While the ‘formula’ of the procedural drama has long been to stick to the task at hand, mainly solving a crime, that mold has certainly been broken in the “Law & Order” franchise before. In the case of “SVU,” make that obliterated. We’ve seen more and more of the personal connections of the detectives every season.
Viewers have met Fin’s son, one of Munch’s ex-wives, Amaro’s wife and daughter, and Olivia’s half-brother, all of whom have brought both joy and pain into each staff members life; just as in real, non-TV, non-procedural, life.
This week, sauntering into the squad room and causing the requisite amount of havoc, is Detective Rollins sister, Kim, in an episode, entitled “Friending Emily.”
The official episode description reads, “As the SVU detectives pursue a high-tech kidnapper, Rollins reconnects with her troubled sister.”
Actress Kelli Giddish, who plays Amanda Rollins, is happy with this new revelation about her character, saying, “I think the audience is really going to enjoy sinking their teeth into Amanda’s personal life.”
But can Amanda really help her sister when she has her own personal demons, as in her gambling problem, to deal with?
Giddish believes that while her character has her own issues, she knows what needs to be done when it comes to her sibling. “Part of the joy of playing a character like this is that you get to rise from the bottom. You get to see a different side of Amanda. It’s about stepping up for your family when you need to be there. You see Amanda do that for her sister.”
Playing Kim Rollins is Lindsay Pulsipher, who’s appeared on “True Blood” and who’s actually worked with Giddish before on “Chase,” a drama that Giddish headlined.
Pulsipher enjoyed tackling such a multi-dimensional role saying, ”It’s fun for me to play a character that’s flawed, because you get to explore the psyche behind that. Kim Rollins is very troubled but I think a lot of it has to do with what happened in her past, in her childhood. So it’s really interesting to play all the different colors of her past and how it’s brought her to this place.”
When it came time to create the bond on screen between the two women, Giddish revealed the process, disclosing, “The first scene we did, we sat down in my apartment and it was like, ‘ok, here we go’. You’re making up 30 years of history on the spot. It did help knowing Lindsay before this. It was nice being familiar with her and her work. And, besides what’s said in the dialogue, you have to create a silent dialogue that family members certainly have with each other. That was kinda my favorite part, jumping into it full force and seeing what we came up with.”
Agreeing with that feeling, Pulsipher remarked, “By the end of the episode, I feel like Kelli and I really created a lot of history.”
Now that Rollins’ sister has made such a dramatic re-entry into her life, will she return to the canvass in the future? Giddish certainly hopes so, saying, “We had such a great experience filming this storyline that I think (Executive Producer) Warren Leight wants her to come back. At the end of the episode everything isn’t really resolved; it’s not a warm and fuzzy ending. It’s not a tidy clean. It’s open ended. We’ll see how it plays out.”
“Law & Order: SVU” airs Wednesday at 9/8c.
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