‘SVU’s’ Kelli Giddish on Detective Rollins’ Downward Spiral, Mariska Hargitay’s Directorial Debut

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

“This episode goes all the way to the edge of ending this character,” she tells TheWrap

“Law & Order: SVU” fans have watched Detective Amanda Rollins give in to her addiction to gambling on recent episodes. On Wednesday’s episode, the character falls so deeply that it seems there’s no way the show could bring her back.

Producers told Kelli Giddish about her character’s upcoming storyline ahead of making the move to New York City for the series. And it has taken three seasons for it to finally play out.

TheWrap: What was it like playing this storyline out?
Kelli Giddish: I was super excited when I first read the script. I just like the idea of playing someone with a fault. You want to keep that interest in the characters for yourself and the audience. And I think this episode goes all the way to the edge of ending this character. She does so many heinous things and it’s pretty fun to play.

Also read: Katie Couric to Guest on Mariska Hargitay-Directed ‘SVU’ Episode

How would you describe Rollins’ frame of mind at the beginning of the episode?
It’s like a split personality. She’s going to work and doing her duty there, but she’s getting everything wrapped up at work so she can feed this addiction. And that’s such a horrible place to be in. You’re only as sick as your secrets and her secrets are really deep.

As viewers watch her making horrible decision after horrible decision, what would you like them to remember about Rollins?
She says at one point that ‘I’m not going to do anything that’s going to get anybody hurt.’ She’ll hurt herself and put herself on the line. These people get into SVU work, because they really care about what they’re doing. I think that comes through to the very end.

Will the repercussions continue in next week’s episode directed by Mariska Hargitay?
It doesn’t deal with my storyline specifically but that will come back. It was so much fun having Mariska direct that and having Alec Baldwin on-set. It’s so great to see such a great actor at work. And it was great to see our family here, the cast and crew, rally around our leading lady. They put together a really solid episode.

Also read: Alec Baldwin to Guest Star on Mariska Hargitay-Directed ‘SVU’ Episode

How would you describe Mariska as a director?
Awesome. My first scene with her, I was so impressed with this moment she created that wasn’t on the page. I trusted her. But, she’s been at it for years. One of the big reasons the show is as successful as it is is that she does have a role in it and does have a say.

“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.