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Dan Lauria, Dann Florek, Mehcad Brooks (Law & Order: SVU)

Dan Lauria, Dann Florek, Mehcad Brooks: The Interview (Law & Order: SVU)
Interesting Tidbits

Other than TV and Movies, Dan Lauria and Dann Florek have also appeared in numerous plays.

Law & Order SVU will be airing a star studded episode entitled, ”Personal Fouls” on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 10pm on NBC. The episode will feature NBA stars Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, rapper Heavy D, and Dan Lauria (the dad, Jack Arnold, from “The Wonder Year”) In this episode, Coach Ray Masters (Dan Lauria) is accused of sexual abuse and Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) and his department investigate the case by interviewing star player, Prince Miller (Mehcad Brooks), about his past. Shakefire had a chance to talk with Dan Lauria, Dann Florek, and Mehcad Brooks about “Personal Fouls.”

SHAKEFIRE: Hey guys! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.
DAN LAURIA: No problem!
DANN FLOREK: Oh no! Thank you!
MEHCAD BROOKS: Your welcome.

SF: My first question is for Dan Lauria. You play a coach in this episode. How much did you have to draw upon from your days as a football coach?
DL: In my career, I have played a lot of coaches. I just finished playing Lombardi on Broadway for nine months. I really didn’t have to draw that much from it. Then again, I’m not much of a basketball player. Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh were on set and gave me a lot of pointers. It was fun to meet those guys.

SF: Thanks Dan Lauria! Mehcad, I was just wondering, how would you compare your role as Prince Miller on this show to playing TK from Necessary Roughness?
MB: Prince Miller is antithetical to TK. TL has bravado based on inexperience and Prince has become this person because of the experiences in his past. It was a nice change of pace and I think in a lot of ways Prince is more important than TK.

SF: Good to know Mehcad! This next question is for Dann Florek. How was it having Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh on the set?
DF: You know what? I only had a brief chance to meet them, but it was humbling. When they showed up, all of us kind of disappeared. There were lines to talk to them and get autographs. It was cool for everybody and we were like little kids too.

SF: I am so jealous!! This next question is for all three of you. What is it about acting that is gratifying to you and in your particular roles on the show?
DL: It sure beats working!!

DF: I think this specific episode it's kind of part and partial of it all. I mean we get to touch base with a lot of people we might not have. We get to experience worlds we might not really ever get to go to. For instance, I got to reconnect with a buddy, Dan Lauria, who I first met over 30 years ago. I get to meet new people like Mehcad, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and jump into a world that was very new. Also, I'm too lazy to work and too nervous to steal. So that's part of it too.

MB: I'd have to say that, I'm a big kid in a lot of ways. I'm not childish but I'm child-like and this is the type of job where you can really flourish as being that.

DL: Also I think this episode shows you what television can be. I mean it doesn't have to be just entertainment or mindless reality shows. It's a show about something. It makes people aware. It's actually going to help children.

DF: I agree with that and one last thing, I think that's something SVU has done from the very beginning. First and foremost in entertainment, but I think we always have been trying to shine a light in dark places.

SF: Great answer guys! Just wondering how close is everyone on the set?
DF: Starting my 13th year on the show and I will say truthfully that it's probably been the closest set. This is the closest group of people I've ever worked with. To do it for such an extended period I think is pretty extraordinary.

DL: Yeah! Everyone on the set is so welcoming and like a big family.

SF: My next question is for Dann Florek. There's a lot of guest stars on this episode. If you could pick anybody to work with to guest star on the show, who would it be?
DF: Oh wow! Robert Duvall is kind of a favorite, if we could ever get him around, or Gene Hackman, but I think he quit acting. However, in an odd twist for a minute, what I would say is, rest in peace, John Ritter. I think he was one of the best guest stars we ever had. That was kind of a very sad situation but it would have been amazing to have him back.

SF: Any of those would sound like spectacular episodes. My next question is for Dan Lauria and Mehcad Brooks. What attracted you to these particular roles for this episode?
MB: You know first of all, when Law and Order calls, you say yes. I was very blessed in that the nature of this character and it's something that's not really touched on. It's something that's not really brought to light and the way that Brian, the writer, described it to me when we had a creative conversation was that it was really important to him and it was really important that we told the story with respect. We told the story with care and we told the story realistically. I've known some people who've been sexually molested and it was important to me that it was a blessing to me and also important to me that I was able to do this.

DL: For me, this is my seventh Law and Order that I've done. Whenever Dick Wolf calls, it’s never an audition, it's would you do the show? I go because I know it's going to be of the best quality.

Paul Arca
Interview by Paul Arca
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