Christopher Meloni (Roman) is famous. When the news that the actor was in mere negotiations to play an unspecified role on True Blood the internet nearly exploded. Granted, the HBO series is his first television role since his departure from Law and Order SVU where he spent 12 years playing Detective Elliot Stabler. But the actor is also well known for his time on the HBO series Oz where he played Chris Keller, a bi-sexual inmate who also spent a lot of time shirtless. Vulture’s Willa Paskin spent a day with Meloni in New York City just prior to True Blood’s season 5 premiere to discuss fame, SVU, True Blood, and the things in between.
On that afternoon, Paskin describes Meloni being known by what seemed to be every New Yorker for his role on SVU and for True Blood. He is not necessarily stalked by the paparazzi like co-star Alexander Skarsgård (Eric Northman). But he is well known to the point of turning heads wherever he goes. It is not however as bad as it once was:
“From season four to nine, it was really crazy,” he says. “Five years. It was miserable.”
The move from NBC to HBO’s True Blood was considered surprising by some especially considering that agreeing to be on the show didn’t necessarily mean job security. Just last season, several series regulars saw their characters killed in the process of the season arc. Meloni describes his character Roman as someone who takes his job seriously and has good intentions. Playing the 500 year-old Guardian and founder of the Authority these qualities are somewhat essential. As wonderful as True Blood is, the actor’s departure from SUV in spite of an $8 million contract is quizzical. But not to Meloni, who says it was time to go:
“Twelve years. I never dreamed that I would stick with something for so long. I enjoyed it so much. But it was time. I had been thinking about it for a while.”
Besides spending time with his family and wife of 17 years Doris, Meloni has plenty of other acting and non-acting projects in the works. He recently completed a 15 hour flight solo across the country and will be in a plethora of upcoming movies including “Small Time” and “Superman”. He also hopes to direct a film called Legends of a Suicide whose script he worked on as well. Meloni will also take on the iconic role of baseball manager Lou Durocher in “42.” Of the role he says:
“He’s far more of an extrovert than I am. Extroverts get energy off people. It infuses them. I think introverts have the opposite reaction. Being in crowds drains them. It’s not that they don’t like people; it’s just how someone’s built. Like they can only do it for so long.” Which may explain why he and his family are considering a move from the city. “New York gives a lot, but it takes a lot out of you,” he says. “A lot of smells, a lot of noise, a lot of people, a lot of action, a lot of possibilities.”
For now however, Meloni seems to belong on True Blood. He’ll even be making an appearance at next week’s Comic Con International with the rest of the cast.
Source: Vulture.com- “True Blood‘s Chris Meloni, King of the Honorable Badasses”
Image Credit: HBO, Inc.