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October 9, 2015

Law and Order's Linus Roache: In the Limelight

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 18th 2008 10:01AM
Linus Roache LeadThis season, Law and Order was looking for a way to get some new energy and interest in the long-running NBC Emmy-winning series, so on the judicial end of the show, they promoted Sam Waterson's Jack McCoy to DA and cast Linus Roache as Assistant District Attorney Michael Cutter. Roache is one of those familiar faces that you've seen on other shows, maybe a movie or two, but here on Law and Order he's making you sit up and take notice. At least that's how it is for me. After watching the first two new episodes when the show returned recently, I wanted to know more about this guy. For starters, why did he remind me of a young Bobby Kennedy?

Well, it turns out that Linus Roache played Robert Kennedy in the mini-series, RFK. The Kennedy connection was even alluded to in last week's episode; at the end of the show, after McCoy had to defend his decision to prosecute overzealous New York City cops by taking the stand in open court, Roache's character, Cutter, gives him a tie pin that once belonged to RFK. With the last line of the show, Cutter says, "I found it on EBay."

Gallery: Linus Roache

Linus RoacheLaw & Order 2007Linus RoacheLinus RoacheLinus Roache and Sam Waterson

There's a lot more than the Kennedy connection that makes Linus Roache worth watching. For starters, he's British. That American -- heck, New York! -- accent is all acting. He grew up in England, the son of one of the most famous TV actors in the UK. His dad is William Roache, star of Coronation Street, the longest-running soap opera in Britain; he's been on the show since 1960! Linus spoke of his father in a 1998 interview, saying, "He's like a national institution. He's the sole member left in the original cast. I played his son on the show for a while when I was a kid. I didn't like the attention. I remember going with him to some event and it was just crazy; it was like the Beatles had arrived or something, just ridiculous. I got quite upset by it."

It may have upset him, but it didn't keep him out of the business. He did more TV in England, including the BBC series, Seaforth, which brought him attention, as well as the feature Priest, that was deemed award-worthy. Despite the success, Roache was missing something, so he walked away from his career and spent 18 months in India where he discovered spiritual meditation. "A spiritual life is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How do you live? What's true? How do you respond? It's not about living by beliefs; it's about wanting to know," he said in 1998, when he resumed acting.

He hasn't stopped since, having starred last season in Kidnapped for NBC, and playing Aaron, Moses' brother in the ABC mini The Ten Commandments. For the aforementioned RFK he received a Golden Globe nomination, and won a Golden Satellite Award for HBO's Emmy-winning The Gathering Storm. On screen, you probably remember him as Bruce Wayne's father in Batman Begins, and costarred with Helena Bonham Carter in Wings of the Dove and Angelina Jolie in Beyond Borders. Still to be released is Yonkers Joe opposite Chazz Palminteri. That, plus all the stage experience -- even doing Shakespeare -- makes him more than ready for Law and Order.

He's psyched about his new role, especially since it's filmed in NYC. "New York, without a doubt, is my favorite city in the world," Roache told CanMag. He's also studied the show, watching different seasons of Law to learn about their style. "I wasn't a regular viewer; I'd seen it periodically. ...I also knew Sam (Waterson) as an actor that I greatly admired for many, many years. I even remember when he joined the show, thinking it was a very significant moment to get such an extraordinarily talented movie actor to commit to a TV show."

To get the right verisimilitude for the role, Roache spent time with members of the bar. "I saw in all the DA's that I got to meet, there's this kind of living for the job. I think you have to in these kinds of roles. In real life these people really are living for their work because it's beyond just doing a job. You are totally dedicated and connected to doing the right thing, where there's a kind of drive there in my character."

On the personal side, you might be interested to know that Roache is a vegetarian, married to actress Rosalind Bennett, and just celebrated his 44th birthday on February 1st.

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I think Linus Roache is the best addition to the entire L&W series (sorry chris meloni...) I am once again watching Law and Order. Linus Roache is brilliant!!!!

May 10 2008 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Linus brings the true character to the screen, enriches the plot and enlightens the series. He revivifies Law and Order.

March 25 2008 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jack farrell

i,ve had the pleasure of meeting linus and he is a true professional in his craft ,,, integrity and dedication ,,, he brings so much to the law and order series ,your very fortunate to have a person of his quality.
best of luck ,linus

March 25 2008 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Linus has brought star quality to the show, he has the ability to draw you to his character role.

March 25 2008 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I completely agree. Roache, along with Jeremy Sisto, has really invigorated the series. It was time for some new blood, something more than the constant turnover of pretty female ADAs. If only Alana de la Garza would learn to act.

February 18 2008 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jimmy's comment

He's been a fantastic addition to the show.

And you forgot to mention his role I first noticed him on, as Purifier in The Chronicles of Riddick!

He has that sad, soulful, and yet hopeful look that sorta reminds me of Lance Henriksen.

Very enjoyable to watch.

And yes, Jeremy Sisto is a great addition as well. This year has definitely gotten off to a great start for L&O.

February 20 2008 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Linus Roache on this show. His character is why I started watching again. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has taken notice.

The new detective team is a great match, too.

February 18 2008 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

From the few episodes I've seen with him in it, his character actually makes me think of a young Jack McCoy.

February 18 2008 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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