After Getting Real About Why He Left ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ Chris Meloni Couldn’t Resist A Butt Joke

He says he told NBC, “Well, if it’s this”–meaning this amount of money–“then this is the way to go around so you don’t have to pay this”–meaning this larger amount of money that Meloni wanted. He got creative.

On the set of both Law and Order: Organized Crime (which is now filming Season 2) and SVU, Christopher Meloni is well aware that images of his rear are being circulated. The 60-year-old star of Wet Hot American Summer has recently developed a taste for provocative photoshoots (most recently for Interview Magazine), and now he’s up to his old tricks in a new feature shoot for Men’s Health, in which he does the splits and lifts heavy objects against the Manhattan skyline.


Meloni got real during this interview on a number of subjects, including religion and (more relevant for our purposes) the more detailed reason why he left SVU a decade ago. First, though, he couldn’t resist a tush joke. While he and reporter Anna Peele discussed getting in the “flow state,” Peele mentioned killing flies like it ain’t no thing. And Meloni offered, “I catch flies with my a** cheeks, like a Venus flytrap.” According to Peele, he was “giggling” and “cackling” while adding, “I’m clever with my ass cheeks!”


How fascinating. Meanwhile, Meloni detailed how those reported NBC contract disputes (which led to a rather abrupt departure) seemed like more “bullsh*t” than they were previously imagined to be:


He says he told NBC, “Well, if it’s this”–meaning this amount of money–“then this is the way to go around so you don’t have to pay this”–meaning this larger amount of money that Meloni wanted. He got creative. “My thought was: Instead of 22 episodes, bring me back for nine episodes, or bring me back for 18 episodes. They literally came to me on a Thursday night and said, ‘This is the deal. We want the answer by tomorrow. It’s our way or no way.’”
Meloni was having none of it. “I don’t want to f*ck around with you guys,” he told NBC. This is exactly what I’m looking for. It’s fine if you can’t do it. Let’s figure out how to get out of here.” Elliot Stabler then went without even saying goodbye to Olivia Benson! It’s no surprise she appeared fatigued when he arrived for the SVU crossover event. Since then, everything has gone swimmingly, with Organized Crime proving to be a fan favorite and securing a fantastic villain for the next round of hot octopus drama.


Mariska Hargitay provided an update on her recent ankle surgery (in the Instagram post below), which will not influence her Season 23 preparations. On September 23, both SVU and Organized Crime will resume.

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