How “Law & Order” Casting Is Done

Casting News

One of the most recognizable and longest-running criminal dramas on television, “Law & Order,” has an iconic opening and an A-list ensemble. Before the program was abruptly cancelled by the network in 2010, the original “Law & Order” had its premiere on NBC in September 1990 and ran for 20 seasons.

The long-running “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime” are just a few of the spinoffs that the show gave birth to.

However, the original “Law & Order” underwent a reboot in February 2022, with a shortened 10-episode run, similar to many cherished television programs. And now that Season 24 has been confirmed and the Season 23 finale has just aired, fans of the franchise might be asking how to get a part on the venerable show.

This comprehensive guide includes all the information you need to know about the casting process, as well as details on future auditions, suggestions from the amazing cast, and even a behind-the-scenes look at how to land a role on “SVU.”

What is the plot of “Law & Order”?

“Law & Order” centers on “the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders,” as anyone who has read the disclaimer at the beginning of each episode will tell you. Frequently drawing directly from the news, the show examines the crimes that the NYPD deals with on a daily basis as well as the legal system that renders the decision.

Dick Wolf’s “Law & Order” has investigated hundreds of crimes over the years, ranging from drug cartels to drunk drivers. “Law & Order,” a beloved example of the crime procedural genre, examines how the work affects the personal lives of its major characters as well as following one case through to its conclusion each week.

Who makes up the “Law & Order” cast?

Over the course of its 23 seasons, “Law & Order” has seen a number of well-known actors arrive and go. There has never been a lack of talent in the series’ 501 episodes (and counting), from Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston to Angie Harmon and Benjamin Bratt.

The original cast of Season 1 is as follows:

  • Guy Dzundza in the role of Sergeant Max Greevey
  • Chris Noth in the role of detective Logan Mike
  • As Captain Donald Cragen, Dann Florek
  • Ben Stone, District Attorney Executive Assistant Michael Moriarty
  • Paul Robinette, Assistant District Attorney, played by Richard Brooks
  • Adam Schiff, district attorney, played by Steven Hill

And the cast of “Law & Order” Season 23 is as follows:

  • Reid Scott in the role of Vincent Riley, the detective
  • Jalen Shaw, Detective Mehcad Brooks
  • Kate Dixon, Lieutenant, played by Camryn Manheim
  • Hugh Dancy in the role as Nolan Price’s executive assistant district attorney
  • Samantha Maroun, assistant district attorney, played by Odelya Halevi
  • Sam Waterston plays Jack McCoy, the district attorney.

But halfway through Season 23, Waterston stepped down from the show to make room for Tony Goldwyn, a former cast member of “Scandal,” to take over as district attorney and play Nicholas Baxter.

Law & Order Season 23

Who are the “Law & Order” casting directors?

For this newest season of “Law & Order,” Jonathan Strauss and Philip Huffman of Jonathan Strauss Casting have been the principal casting directors. Having cast the television shows “Chicago P.D.” on NBC and “FBI” on CBS, the duo is aware of what it takes to keep a popular brand going.

According to Huffman, casting for procedurals may call for filling 20 to 30 roles that are not part of the main cast for a certain episode. A lot of actors will only have one episode. However, some may return for a longer arc or make sporadic appearances during the length of the show; therefore, be ready for numerous rounds of auditions.

Those who are not familiar with Strauss’s crew may be pre-screened, and those who are called back for a producer session will read in front of a writer, an executive producer, and a CD. The creative team will put out bids as soon as the shooting schedule is finalized because decisions are made quickly.

According to Huffman, actors should be adaptable in the audition room if they want to leave a lasting impression. If you can make simple speech or jargon sound natural, you will also stand out, so even if this role doesn’t work out, you might get asked back for another.

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How is the “Law & Order” casting procedure conducted?

Dick Wolf, the creator of “Law & Order,” has always assisted the casting team in selecting the best candidate for a particular position. “Principal casting is really significant to me. A show can succeed or fail based on its casting, according to Wolf. “I want actors to be prepared, to understand the character they are playing, and to demonstrate some depth in their reading.”

Wolf added that he makes an effort to be open-minded when casting because a lot of considerations go into such a significant choice. “Do you think this person could be the character? Sometimes it’s just their physical appearance,” he remarked. We occasionally give someone another chance after giving them more than one glance or if we sense that the performer may not have been entirely comfortable or confident.

We are as transparent as we can be, to put it briefly. Occasionally, the applicant who shines in the audition is the one you least expect [to]. Also, he mentioned that because of his ability to “cast under pressure,” his experience in advertising had given him a “terrific foundation.”

Wolf continued, “You have to offer an actor who can perform exactly the way the customer wants when you have a client watching over your shoulder. You also desire that ideal fit while casting a television show.

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Where are casting calls and auditions for “Law & Order” held?

Since the season 23 finale of “Law & Order” aired on May 16, there aren’t any open casting calls available at the moment. However, local performers should keep a watch out for notice, especially about background work, as the series is set and filmed in New York City. The franchise is a great location for budding actors to gain their start, no matter how minor the role.

Get in touch with an agency for the most recent casting news; large-scale speaking role auditions frequently come through them rather than open calls. If you’re looking for representation but don’t have an agent, check out our instructions. For the most recent details on your upcoming TV role, continue to visit our main casting website.

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What are the greatest ways to succeed in an audition to get a part on “Law & Order”?

Give up control of what you cannot control. Actors can only control themselves during an audition, according to Anthony Anderson, who portrayed Detective Kevin Bernard. The actor suggests putting everything else aside and concentrating on your strengths.

“I always believe that even if I don’t get the job, they will keep my name in mind for the next opportunity that crosses their desk, so I give it my all every time I walk into a casting room,” he said. “The only constant in the equation that you have control over is yourself.” According to Anderson, he says this to himself all the time: “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Pretend as though you already have the role. Benjamin Bratt, who portrayed Detective Rey Curtis from 1995 to 1999, advises bringing the attitude that you’ve already been cast for the part to the audition. “I used to think that everyone in the room, including the director and producers, wanted me to be the guy because that would mean their jobs were done.

And I would enter the room with a confidence that told them, rather than arrogance, that I am the ideal actor for the part. Additionally, it would occasionally work and occasionally not,” he informed us.

Having experienced the other side of the procedure, I advise being ready. I would commit my lines to memory and show that it’s not the last performance by holding the pages in my hands. But they want your eyeballs if the audition is being videotaped. Finally, I always remember to avoid being a chatty Charlie.

Read Also: Casting Now: Get $23,100 By Starring In A Series Pilot Plus Three Additional Gigs

Nobody in the room is interested in learning about or comprehending your approach, I assure you. They’re just indifferent. Engage them in return, but keep your focus on the task at hand. The biggest impression is typically made when you come in and get things done.

Remain open-minded: Playing ADA Abbie Carmichael from 1998 to 2001, Angie Harmon had to learn the hard way that you should never say no. Harmon revealed in an interview with Michael Rosenbaum that her fear prevented her from attending an audition. She was told she should pursue a career in singing by an acquaintance—who also happened to be Eric Clapton’s drummer—during a night out with pals.

He scheduled an audition with Clapton, but due to fear, Harmon had to cancel at the last minute. When she ran into the drummer again a month later, she gave it another go, but by then the opportunity was gone and she was lost. “You know the emotion you’re feeling right now?’ he asked, glancing at me. And I replied, “Yes.” “Don’t ever feel it again,” he says. I never have, too,” she remarked.

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How to be cast in “SVU” or Law & Order?

Are you curious about the casting process for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”? It’s reasonable to say that the spinoff has found its own groove after 25 seasons. Huffman has some advice for getting a part on “SVU,” as he is also the CD for the show. The following is something to bear in mind:

Stay adaptable. Arrive prepared, but be willing to follow the creative team’s lead. Accept all they advise, and allow them to lead you in unexpected directions.

Make it easy. Actors that don’t look like they’re performing are Huffman’s preference. Therefore, if you’re reading for a smaller role, don’t go overboard. But he says to “take your time and dig in” if you’re trying out for a part as a victim of sexual assault, for example.

Live in the now. Performers frequently inquire about any information they should be aware of regarding the part before starting, but Huffman would rather see what the actor contributes to the picture first. It’s possible that someone will add something unexpected. When it occurs naturally, that’s fantastic,” he remarked.


  • Mudassar Rafique

    Mudassar Rafique, a seasoned journalist with 10 years of experience, excels in uncovering and delivering news with a keen eye for detail. Renowned for insightful analyses and a commitment to journalistic integrity, he contributes to reputable publications. Passionate about staying informed, Mudassar views his role as a professional and personal mission to engage global audiences.

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