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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit stars speak on Kelli Giddish’s exit

Octavio Pisano
Octavio Pisano as Detective Joe Velasco on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Pic credit: NBC

Kelli Giddish’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit co-stars are having a hard time bidding goodbye to her. 

Ice-T and Octavio Pisano spoke on how it feels to see the actress who played Amanda Rollins prepare to leave the series after 12 seasons. 

Ice-T related how he had to “check his pulse” upon hearing the news but also hinted the decision was not Giddish’s own. 

Pisano added his own feelings, even if he only joined the show last year and how it feels to see Giddish leave. 

That included thanking the actress for welcoming him on board when he joined the show and helping him out. 

As the countdown continues to Rollins’ final episodes, her cast mates’ words show how much the actress meant to them and how her exit will affect the show. 

Ice-T on Kelli Giddish’s exit

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fans were rocked in August when word came that Kelli Giddish would be leaving the role of Amanda Rollins after 12 seasons.

The actress shared an Instagram post making it sound like it was her own decision and looking forward to some new opportunities. 

Speaking to People Magazine at a premiere event for the upcoming Law & Order crossover, Ice-T shared how it felt to get the word about Giddish’s exit. 

“It’s a sad thing. Me and Kelli were friends — dog friends and all that. We became close. Kelli’s been here 10 years. When I heard about it, I called to check on my pulse, like, ‘What’s going on?’ But this is the business we’re in, and they shuffle the deck occasionally.”

The actor noted in the talk that Giddish’s departure was not her decision but rather made by higher-ups in Dick Wolf Entertainment to “freshen up” the series. 

He openly called the decision “came from the top of the mountain, you know?”

Ice-T added that they hadn’t filmed Giddish’s final episode yet. “I’m not even sure she’s gone until they shoot that episode because you never know. Kelli will be missed.”

Octavio Pisano on Giddish’s exit

Rollins and Khaldun
Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Khaldun (Ari’el Stachel) question a victim on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Pic credit: NBC

Also chiming in on Giddish’s exit is Octavio Pisano. The newest cast member joined Law & Order: Special Victims Unit last season but added to People saying goodbye to Giddish was bittersweet. 

“When I came to the show last season, Kelli was the first one to kind of take me under her wing, and most of my scenes in the earlier episodes were with her. So her and I have a bond. Her dressing room is right next to mine, so we connected. Obviously I’m really sad, but I’m truly excited about the next chapter in her life because she’s an amazing talent. I’ve learned so much from her in terms of acting and all kinds of things. So more than anything I’m excited, but obviously it’s bittersweet.”

It has been confirmed that Giddish will leave after Episode 9, but there is no word on how Rollins will be written out of the series. 

These words indicate that even Giddish’s co-stars are surprised by her departure and are having as hard a time bidding goodbye to Rollins as fans are. 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 premieres Thursday at 9/8c on NBC.

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