As the new season of Law & Order: SVU arrived on Thursday, a few big changes came in terms of the cast. At least three of the main or recurring cast members shifted their roles on the show. In addition, there was a brand new district attorney working with the Special Victims Unit.
Here are more details about actress Zuleikha Robinson, who portrays DA Vanessa Hadid on Law & Order.
Zuleikha Robinson’s acting career
The new Law & Order: SVU DA, Vanessa Hadid, is played by actress Zuleikha Robinson. The British actress was born in London, but raised in several other places, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. She’s currently 42 years old and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles.
She’s far from a newcomer in terms of television roles. Many viewers will recognize her from early work on shows like The Lone Gunmen, Rome, and New Amsterdam. She also was a part of the Lost TV series for 24 episodes as Ilana Verdansky and appeared as a recurring character on Homeland in 2012.
Film roles included Ask Me Anything, The Boy, and American Fable.
Her last credited TV roles before joining Law & Order: SVU came in 2017 with The Exorcist and Still Star-Crossed.
Zuleikha Robinson joins Law & Order: SVU Season 21
Robinson now plays a major role working with the Special Victims Unit squad on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. She takes over where previous DAs left off, including Peter Stone, Rafael Barba, and Alexandria Cabot. While there have been clashes between the previous district attorneys and the SVU team in past seasons, the premiere episode makes it seem like they could be in for quite the uphill battle at times.
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Robinson’s DA Vanessa Hadid has a new assistant and viewers quickly learn that Detective Carisi isn’t leaving SVU, technically. Instead, he’s working as a new ADA to assist with cases as they unfold. Carisi tries to navigate a tough role in the premiere episode. His former team tries to lean on him for assistance while he also clashes with his boss’s power to make the decisions.
Most likely, fans will get familiar with Zuleikha Robinson’s DA Vanessa Hadid quickly this season as more delicate or controversial cases arrive for SVU.
Viewers can watch new episodes of Law & Order: SVU on NBC Thursdays at 10/9c.