Magazine article Variety

Christopher Meloni: ‘You Have to Believe in Certain True, Emotional Stakes’

Magazine article Variety

Christopher Meloni: ‘You Have to Believe in Certain True, Emotional Stakes’

Article excerpt

Christopher Meloni, who cut his teeth on drama series like "Oz" and "Law & Order: SVU," has been stretching his funny bone lately in broad, almost absurdist comedies, including his new Syfy series "Happy!," which premieres in December. In it he channels "Bugs Bunny, Jackie Chan, Clint Eastwood, a little Three Stooges." "You put those iconic things in a bag, you shake it up and then you half-bake it," Meloni says.

What's the genesis behind your moving into comedy more fully at this point in your career?

I find it difficult to calculate in my business. As a matter of fact, that's kind of the antithesis of the feeling of doing this project. It was the first time I ever read a script where I closed it up and said, "What the fuck was this that I just read?" I was intrigued.

How important is it that your characters are relatable?

You have to believe in certain true, emotional stakes. You have to believe in the pain that this guy has and carries with him - the sense of loss, the things that thrill him, his Achilles' heel. Those things have to be grounded for the audience so they have something to connect to and they feel emotionally invested.

You've experienced working with VFX co-stars that aren't really there; have you noticed changes in the technology and the way you're asked to shoot those scenes? …

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