Christopher Meloni: ‘I’m 61-years-old and a zaddy. The lucky streak continues’

Can I admit something about Christopher Meloni? I loved him to pieces as Det. Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, but I’m not into L&O: Organized Crime at all. I stopped watching SVU around the time Meloni left, and in the space of, what? A decade, the whole energy in and around the L&O universe changed so much. Maybe I should give it another shot but I was really turned off by what they were doing, especially with the repeated mentions of “antifa” as somehow responsible for a massive crime wave. That being said, I still support Meloni, just like I’ll always support Mariska Hargitay. Meloni has really leaned into his L&O comeback, as this People Magazine cover story indicates. He’s embraced the life of a TV star and zaddy. Some highlights from People:

His comeback as a sex symbol: “It’s a second act to a certain degree,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. And it’s one he’s certainly enjoying. “It’s a gas. It’s fun. I don’t know, has anyone else been crowned Zaddy? Once it’s bestowed upon you, you have to just ride that horse as long as you can.”

His wife of 27 years: “My wife, she’s lovely, she gets it. Meaning she’s like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ My kids, on the other hand, invariably once a month, it’s ‘Really? Really?’ Their friends will send them a meme that’s come out or whatever. But I think secretly in their hearts, they get it. It’s cool, because we all have a good goof with it. My children’s friends bust my chops, but it’s all fun. It’s an honor.”

Coming back to the L&O franchise after a decade away: “Age is a wondrous thing. You hope that with time you get a little wiser, get a little more patient and really come from a place of more maturity, which I translate to clarity and love. And by love, it’s not kumbaya, but a sense we’re all in this together, we’re all doing the best we can. It’s a more refined way to operate.”

He’s chilled out: “Really just having an attitude of enjoying the ride. It’s great. Are you kidding me? I’m 61-years-old and a zaddy. The lucky streak continues.”

[From People]

It was so dumb for producers to let him leave over contract renegotiations – he was the co-lead of one of NBC’s best franchises. At least they kept Mariska, I guess. With Meloni’s comeback – and the stand-alone success of Law & Order: Organized Crime – NBC is leaning into their Law & Order franchises again. The original Law & Order has come back this year after a 12-year hiatus too. Anyway, Meloni has chilled out a lot and I’m glad he’s embracing this second run at a network show.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instar, cover courtesy of People.

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37 Responses to “Christopher Meloni: ‘I’m 61-years-old and a zaddy. The lucky streak continues’”

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  1. manda says:

    I watched so much L&O in the 90s and 00s! Always an easy show to turn on, except, for me at least, SVU. I watched a few of those in the first few years and they were disturbing. There was one with Chad Lowe and Margot Kidder that just makes me feel bad, and unfortunately, it pops into my head every now and then. I liked criminal intent, I really liked Katherine Erbe and Vincent D’Onofrio

    • lisa says:

      I’d watch anything with Detective Robert Goren

      • Persephone says:

        +1. Goren+Eames are the best.

      • Lisa says:

        seriously @persephone says

        if anyone ever wanted access to every one of my middle aged dollars, put Goren and Eames in everything, TV movies, commercials, public service announcements.

      • Kyle says:

        Yes, absolute same in re: Goren! I did like SVU, but it got lame to me, and honestly, I find Meloni kind of embarrassing nowadays. Guess i’m a curmudgeon.

    • mauve says:

      My first love was Criminal Intent. I wasn’t there at the beginning of SVU but I was there before he left. I like this guy. I like him for his sense of humor, I like him because my hip grandmother liked him, I love the tone of the peloton commercial. Was that a Ryan Reynolds creation?

      • BeGoneOrangeCheeto says:

        @Kyle i feel the same. Meloni follows me but he’s been very obnoxious. He said to Kaepernick “stand up, young man” and has been transphobic too. I’m extremely uncomfortable with all the stanning over him and his Stabler character.

  2. Mcmmom says:

    I became a L&O fan years ago when I was on the road every week. I would get back to my lonely hotel room and need something to occupy my time and I could *always* find a rerun of L&O. It was the perfect show because each episode was standalone, so I could tune in whenever I had the time. I traveled to some remote parts of the US and the hotel was oftentimes mediocre and the food was not much better, but at least L&O was good.

    • Twin Falls says:

      That’s what I remember most about L&O, it was always on, and also marathons. I spent countless sick days watching L&O. It was the original binge watching show.

  3. Genevieve says:

    I’m not super invested in him, but he’s one of those actors I’d be sad to hear something bad about.

    But in terms of Law & Order – I was a big fan of the original flavour show back when it was still on (and on A&E three times a day). I loved the moral debates, in particular. But I’ve grown up and middle-aged, and I know more now. I think it’s going to be really really hard to draw back those audiences. (Although, who knows. Maybe they’re going to just go for the right-wing.)

  4. Selene says:

    This man makes me so happy! He doesn’t hide behind false modesty, he knows he was/is part of the sexual awakening of many. Embrace it, boo!

  5. LizzieB says:

    Ok, someone please tell me: what the F is a Zaddy??

  6. wordnerd says:

    He’s one of the best parts of Wet Hot American Summer. He’s so weird and funny and fantastic.

    • osito says:

      Great…now I want he and Paul Rudd to star in a movie or series together…

    • JJS says:

      This! I’ve only seen him in wet hot American summer or comedy related things and love him in those types of roles. Should I watch him in L&O? Haven’t really watched that show since the original…

  7. Yvette says:

    I’ve always admired Chris Meloni as an actor and a man. The fact that he is, and has always been, a stone babe is just the icing. That is all. 🙂

    P.S. Had to mention his powerful performance as Christopher Keller in the gritty HBO prison drama “Oz”.

  8. Mireille says:

    Meloni is a GIFTED comic actor too. He guest starred on an episode of Scrubs as a pediatrician and he was hilarious. I read that the producers wanted to offer him a recurring role, but he declined, still being committed to SVU. That being said, I’ve been crushing on him for years. I did an AIDS walkathon with a friend and Meloni was a guest speaker for the event. He was so sweet and very supportive of the cause. As my friend recalled at the time, he had to pull me away from the event when Meloni was speaking to stop me from rushing the stage. His sense of humor about being a Zaddy — his sense of humor period — just makes him more attractive.

  9. Brassy Rebel says:

    They almost had to let Meloni’s character go. Stabler was turning so violent he was almost psychotic. The show kinda settled into a groove after his exit.

  10. Trish says:

    I just don’t get the hype with him. I never found him sexy. I liked Donofrio.

  11. reef says:

    He was so freaking good on Happy! And he was having the time of his life in the role. It sucks it only lasted 2 seasons.

    • AppleCart says:

      @reef was just going to say the same thing about Happy! It’s such a crazy ahead of it’s time show. SyFy should have given it more time. It had a cult audience growing.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Yes! Great show. He really got to showcase his dramatic & comedic skills. Terrific cast all around.

  12. Emmi says:

    I always liked the original L&O. Years ago I ordered the first 3 seasons (I think?) on DVD and they were so great. It wasn’t the typical cop show, meaning the first part was but it always took a turn to the more philosophical once the DA came in. Michael Moriarty and Richard Brooks were just excellent. I never enjoyed the fact that characters that were beloved like Stabler were also portrayed as having violent tendencies and more often than not, of course they were “right”, meaning the person they attacked turned out to be guilty. The show(s) has/have had some excellent actors and storylines over the decades but it’s also just propaganda. If you know that, you can enjoy it. But I fear many people don’t view it with a critical attitude.

  13. jferber says:

    I love that he knows what a Zaddy is and that he is one. I believe he played a lover of one of the characters in Pose and he did a fine job. Zaddy, indeed.

  14. Tigerlily says:

    I never found him that attractive but he does have a bangin body. I was more drawn to Linus Roache as DA Mike Cutter.

    • BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

      OMG Linus roache in that role. *fans herself*
      I have no idea what it is about him but yeah, even hotter than Meloni, and for me that’s a very high hanging bar.

  15. Teal says:

    Loved him in Oz.

  16. jferber says:

    He’s not traditionally attractive, but he has a presence and a sexiness that shines through.