Right after L&O's Jan. 5 episode, star Camryn Manheim will hop over to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to assist her fellow NYC team by acting as a sign language interpreter for deaf victims. And bringing deaf representation to the small screen is something the star has always made a priority in her career.
"If art is supposed to imitate life, we should have people with disabilities scattered throughout our show," Camryn said in an exclusive interview with E! News. "We should have judges who are in wheelchairs and lawyers who are blind. I mean, that is the real world. So, I try to encourage the showrunners to bring more disabled people on the show, just because I want disabled people to be able to see themselves on television."
Another important subject to the 61-year-old is female friendship. And after SVU's Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) bid farewell to BFF Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) on the show's Dec. 8 episode, Camryn teased that Dixon's appearance on the show will help Benson fill that emotional void.
"One of the things that was important to Mariska was that when I came over to her precinct, that I noticed she was in bad shape," Camryn shared. "She was physically not in great shape, and that no one had asked her until I arrived. And I'm like, 'Wow, how are you doing?' It's like you need some female connection to get to the real stuff."
Unlike their characters' budding friendship, Camryn told E! that she and Mariska have been friends for "decades," something that makes guest starring on SVU a fun experience. "It's wonderful to go over there," she said, "and I really love the whole tone and what the voice is of SVU."
Just like many celebs—including Adam Driver, Sarah Paulson, Jennifer Garner and more—Camryn guest starred on L&O in the early days of her career. As for which actor she would love to have on the show? Her pick is none other than her son, Z-O-M-B-I-E-S star Milo Manheim.
In fact, he may show up on the series sooner than we think. Noting that the show's casting director refused to cast Milo in a small part as an Instagram star, Camryn revealed, "We're gonna write him something big, so I hope that happens," adding, "That's something I'm really looking forward to."
Catch Camryn's back-to-back Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes tonight, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)