Danielle Moné Truitt is speaking out about being a trailblazer for Law & Order: Organized Crime.
The actress who plays Sergeant Ayanna Bell on the hit NBC series discussed her place as a unique character in the franchise. She also shared some insight on what’s to come for Bell as the show heads to its Season 2 finale.
Truitt on Bell and her unique place in Law & Order
While Law & Order has had a few LGBT characters over the years, Bell is the first to have a truly front and center role in a series.
Since Law & Order: Organized Crime began, Bell has been at the forefront as the Organized Crime Task Force leader who oversees troublesome Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).
Bell is also proudly out, married to lawyer Denise Bullock (Keren Dukes), and has a son. Bell is also strong enough to file a lawsuit against the NYPD over the mistreatment of suspects.
Truitt spoke to the Today Show about how it felt to be a role model for both black and lesbian women on television.
“Someone walked by, and he was like, ‘Thank you for being an ally for us!’ I was like, ‘You’re welcome!’ Very cool. I’ve had lesbian women, especially Black lesbian women, message me and say they feel seen and supported by having Bell on their TV every Thursday. They feel seen, and that’s kind of like a gift that comes along with being in this profession.”
Truitt spoke on how this felt more important than a simple job as Bell stands for someone others can look up to.
“I think when you’re an actor, you get into acting because it’s something that you love to do and fun, and you get some fulfillment out of pursuing your passion and stuff, but I think the other beautiful thing that comes along with the journey is there’s just so many people who feel inspired or feel like they can go on or they can do what you’re doing because they see you doing it.”
This attitude will serve Bell well as the character has to handle some major challenges as Law & Order: Organized Crime heads to the final episodes of Season 2.
What’s coming for Bell on Law & Order: Organized Crime?
Currently, the Task Force is investigating the Brotherhood, a pack of corrupt cops tied to gangster Preston Webb (Mykelti Williamson). Stabler is undercover in the Brotherhood while Bell focuses on Webb.
“There’s like another case — there’s like another thing that happens that it’s still in line with the Brotherhood and stuff like that, but it’s one of those episodes where we have to figure something out, and it’s very time-sensitive,” Truitt explained. “So it’s definitely going to be high anxiety for everybody. If we haven’t stressed you guys out enough, like you’re going to be more stressed.”
Adding to the stress is Nicole just accepted a job working for Congressman Leon Kilbride (Ron Cephas Jones). What she doesn’t know, although Bell does, is that Kilbride is allied with Webb. Bell has to be quiet but naturally worried about her wife unknowingly getting deep into this.
“Oh, it’s going to get worse,” Truitt said about the situation between them. “I do think there’ll be the light at the end of the tunnel; we just haven’t gotten to that light yet.” She also teased two “really good” scenes with Bell and Denise in an upcoming episode.
Also, Bell will be touching on the budding romance of hackers Jet (Ainsley Seiger) and Malachi (Wesam Keesh).
“Oh, you know, Bell knows all, she knows all. Bell is funny because she kind of minds her own business until the right — she knows when to meddle in their business and when not to for the most part. She knows information, and she kind of keeps it to herself. So in one of the upcoming episodes, Bell does kind of briefly talk to Jet about that. So it’s a really cute scene between Bell and Jet.”
Truitt also spoke of the May 5 episode, which will have Kelli Giddish crossing over as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’s Amdana Rollins to help on a case.
“I think this episode is definitely, like, I feel like it’s a girl power episode. It’s me, Jet (Ainsley Seiger), Captain Benson (Hargitay), and Rollins (Kelli Giddish). And Captain Benson, of course, is pairing up with Stabler, or whatever, but I do love there’s so many women in this episode, like on the case, getting stuff done.”
Bell also shared her dream of Bell meeting Fin (Ice-T) and even a fun suggestion of a connection between them.
“I would love to work with him more. I think I’ve only been in one, like one, scene with him. … I say that Fin is my uncle; I just made that up. I’m like, ‘Fin is Bell’s uncle. Nobody knows.’”
While mostly mum on details, Truitt did hint that the last few episodes of Season 2 will be more intense than fans expect.
“I think there’s definitely going to be some tequila and some whiskey for the last two — for the last three episodes. Yeah, I think tequila and whiskey are appropriate.”
If Truitt’s words are true, then Bell, and the rest of the squad, are in for a wild time as Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 builds to its finale.
Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.