Smashing Interviews Magazine

Compelling People — Interesting Lives



December 2021



Kelli Giddish: Why "Law & Order: SVU" Has So Many Loyal Fans

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Kelli Giddish

Kelli Giddish can currently be seen on the NBC (Wolf Entertainment) crime drama TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) as Detective 2nd Grade Amanda Rollins. She has portrayed that character since the 13th season, which premiered September 21, 2011. In addition to Giddish, the current main cast members are Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. SVU is in its 23rd season (which premiered September 23, 2021).

During a recent interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine, the SVU star was asked why the iconic NBC series resonates so much with people and has amassed so many loyal fans.

"Honestly, I think it all goes back to the fact that we all know someone that has been assaulted. It’s crazy how prevalent this kind of crime is. To see us put a show on every week where something happens, and we go from the beginning and a middle to the end where a lot of times we get the bad guy, that just gives the audience a satisfaction and a chance for hope and renewal. I really don’t feel like it’s just a standard procedural show because of the subject matter," Giddish asserted.

"From the top down, I think that they really are invested. Our head writers, Julie Martin and Warren Leight, are very invested in getting the stories from the headlines and saying, 'This is happening. Let’s shine a light on it.' Also, what would happen if the DNA came back in 20 seconds instead of two weeks? (laughs) Being able to play it out on an hour-long TV show and actually get the bad guy is satisfying. But there are gray areas."

Giddish, who hails from Cumming, Georgia, explained why she believes the NBC detective drama is so successful.

"I think we’re such a successful show because we deal with the gray areas where this side is right, and that side is right, and that’s a totally different case sometimes. But it’s not like a crime has been committed, and we know who the bad guy is, and let’s go get him kind of thing. A lot of times it’s gray like, 'I don’t know who’s right here.' That’s another characteristic of our show. When that happens, it leaves you wondering like, 'Huh.' It stays with you, and you kind of have to turn the subject matter over and over in your head, and it sticks with you,'" stated Giddish.

"I just know that the fans who come up to me, survivors or not and just say, 'Thank you,' they mean it from the bottom of their hearts. That feels so good to be able to be on a show that they can watch with their grandmamas, their moms, their dads and their brothers. There are fans within families now, and it’s something they do together. They watch it together, or they catch a couple of shows on a Sunday marathon, and it’s a mainstay in people’s households now."

Giddish wrapped up the Smashing Interview by describing why SVU is so beloved.

"They know our characters. They’ve known Mariska and Ice for almost a quarter of a century. Even though they know that Ice is going to say his awesome one-liners, they still cry when Mariska shows another facet of her personality. It’s still effective. I think the characters are so beloved by people. We’re in people’s living rooms every week. They root for us, and that’s no small thing," she concluded.

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