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October 6, 2015

Ice-T Talks Dream 'Law & Order: SVU' Guest Stars, Holiday Traditions

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 23rd 2010 4:12PM
Ice-T has a very simple request: Give his 'Law & Order: SVU' character, Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, a home.

"I would like to find out where I live," the rapper/actor told AOL TV Squad. "I don't have a car." Ice-T has been on the series since 2000, but many aspects of his character's life remain a mystery. Viewers know Fin has a son and a troubled nephew, but that's pretty much it. The character has seen his fair share of love interests, busted dozens of rapists and dealt with crooked cops.

The actor sat down for an exclusive chat after a screening and panel discussion of 'Gray,' the Nov. 17 episode of 'SVU,' and opened up about his holiday traditions, guest stars he'd love to see and what's in store for Fin this season.

You mentioned during the panel that you watch 'SVU.' Is it weird to watch yourself in an episode?
Not really, because like I say, in that episode, I was light, you shoot those scenes, you don't shoot them in order. So it's kind of fun to see how they place them in. And sometimes they'll cut the scene shorter or let it go, but it's always fun. I think if we saw it before it went on television it wouldn't be as much fun, but when we see it, it has the music and all the stuff.

Ice-TI watch it once, I don't watch them over and over again, just once. I think as an actor you can learn, like anything, if you play football, you watch yourself and learn from your mistakes. Like if I'm crunching my eyes too much or something weird like that.

Fans always want to know: What would you like to see happen to Fin this season?
Every time a girl gets in my sights -- it seems like I have a love interest that never works. They had a reporter show up once and I kind of flirted with her, but she disappeared. Then we had the new ADA [played by Paula Patton] show up one episode and we kind of had a moment, and [Patton] actually left to go work on 'Mission Impossible.' I don't know, I'm happy with Fin, I'm happy.

I love working with [Richard] Belzer and like I said at the end, the trick I think to our show is the four dynamics. I have a very understood voice. People know my perspective and I speak for a lot of people. A lot of times Chris [Meloni] will come in and I'm like, "You're putting more on this because of your girl," but I'm more or less like, "If they raped somebody let's just bust his ass. Let's cut to the chase."

'SVU' has had tons of guest stars. Is there anyone who hasn't been on the show that you'd like to see?
I think Henry Rollins would be good playing Chris' psycho brother from some other mother or something, a killer. You know how they turn over the stone and be like 'This is my cousin'? Because him and Chris have that same energy. I'd like to get Chris Rock or maybe Kat Williams or somebody on.

We usually use rappers, but we don't put on comedians. Anthony Anderson [star of 'Law & Order'] was a comedian and I like when you take the comedians and let them go -- like David Alan Grier just came on. I think what people mistake though is that at the end of the day, if you're a musician or a comedian, you're still an entertainer. So all of us are class clowns, all of us aren't afraid to get in front of a crowd, so putting us in front of a camera isn't a big thing. It's just a skill you have to learn.

Coco, Ice-TWho would I like to have? Bring 50 Cent on the show, have him rap. They said they might have [Ice's son] Little Ice on the show. They actually had [Ice's wife] Coco on the show. I've been very fortunate.

Bring Oprah. [Laughs]

Do you have any family holiday traditions?
Not really. I've always been pretty reluctant with family traditions, Christmases and stuff, because as a kid, I didn't really have them. So I kind of deprive my son and my kids of it because I wasn't really -- I kind of turned it into being stupid. Like if you can't have a true Christmas, then you say Christmas is stupid. If you don't have a place to sit down to have Thanksgiving, you tend to not want to do it. But since I've been with Coco, Coco's family -- she has a big family -- she kind of softened me up to it. So usually [Little] Ice and I, we'll go to her family and have a big family dinner and they're the nicest people in the world.

This year, we're probably going to be in New York and since Ice is out here, we'll probably do Thanksgiving at our house. His birthday's the 23rd. I'm kind of not much into holidays. I think that you've got to try to be consistent. He knows that he doesn't really have to wait until his birthday or Christmas for a gift. If he's doing the right thing he can get it.

Nothing quirky. I like eggnog. I like canned cranberry sauce and dark meat, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie.

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