LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME's Dann Florek Teases Cragen's Return: 'It's Part History and Part Mystery' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Dann Florek Teases Cragen’s Return: ‘It’s Part History and Part Mystery’

April 6, 2022 by  

Organized Crime Cragen return

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Can’t Knock The Hustle” Episode 217 — Pictured: Dann Florek as Donald Cragen — (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)

With LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME’s Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) reeling from corrupt cop Frank Donnelly’s (Denis Leary) revelation that Stabler’s father may have faked an on-the-job attack (which landed the elder Stabler a Combat Cross), Elliot turns to an old friend for guidance on the Thursday, April 7 hour: his former SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT captain, Don Cragen (Dann Florek).

“We viewed the scene as Stabler’s coming to the wise man on the hill,” Florek previews. “And the way I phrased it is it’s part history and part mystery.”

But Cragen is also aware he’s in a delicate position with the answers Stabler is seeking. “As a father figure or mentor, I think he handles it as carefully and as honestly as he can,” Florek acknowledges.

For Florek—who has over 400 episodes of the LAW & ORDER universe under his belt between SVU, ORGANIZED CRIME and the mothership—OC’s “Can’t Knock the Hustle” marks the second time he’s appeared in the L&O world this season, following brief video appearances in SVU’s 500th hour.

“Doing the 500th episode, we were doing it on Zoom,” Florek recalls. “There was a lot going on during the setups where we could talk to each other over the Zoom, and then get to the scenes. But this one, being there— well, it was thrilling. It brought back so much…Just hook up with a friend, an actor, and these characters, and just let it play out. It just felt right. It was a wonderful reunion. And I think we did what we should have and then some.”

And the Cragen-Stabler bond transcends off-screen, too: Meloni, who worked with Florek for 12 seasons on SVU, was instrumental in getting Cragen on OC.

“Well, it was very meaningful; LAW & ORDER is a part of my DNA now,” Florek says. “With all the reruns, and the marathons, and everything, I still walk down the street and police officers will nod and say, ‘Captain.’ But working with Chris Meloni was one of the highlights of the entire LAW & ORDER universe.”

“We just clicked, immediately, and it worked on so many levels,” he continues. “I was his boss, but also a mentor, also a father figure, and an equal at times. And there had to be tough love, sometimes. But I always loved working with him. So when he called me and said, ‘I want you to come do this,’ I was a little bit anxious, because I thought, ‘Wow, I hope the suit still fits.’ And I didn’t want to disappoint in any way.”

Florek acknowledges there were a bit of nerves when he got to set, too. “I was really looking forward to it,” he admits. “Then when I actually got there and Chris walked into the room, I got a little anxious—I was like, ‘I don’t want to screw this up.’ Once we started rehearsing a little bit, and then we started shooting, it was almost like tumblers in a lock; I could feel it click. I could feel it happen. And I could see us look at each other and the trust was back. We had each other’s back. I went, ‘We’re going to be good.'”

“It felt like like old times,” he continues. “It was like, ‘Wow, has it really been 10 years?’ And that was also very powerful to me, and, I think, added gravitas to the scene.”



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