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Ice T's First-Ever Law & Order: SVU Scene Is So Tense and Awkward

Once upon a time, Detective Tutuola was just the new kid on the squad.

By Elizabeth Logan

When Ice T joined the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2000, he instantly clicked with the cast, even getting a birthday rap that year from Dann Florek, who played Captain Donald Cragen. But on screen it was a different story. The squad took a second to warm up to Detective Fin Tutuola, especially as he was replacing Detective Monique Jeffries (Michelle Hurd). And their first interaction couldn't have been any more awkward.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 26 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursday, October 3 at 9/8c on NBC.

RELATED: Mariska Hargitay Gives Ice T a Huge Hug After Returning to the SVU Set: Watch

Ice T's first scene and entrance on SVU is so awkward

Viewers met Detective Tutuola in the Season 2 premiere, when he was reassigned from another department to cover for Jeffries, who had been placed on desk duty. File in hand, Fin walks into the office and attempts to talk to Cragen, who brushes him off, before Jeffries offers him help. From one look at his file, she can see he's there to replace her. So awkward. Check out the interaction, below.

Ice T is now a staple of SVU

Though the rapper might have been a Season 2 addition, over two decades later, no SVU fan can even imagine the show without him. Ice T and Mariska Hargitay (Captain Olivia Benson), best friends IRL, shared the cover of Entertainment Weekly to mark the show's 25th anniversary, and they reflected on their first impressions of one another.

"I remember thinking he wasn't anything like what I had imagined, or anticipated, or sort of projected on him. Because I was like, 'Oh, God. He's this rapper with this reputation.' And then I met him, and he was just gentle and kind, " said Hargitay.

RELATED: Ice T Says He's Only Taught Mariska Hargitay One Thing—But It's Important

"It was interesting, because I only came on for four episodes, so I didn't know how long I was going to have to be around the people. You're walking into a room full of people you don't really know. I didn't know Chris [Meloni], I didn't know Mariska, so I was just trying to be good," said Ice T of his first days on set.

Later, when he was made a permanent cast member, his character's back story would be changed to better fit the actor's personality. As far as his first impression of Hargitay specifically, Ice T admitted, "I just thought you was fine. I thought, 'She's a nice-looking lady. What's happening? OK cool.' I was like, 'Yo, she's fly.'"