Christopher Meloni's Life after Playing Detective Elliot Stabler on 'Law & Order: SVU'

Fans of "Law & Order: SVU" loved seeing Detective Elliot Stabler on screen. The character was portrayed by actor Christopher Meloni for a decade until 2011. 

Christopher Meloni spent 12 seasons on the hit crime drama "Law & Order: SVU" before making an exit in 2011. He played the role of Elliot Stabler, the partner to Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson.

Although he was one of the defining characters of the show, his shocking exit left the fans wondering why. As reported by "Hollywood Reporter," the actor's deal with the show was nearly done

Christopher Meloni attends the "Roma" New York screening at DGA Theater on November 27, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

Christopher Meloni attends the "Roma" New York screening at DGA Theater on November 27, 2018. | Source: Getty Images

HIS TIME IN THE SHOW

He had been a part of the show since its inception in 1999. In an interview with Andy Cohen in "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," the actor shared that he doesn't regret his decision to leave the show. 

Meloni was replaced by Detective Nick Amaro, a role played by actor Danny Pino. He also explained that he knew it was time to move on from "Law & Order: SVU" after the contract negotiations failed.

Christopher Meloni visits 'The IMDb Show' on March 26, 2019 in Studio City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Christopher Meloni visits 'The IMDb Show' on March 26, 2019 in Studio City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, he loved his time on the set of the show and also built lasting friendships with other cast members including Hargitay. He and the actress have tons of fond memories from the show and continue to be good friends. 

LIFE AFTER THE EXIT

After exiting the show, Meloni decided to take his career to the next level as the writer, producer, director, and star of the 2011 film "Dirty Movie." Diane Neal, his former co-star, also starred in the same movie. 

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2 can okay this game! #hanginwithfriends

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Meloni's other TV credits after "Law & Order: SVU" include "True Blood," "Surviving Jack," "Veep," "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp," "Drunk History," "Underground," "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later," and "Happy!"

More recently, Meloni has starred in Hulu's hit series "The Handmaid's Tale." His role as Commander George Winslow is perhaps the most menacing of all the roles he has played to this day. 

NEW HORIZONS

The actor deeply studied the seminal novel by Margaret Atwood to get an insight into how his character should operate in the series. In an interview with "Vanity Fair," he shared that his character has an insatiable hunger for power and monetary things. 

During the same interview, he also opened up about how he felt after his show "Happy!" got canceled after two seasons. “I really loved that ride. I still love it,” he said

He also shared that rejection is one of the bittersweet things about being in the entertainment industry. The sweet part of rejection, according to Meloni, is that it makes a person a little tougher. 

According to Meloni, the best thing one can do after being rejected is to get on with their life. "You move on... Nothing is ever the end of the world—you just keep moving," he said

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