LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Andre Braugher and Linus Roache Tease ‘True Believers’
November 2, 2011 by Marisa Roffman
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT is brand new tonight and based on the teases guest stars Andre Braugher (Bayard Ellis) and Linus Roache (Mike Cutter) spilled earlier today, it sounds like it’s going to be one of the most intense hours the series has done.
“It seems like a very straightforward case, we find the perpetrator right away and it feels like a very cut-and-dry story,” Roache previewed. “But what happens is that Andre Braugher’s character, Bayard Ellis, comes on the scene and he has an agenda, basically, and he wants to test the system and test the state. So he starts to undermine and pick apart the validity of the prosecution’s case. So we have two points of view going head-to-head — one is a defense for the victim and one is testing civil liberties. And that’s what I think makes this a very, very interesting episode. It’s kind of unusual in LAW & ORDER — [it] leaves it in the audience’s hands as to where does justice lie.”
“And with a he-said, she-said, the credibility of all the witnesses is put to the test,” Braugher added. “There’s so [many] sides to the evidence to assert what’s going on, but the credibility of the witnesses is a powerful tool to unlocking justice in this case. Quite often, the state has the tendency to cherry pick defendants who are typically defenseless or innocent, and Bayard Ellis finds himself in a position where he has thrown in his resources for the defenseless clients. What we see in this particular episode is a case that seems to be a slam dunk for the prosecution, but when Bayard Ellis comes on board, he’s able to poke holes in every aspect of the prosecution’s case.”
And while Braugher said the duo don’t have many scenes together, Roache felt the characters must have had some history prior to tonight’s match-up.
“We didn’t talk about a background, but I can tell you, there has to be one,” Roache noted. “Because as soon as Mike Cutter — who is now Bureau Chief, and as a Bureau Chief, you’re not normally in the courtroom in front of a jury — as soon as I hear that Bayard Ellis is on this, I’m like, ‘Step down everybody, I better take this one.’ Which is great for me because I get to go back into the courtroom. So I obviously know this man, I know his reputation, I know how good he is, I know he has a very real agenda, and I know he stands a very good chance of completely undermining everything they’re standing on, which can be very dangerous for NYPD and the prosecution. So that’s what makes it a high-stakes episode and a high-stakes situation. I think my character is pretty confident in a lot of situations, but around Bayon Ellis, he’s like, ‘Oh dear. We have to get serious here.’ And I’m coming down on everybody to make sure that this case is done clean and properly, as it always should be.”
Braugher is currently contracted to do an additional two episodes of the series — he told me he’s set to start filming his second hour next week — and if Roache has his way, the duo will face off again.
“I can tell you this — I put in my bid to have another go at him!” Roache laughed.
LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on NBC. Will you be tuning in?