In its two decades on air, Law & Order: SVU has made all of New York City its set. Yet, for the cast, who film over 20 episodes almost every season around the city, those settings take on a very different context, as they explained at the Tribeca TV Festival on Thursday night.
“While we were shooting exteriors today, I passed by a little bakery,” executive producer and OG SVU star Mariska Hargitay said during the show’s 20th anniversary panel at the festival. “And I’m like, Oh! I made out with Harry Connick there. There’s always old memories around the tree, it’s nonstop.”
Hargitay’s co-star Peter Scanavino said he can relate. “My son and I were walking past a place, and I was like, I chased somebody down and threw them over the fence and handcuffed him [here].” He tried to show the clip to his son to prove it was so, but he said the 6-year-old boy was unimpressed.
Ice-T, meanwhile, who has been with the show for almost as long as Hargitay, described an experience that will seem all too familiar to anybody who’s moved to New York and had an SVU-obsessed family back home.
“One time, my stepmom came to New York. She saw Central Park and she was like [imitating a scared voice], Oh my God! Central Park!” Ice-T told the crowd. “I’m like, A rapist isn’t behind the tree. Central Park is like the park of Beverly Hills, this is the nicest neighborhood in all of New York. Take it easy. I think we did that.”