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The Law & Order cast shares their dream guest-stars

Law & Order
Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) and Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) investigate a case on Law & Order Season 21. Pic credit: NBC

The Law & Order cast is talking about both the past and hopefully future guest-stars for the franchise.

At a Today Show event to promote the return of the original Law & Order Season 21, the cast discussed some past experiences with the show and who they’d love to see in either a crossover or a future guest star role. 

Law & Order loves to reuse past actors

Fans of Law & Order know the series loves to use actors in different roles in various episodes. Several actors have played multiple roles over each of the various shows.

More intriguing is how some actors play a guest role and become regular cast members later. Years before becoming Lenny Briscoe, Jerry Orbach portrayed a lawyer in a Season 1 Law & Order episode. 

Anthony Anderson is the same way as the actor guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2005. He played a trouble-making cop who’s briefly partnered with Stabler and came to blows with him.

Speaking at a press event for The Today Show, Anderson noted that past episode and how exciting it was. 

“We had a lot of fun doing that. We both left a little bloody and our clothes were a little ripped, but it was all, you know, for a good cause — for these characters and for the show.”

Camryn Manheim starred in three episodes of Law & Order before her Emmy-winning role in The Practice. She spoke on her favorite being a lawyer with a deaf client, allowing Manheim to utilize her real ASL experience. 

“I had a deaf client, and that was like all of my loves coming together. I’m fluent in sign language and I was an interpreter for many years and I love to act.”

Jeffrey Donovan had two notable Law & Order roles, one as a victim and the other as a suspected arsonist. He’s now playing Detective Frank Cosgrove in the revival while Sam Waterston returns in his iconic role as D.A. Jack McCoy.

While musing on the past, the actors discussed who they’d love to see their characters meet in the revival series.

What possible guest stars do the Law & Order cast want?

A major subject was the number of actors the cast has worked with before who might guest-star on the revival series.

Waterston was asked about any of his castmates from either the Netflix show Grace & Frankie or The Newsroom appearing, such as Jane Fonda.

“Oh, there’s an idea!” Waterston exclaimed. “I’d love that.”

Anderson cracked that he’d enjoy seeing Marsai Martin, who played his daughter in Black-ish, show up as a perp. 

“So, Marsai Martin is who I’d like to see over here commit a crime. So I could be like, ‘Bam! You going down girl.'”

Donovan’s answer was easy as he would love to see his Burn Notice castmates Burce Campbell and Sharon Gless show up. 

“I spent seven years with them,” he said. “They feel like my mom and my brother and I’ve already reached out to them, and I hope they come on.”

Donovan added that he would love for the show to cross over with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit or Law & Order: Organized Crime to meet Stabler or Benson (Mariska Hargitay). 

“I’ve known Chris for a long time. I just met Mariska. What a lovely person and couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming to me. I’m excited about that entire cast. They have an incredible chemistry, and they’re doing something right. Hopefully, we can follow in their footsteps, and to join them would be a treat.”

While Hugh Dancy has never been on Law & Order, his wife, Claire Danes, was in a 1992 episode and gave him “advice” on the role of ADA Nolan Price. 

“‘Don’t play the murderer!’ No, she didn’t say that. She didn’t, no, but she told me about that — I had forgotten that she was on the show. And then of course, of course she was on the show because like every single New York actor that I’ve ever worked with, or known, has been on the show. That’s a big part of the appeal to me.”

Manheim made it clear she would love to join forces with Benson on-screen and Mariska Hargitay was open for it too. 

“She made a call when we were together saying, ‘I want to hang out with Lt. Dixon on her show, so let’s do a crossover.'”

Another cast member happy about the female presence on the show is Odelya Halevi, who plays ADA Samantha Chapman. 

“I have been watching this show since I was a kid. I’ve been watching all these, you know Sam Waterston, and the female ADAs — all these like strong female characters. And I thought I wanted to be a lawyer because I just assumed they were lawyers, and I was a kid, but they were actors. So for me, it was really a dream come true.”

While it’s unsure if any of these dream guest-star appearances come true, the fact the cast is open to having old friends drop by makes this Law & Order return more appealing.

Law & Order Season 21 premieres Thursday, February 24 at 8/7c on NBC.

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