LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Octavio Pisano Teases Barba's Return and an Unexpectedly Personal Scene Between Velasco and Carisi - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Octavio Pisano Teases Barba’s Return and an Unexpectedly Personal Scene Between Velasco and Carisi

May 18, 2022 by  

SVU season 23 finale preview

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Confess Your Sins to be Free” Episode 23021 — Pictured: (l-r) Ice T as Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, Octavio Pisano as Detective Joe Velasco — (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC)

When Barba (Raúl Esparza) returns for the LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT season finale, “A Final Call at Forlini’s Bar,” he’ll encounter friends (both current and estranged)…and the squad’s newest member, Velasco (Octavio Pisano), who will finally get to see the unit’s former ADA in action. (Barba returns this go-round to help defend a domestic violence victim.)

“There’s definitely been a shadow this season of Barba,” Pisano notes. “And so Velasco’s aware of it. There’s a moment in the finale where he’s [aware of] some history between Benson and Barba. He’s kind of piecing it together, he doesn’t want to ask too many questions, but he’s aware that there’s some unresolved drama there.”

Decidedly less dramatic is Velasco burgeoning dynamic with the rest of the unit. As the detective has been adjusting to his new unit, he’s frequently worked with Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Fin (Ice T)—which has led to the actors bonding on and off-screen.

“Kelli was the first person I met when I got to set; she was the first person I worked with in a scene,” Pisano recalls. “That dynamic, how she works and how I work, is really similar and we just bonded. We saw each other’s way of working and she’s just very fun to be around on set. For me, it reminded me sometimes the material can be really dark, but in order to not take it home, the off-camera has to be lighter—take the work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. And her approach is that. So she taught me very quickly to keep it light on set. She’s fantastic.”

With Ice, “I think it’s been the biggest parallel,” he continues. “Ice and I became really good friends. He’s been showing me the ropes in terms of the set and how the whole machine works. So it parallels how Fin took Velasco under his wing. Learning from Ice—he’s been doing it for 23 years. And [he’s sharing] how he goes about it, in terms of the scenes.We built that relationship, on the day, on set, with the writers. A scene, as written, it can go many different ways, based on the subtext and the energy behind it. So we mold it into, ‘Okay, this is a mentorship.’ It’s not so much, ‘I don’t like it and I’m skeptical of you.’ It’s, ‘I see you and I see you’re trying and you have a good heart. So let me teach you the ropes.’ That’s been great.”

“I mean, working with Ice is mind-blowing at times,” he adds with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘This is so surreal. I used to listen to your music when I was a kid.'”

The finale will also see Velasco share an important moment with Carisi (Peter Scanavino). “There is a scene where they’re playing basketball and they’re just talking about life,” Pisano teases. “I think that that’s gonna be the closest relationship [he might have] in terms of just getting insight into relationships at work. Fin and Benson are teaching him the ropes of [how to handle] the judicial and police department, whereas Carisi has more life advice to share with Velasco—especially having been a detective before that, and having been the rookie on the squad. I have a feeling they’re gonna have a lot of scenes together [in the future].”



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