Kelli Giddish Missed Doing Dangerous Stunts in ‘Law & Order SVU’

Law & Order SVU lost Kelli Giddish after she spent years playing detective Amanda Rollins on the show. During her time there, she’d grown attached to some of the more physically demanding challenges of her job.

What Kelli Giddish kept missing about her ‘SVU’ experience

Kelli Giddish posing as her character Amanda Rollins in an episode of 'Law & Order SVU'.
Kelli Giddish | Virginia Sherwood / Getty Images

Giddish considered herself fortunate that she landed her role in SVU. She was brought in after Chris Meloni’s departure from the franchise, and helped grow the show alongside her co-star Mariska Hargitay. She spent more than a decade as detective Rollins before leaving SVU in 2021. In an interview with Variety, she looked back on her time in SVU fondly. The series gave her a dream job and an unforgettable experience.

“I started playing her in my late 20s, so I’ve played her in three decades of my life, which is nuts,” she said. “It’s insane. This is a show unlike any other. Shows don’t last 12 years, much less getting to play a character. With playing someone as multi-faceted as Rollins, I got to play all kinds of different things — down and out, on top, joyful, doubtful, scared, triumphant. I got to do the gambit.”

While still on SVU, Giddish was already starting to miss doing stunts for the show.

“Any time there’s a little action I’m like, ‘Oh my god! That would be great!’ and then it’s my stunt double,” Giddish once told Starry Mag.

Apart from that, Giddish also enjoyed exploring the darker side of her character. And she hoped to see more of it as the series progressed.

“I like dangerous situations or bad decisions and having to come back up out of those,” she said. “And that’s kind of what Rollins has done over and over. Whether it’s been with her family or gambling or relationships with men. Not that I would like to see repeat behavior, but I like playing that stuff. So often we are the heroes – the detectives are the heroes of the episode. It’s nice to see how fallible they are to see them make mistakes and come back up. It shows how solid the squad room is.”

Sources once said that Kelli Giddish’s ‘SVU’ exit wasn’t her decision

Giddish didn’t give any details regarding her departure from SVU. But overall, she seemed to be at peace with her exit, feeling that her character was being given a proper and appropriate sendoff.

“My side of things is just that it’s time in the Rollins storyline. I felt like where it was heading, and where it headed last night, just seemed the right place to leave it right now. I am so excited about things going on in my personal life and kind of the mirroring of what’s going on in my personal life and in Rollins’, there’s a lot of joy to be experienced,” Giddish said.

But sources once told Variety that the decision to leave SVU wasn’t entirely up to her. Giddish leaving SVU was a decision reportedly pushed by a figure even higher than the current showrunner David Graziano. Contract and salary negotiations seemed to play a role in Giddish leaving.

It was also mentioned that Hargitay and another producer attempted to keep Giddish on the show. This lined up with Hargitay’s recent comments about trying to keep Giddish from leaving. Hargitay took the actor’s exit particularly hard. Now as an executive producer, she was adamant about getting her co-star back into the fold somehow.

“I don’t like not being listened to, especially when I’m right,” she told Variety. “That relationship was one of the most powerful relationships in television because you saw these two badass women, so flawed and so there for each other.”

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