November 30, 2022

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The Legal System

SVU ’s Octavio Pisano Spills on End-of-Season Surprises

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There’s a new dedicated detective in town.

Well, relatively new, that is. Octavio Pisano joined the cast of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as a series regular back in September as Joe Velasco, a detective hailing from a border town in Mexico and finding his way to SVU after a stint undercover.

But, with summer around the corner and a season now under his belt, Pisano calls his final day on set “bittersweet.” His co-star Ice-T likened it to the last day of school, Pisano shared in an exclusive interview with E! News.

“The last few episodes, after the 22 episode season, you’re just looking forward to that break and you just want to relax,” he said. “And that day came, and by the last scene, everyone’s just super emotional and super grateful. And everyone was on set.”

And, looking back on what the cast and crew accomplished amid the ongoing COVID-19, Pisano said he was “honored” to have been a part of it. He added, “It was impressive.”

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Still, the cast had one more trial to overcome: Learning the news that showrunner Warren Leight was stepping down from his position ahead of Season 24.

“I think I’m still mourning the idea that Warren’s not going to be there to head the camp,” Pisano said of the news. “I woke up to that surprise, and I’m still processing.”

Of course, there are no hard feelings, with Pisano praising the longtime showrunner as “such a wonderful person to collaborate with.”

“I hope that whoever comes on board continues that vision,” he added, “and then I can trust them to lead me.”

Octavio Pisano

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

As for what Pisano can tease about the remainder of the current season? Velasco is set to team up with the Organized Crime task force, working closely with detective Jet Slootmaekers (Ainsley Seiger).

“I’m a big fan of actors and [Ainsley] is a phenomenal actress. She’s so crafted and she’s so creative,” he shared of the upcoming crossover. “I met her for the first time as the character. And the things she was doing? So unique and so creative and original.”

And, as the 23rd season of SVU draws to a close, Pisano revealed Velasco’s background and morality are about to be put to the test.

“There’s one episode that deals with priests that are privy to information based on confessions, and they can’t disclose it because of clergy vows, and it’s obviously going to trigger Velasco’s religious background and his faith,” he teased. “He’s gonna have to face decisions that push and pull in terms of what he thinks is right and just what he believes and how personal his connection to the church is.”

For more of Pisano, catch the Law & Order: Organized Crime crossover event tonight, May 5, at 10 p.m on NBC.

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