Law and Order: SVU's Kelli Giddish on Working With Her Real-Life Baby and How Motherhood Has Changed Rollins

Exclusive: The NBC star opens up about her character's new role

By Chris Harnick Feb 23, 2016 8:22 PMTags
Kelli Giddish, Law and Order: SVUNBC

A lot has changed for Kelli Giddish's Law & Order: SVU character over her time on the series. Detective Amanda Rollins has faced her past demons on more than one occasion and came out on top. This season had another big change for Rollins: a baby. Giddish's real-life pregnancy was announced at the start of season 17 and it was written into the show.

"I think Ludo wants in on this interview," she said about her son with a laugh in a recent phone interview. "He's making a lot of noise right now."

It's only appropriate that her son would be involved in the interview; he's playing her daughter on the series. It's something Giddish said she hesitated to do and consulted her husband and mom about. "I was like, 'Am I pimping my child out?' And they were like, 'No! That will be such a cool thing when he gets older, he'll have been on Law & Order.' I was like, 'Yeah as a girl," she told E! News with a laugh. "I'm sure he's going to love that when he gets old enough to realize. He's going to be like, 'Oh, thanks for the pink bow on national television, mom.'"

Pink bows aside, Giddish said it's a "pure joy" having her son on set with her. "It was really comforting to be able to have him on set by my side," she said.

Being a mom has changed both how Giddish plays Rollins and Rollins' behavior.

"Man, I just think, she has no tolerance for—I think we saw in one episode—just no tolerance for misguided behavior. It just went down to zero tolerance for anybody who has kids and still behaves in a way that would put them in jeopardy," she said. "Everyone's asking her if it mellowed her out. I think it probably did. We shall see."

However, it hasn't stopped her from being a bit, shall we say reckless? In the Feb. 24 episode, "Star-Struck Victims," Rollins goes a little rogue and undercover in order to catch a beloved TV star has been committing some pretty serious offenses (rape) on the regular. Sound familiar?


"I think she gets so frustrated that she can't prove it. When she sees somebody do something wrong, it's just, 'Let's go get them.' She knows exactly how to do it. She does go off the reservation to do it, and it ends up being not the best decision," she said. "But she gets so frustrated that she can't do anything else except go into the den of this guy and prove that what he is doing is wrong. It's kind don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness later. [Laughs.] That's always worked great with Benson."

And Benson's (Mariska Hargitay) had her hands full. After being held hostage and facing the nation-wide manhunt involved with the Chicago PD crossover, viewers saw the character hit the bottle a bit and reveal a new relationship: she's dating Tucker (Robert John Burke). Yes, the same man from IAB who has made her life more than a bit difficult at times. Giddish, who unlike many fans, loves the two of them together, said it would be interesting to see Rollins perhaps lend a helping hand to her boss. Rollins after all has been there before.

"That's going to be a really interesting dynamic to play," she said. "When your lieutenant is maybe having some weak moments, to be able to step up and kind of be the steady hand. If they go with that, that'll be a really interesting dynamic to play between Rollins and Benson. I'd really look forward to that."

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.

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