to take it a bit more personally than let’s say, a veteran in the forces of fifteen years,” the Law & Order: SVU co-star shared.

“Because I think at that point, there might be a bit of this gets into a job. Not a job, but just to protect yourself and what you’re dealing with in the real world every day. So I think that might be the challenge—trying to find the balance between ‘this is my job, I’m a detective but also a human being.’ I try not to get too emotionally taken with the case so I can carry on with my career. So I think that might be the challenge,” Esparza continued.

At the same time, though, the Law & Order: SVU stars wouldn’t trade their roles for the world.

To Them, Their Characters Have Become a Part of Their ‘Bloodstream’

“There are these little little shifts which we talked about how we relate to each other as characters is what makes the show so lively,” Esparza explained.

According to the Law & Order: SVU actor, the storylines go far beyond the cases and psychological observations of the victims and criminals. What keeps fans coming back is the humanization of the detectives.