Leading man/style guy Christopher Meloni gives us the scoop on his latest role... and looking good on and off the red carpet.
Christopher Meloni lives in LA with his production designer wife of more than 20 years, but he makes (near annual) returns to the DMV for family time in Georgetown and Caps games at the Verizon Center.
Since Alexandria native Christopher Meloni left Law & Order: SVU, fans have awaited his next smash hit, and this spring WGN delivers with Underground, an escape thriller about Underground Railroad revolutionaries. We chatted with Meloni—whose role could only be described sans spoilers as “a secretive man who walks a tightrope between morality and survival”— about the show, his career, and the Hollywood heartthrob’s sense of style.
What drew you to Underground? The importance of it was obvious. The writing was very clear, insightful, and exciting. It wasn’t a history lesson, [but] a very personal thrill ride. All aspects of the slavery system are put forth—the plantation owner, the slaves… and in very well etched-out characters.
It’s a great cast—Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, etc. Had you worked with anyone before? I hadn’t, with the exception of Reed Diamond, the plantation owner. So, that was new... exciting. And I wasn’t disappointed. We felt a common cause. Everybody had read the script with the same heart and brought their own unique talent.
You were so funny in Wet Hot American Summer, you’re still an icon on SVU, and now this. How do you choose roles? When writing a script, writers are, through the magic of words, trying to start a film projector in your head. I read something, and all of a sudden, you stop turning pages and you start watching the film roll in your head. For me, that’s what happens. That’s how I choose.
Are you a TV binger? Yes. Right now it’s Making a Murderer. [Laughs] It’s frustrating and nerve-wracking, and I appreciate that flavor in my entertainment.
How do you stay looking sharp? I have a Giorgio Armani suit and a Brooks Brothers suit, and they’re on different sides of the spectrum, but I love them equally. I like a good pocket square. I really appreciate jeans and funky boots. I can’t live without Robert Graham shirts. I find them really classy yet whimsical. They break rules a little bit, and I appreciate that!