Pino comes of age in SVU hit
Pino was still at university when the show made its debut, writes
WHEN Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was first shown on television one of its stars had not even graduated from acting school.
Danny Pino, who plays Detective Nick Amaro, was still studying at New York University in 1999 when Law & Order: SVU began.
Now in its 14th season, the US police procedural crime drama, which is shown on Channel 10 in Australia, is about to celebrate its 300th episode.
The milestone episode, Manhattan Vigil, was seen in the US yesterday and lands on Australian television on Thursday, November 1.
Paget Brewster ( Criminal Minds) and Adam Baldwin ( Firefly, Chuck) make appearances in the milestone show, as do Peter Jacobson ( House) and Brooke Smith ( Grey’s Anatomy), who reprise their roles as match-making kingpins.
Since joining the series in 2011, Pino has appeared in more than two dozen episodes as Amaro, an NYPD detective who transferred to SVU from Warrants and Narcotics.
He may be a newcomer to the established series but Pino says it didn’t take him long to settle in.
‘‘I found this experience to be incredibly welcoming and encouraging with the cast, crew and the writers. They were very hospitable,’’ Pino says.
He was aware, too, that introducing a new character on a long-running television show is not without its risks.
Fans must gravitate to the newcomer and there needs to be a seamless blend within the show so as not to upset the balance and chemistry of the characters.
Pino says he had long discussions with writer and executive producer Warren Leight, who also worked on other Law & Order: Criminal Intent, about how best to play Amaro.
‘‘That (the character) relied heavily on mine and Warren’s shoulders,’’ Pino says.
‘‘Warren and I spoke heavily about what he wanted to potentially see in Nick and what I hoped to explore and we found a happy medium . . . and we continue to cultivate that.’’
Thursdays, 8.30pm, Ten, Ten SC; daily, various times TV1.
Danny Pino and Mariska Hargitay.