Between cleaning up the streets and helping ratings rebound, Jeremy Sisto has been busy on Law & Order (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET, NBC). We caught up with the L&O newbie to talk about Detective Lupo’s future, his Six Feet Under pals and his weakness for poker.
TV Guide: You're known for playing complicated characters. Are we going to see Detective Lupo's dark side anytime soon?
Jeremy Sisto: I'd love to have a big breakdown episode, but I don’t know if that's in the cards. A big emotional arc would interfere with the show’s structure — its eloquence and sense of reality. And I don’t think Lupo is volatile in his emotions.
TV Guide: How will he evolve throughout the season?
Sisto: Lupo starts out fairly timid and humble, and over time he gets up to speed with his partner, Detective Green [Jesse L. Martin], and the rhythm of the city and the profession. Seeing so much brutality makes him harder.
TV Guide: Is it a coincidence that you and Linus Roache, who plays ADA Cutter, were both in the short-lived 2006 drama Kidnapped?
Sisto: Probably. But I do know that [creator] Dick Wolf liked Kidnapped very much. Linus is really kicking butt with this role.
TV Guide: Do you have many scenes together?
Sisto: We do. Lupo is taking night classes in law, and it's very frustrating for him to solve a case and then just drop it off at the DA's office. He and Cutter actually get into it a bit.
TV Guide: Were you looking for another New York City-based show after Kidnapped was canceled?
Sisto: No. I went back to Los Angeles to mourn. My best friends, some of my family and my girlfriend are all in L.A. I love New York, but people are constantly in your face.
TV Guide: Who’s your girlfriend?
Sisto: Addie Lane. She produces still photography. She tries to come out and work here when she can.
TV Guide: Any chance Lupo will get a girlfriend this season?
Sisto: He really wants to be with his widowed sister-in-law Jenny [Guenia Lemos], who broke his heart. Whenever anyone else comes on to him, he can’t respond.
TV Guide: You work incessantly. What kind of project turns you on?
Sisto: If a job seems fun and I can find something interesting in it, I tend to do it. I’m also one of these guys who says yes if friends ask me to do one of their movies. Some critics thought I made a misstep with My Boys, the TBS comedy. But I did it because my friend is the creator. Why would I deny someone’s dream to make a movie or TV show?
TV Guide: Because it could be bad for your career?
Sisto: I know it’s proven to be a much better career path to work as little as possible, or only on great things. But it's not how I'm built. If I were to give advice to young actors, I would advise them not to do what I’ve done. [Laughs]
TV Guide: Do you keep in touch with any of your Six Feet Under costars?
Sisto: I stay in touch with Peter Krause, but I feel a real bond with all of them because the show was such a special experience. And I’ve seen each of their new shows. It's nice to see them as different characters, particularly Michael C. Hall in Dexter. His character is so very different from his character on Six Feet Under. When you’re watching the show, you’re like, “Wow!”
TV Guide: You've played in the World Poker Tour's Hollywood Home Game. How good are you?
Sisto: Poker’s about not making that one stupid move. I usually make that one stupid move. I get bored of it after a while. I don’t have whatever it takes to be a professional poker player.
TV Guide: Do you ever play on the L&O set?
Sisto: No, no. But recently I've been playing with friends of Jesse’s. It's like old-school poker, before Texas Hold’em became the thing. Back when you used to play silly games that take no skill.
TV Guide: So what's the verdict from Law & Order's most demanding audience — New York City cops?
Sisto: They’re responding pretty darn well to me. I'm really happy about that.
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