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NYFA LA Hosts Versatile Actor Christopher Meloni

NYFA LA Hosts Versatile Actor Christopher Meloni

May 22, 2017 Known as an incredibly versatile actor, Christopher Meloni paid a visit to the Los Angeles Campus of the New York Film Academy to speak on his long-running career in acting for film and TV.

Perhaps most known as NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," Meloni stunned audiences as Chris Keller on the gritty drama "Oz." His vampire role as Roman Zimojic brought fresh blood to the horror opera "True Blood." Both series were huge hits for HBO.

Moving over to film, Meloni has given strong supporting performances in DC’s "Man of Steel," the Jackie Robinson biopic "42," and the cult classic comedies "Wet Hot American Summer" and "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."

After being introduced by Tova Laiter, Director of the Q and A series at NYFA, Meloni was greeted by a thunderous applause. Laiter opened the discussion by asking, "It seems like you have done every genre: drama, action, comedy. Was this by design or were those the breaks?"

Meloni responded, "It was by design. It was always by design. I’m a huge fan of physicality. I love really good action. I love Hong Kong Jackie Chan and I like early John Woo. I love the ballet of the motion and the beauty of the choreography."

He continued, "I love comedy where you just get to blow out the pipes." But comedy didn’t always come easy. Meloni described his first big studio comedy "Runaway Bride" with Julia Roberts as feeling like "being at the big kid’s table."

"I was on my best behavior and I was trying to be funny," he added.

When asked about why he enjoyed studying the Meisner Technique, Meloni felt as though it forced away all the social niceties we have. Being reactive, whether it’s aggressively or subtly, is vital to the process. He described the repetition of the exercise as maddening but ultimately leading to truth and easier access to a range of emotions. "You have the ability to elevate moments and it makes working with the writer a more collaborative dance," he said.

Meloni is currently starring in "Underground" as August Pullman, a morally conflicted man working as a slave catcher. He is also co–starring in the comedy "Snatched" with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn.

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