NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Law & Order Franchise

Peter Scanavino Jokes Chris Meloni Is "So Scary" with His "Popping" Neck Veins

Meloni gives it his all as Stabler.

By Elizabeth Logan

You do not want to get on Stabler's bad side.

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursdays on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Det. Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) is known to get right in the face of anyone who stands between him and justice, whether it's an uncooperative witness... or a lawyer. As ADA Dominick Carisi, Jr. on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Peter Scanavino has shared just a few scenes with the Organized Crime star, but they certainly made an impact.

See what Scanavino had to say about Meloni, below.

Peter Scanavino jokes that Chris Meloni is "so scary"

"Chris is so scary sometimes. He, like, leans into me and, the veins in his neck were popping. I was like, 'Don’t kill me, Chris! It’s just a TV show,'" the actor joked to TODAY about his first few times sharing a scene with the SVU vet. But Scanavino knows it's just part of Meloni's process, adding, "On the personal side, it’s fun to get to know Chris and get to work with him because he’s such an incredible actor and a passionate actor."

Dominick Sonny Carisi Jr Elliot Stabler

As Scanavino pointed out, his character joined the show — first as a fellow cop going to law school at night, now as an ADA — during Stabler's absence from the Law & Order universe. So while the fans, and much of the squad, knows him as a dedicated detective now dealing with acute trauma, to Carisi, Stabler is just a volatile guy.

"[Carisi] didn’t know him from before. [Carisi] didn’t know what kind of cop [Stabler] was. There’s an element of Carisi that’s just like, 'Hey, I’m just trying to do my job here, and you’re making my job difficult.' And he doesn’t know how much — the intensity the Stabler character can bring."

We're getting more Carisi/Rollins soon on SVU

Sonny Carisi and Amanda Rollins on Law and Order SVU

The dynamic viewers are most invested in, though, is Carisi's life with his wife, Det. Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish). Their slow-burn romance over many seasons of SVU has made everyone invested, including Scanavino, who thought from the start that the two characters would get together. 

"I always thought that there was something there that I kind of picked up on in the episodes, but then it was also if you do it, you make the leap and you make them a couple — then where do you kind of go from there? But I’m glad they waited for so long before they actually did it," he told the outlet, continuing, "It had such a good payoff, but I don’t know — I always saw they got along well. And I always thought that there was maybe something else to that relationship."

While the show focuses on its characters' lives at work, the actor did reveal that Rollins-Carisi home life stuff has at least been filmed. "Listen, I don’t know what makes it into the episode and what doesn’t, but I will just say there was a very good amount of Carisi/Rollins home life." New episodes can't come fast enough!