Law and Order: SVU “Mask” Recap and Review

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Law & Order SVU “Mask” Recap & Review  from All Things Law and Order

[All opinions expressed are those of All Things Law and Order]

All photos from NBC

Law & Order SVU “Mask” featured guest star Jeremy Irons but thankfully they didn’t make him the designated pervert of the week. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have problems of his own. His character, Cap Jackson, has a clinic where he treats sex addicts, and he wrote a book about his own struggle with being a sex addict. He’s estranged from his daughter, who he learns has been attacked and raped by a masked man. He’s also afraid that years ago, while drunk, he raped his daughter. All these elements provide for a solid roadblock for Stabler in solving the crime. Jeremy Irons was excellent in his role of a doctor who wants to follow the rules to protect his patients, while struggling with his own demons and trying to find his daughter’s attacker. Despite the creepy element to Cap Jackson’s past, Jeremy Irons made the character seem almost respectable and likable.

Without Irons, though, the episode would have been average. While Chris Meloni fans likely celebrated another episode with Stabler in the forefront (and that scene with him in a “wife-beater” t-shirt), the episode had a disjointed feel. Rather than have Benson and Stabler work together on the case all the way through, Stabler flitted between Fin, Huang, and Cragen, with a bit of ADA Hardwicke shoehorned in. I also don’t understand why Benson was hanging out at the hospital the entire time – did she really need to be by this woman’s bedside every minute? Which brings me to one scene that didn’t sit well with me – the attack victim regains consciousness and immediately Benson is in her face, asking her potentially upsetting questions. I know that detectives like to get information as quickly as possible but I would have expected Benson to first make sure that the patient is stable enough to be able to handle questions.

Speaking of Benson, Mariska Hargitay seems to have reduced screen time lately. She’s wearing lot of layered, dark clothes and she appears to have gained some weight. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I hate to start any rumors or speculation, but it’s almost impossible to NOT notice that something seems different. I’ve been getting a lot of emails from fans asking why there isn’t as much Mariska in the last few episodes, which tells me it is not just my perception. I also can’t explain why Richard Belzer is conspicuously absent. I really miss the social commentary – and the sometimes dark comedy – that we get from John Munch. One never knows when tuning in to SVU which members of the credited regular cast will actually appear in the episode, and this inconsistency can be annoying to fans. Thankfully in “Mask” we had Jeremy Irons to make things interesting.

Here is the recap:
Two kids with a pair of camera binoculars see Debbie Shields (AJ Cook) being sexually assaulted. Her partner, Ann Jackson, returns home and also is attacked by the intruder wearing a mask. The kids call 911.

Later, Detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) are at the scene. Fin (Ice-T) brings the kids over to the detectives, who look at a photo taken during the crime and see the man in the mask.

At the hospital, Benson speaks with Debbie, who is a doctor. Benson wants to get evidence from Debbie’s hands but Debbie wants to aid doctors in treating Ann. Debbie has received threats because of her work with the Tri-State Reproductive Institute.

At Tri-State, Fin and Stabler find that Debbie has found a way to create disease free embryos by combining the father’s sperm with two mothers’ eggs. They also are given a letter where Debbie was threatened for this work. Afterwards they speak with the man who wrote the letter and he has an alibi which checks out.

Back at SVU, they confer with Dr. Huang (BD Wong) who thinks the mask may have a ritualistic or ceremonial importance.

Back at the hospital, Stabler gives this information to Benson. Benson and Stabler speak with Debbie and show her the photo of the masked man. While talking, a man rushes up and asks if they are talking about Ann Jackson. He introduces himself as Cap Jackson (Jeremy Irons) and is Ann’s father and a doctor. He also finds Debbie is Ann’s partner. He is reluctant to talk about family issues and is more concerned about Ann’s recovery. He tells Debbie if there has to be a medical decision it is Debbie’s to make. They hear Debbie made it through surgery. Outside the ICU, Debbie describes the attack to the detective with Cap also listening. She adds that the attacker said he would “cure her of Falmouth” and this phrase seems to strike a nerve with Cap.

When Cap walks out of the room, Stabler follows. Fin shows Stabler a police sketch from Richmond, Virginia from previous attacks that matches the one in Ann and Debbie’s attack. Stabler asks what the phrase about Falmouth means. Cap explains that it means he raped the wrong woman, meaning Ann was the target. Cap can’t explain any further as he is a psychiatrist and cannot violate privilege. Stabler tries to get him to help him, as a father, but Cap cannot talk about his patients. He says he specializes in treating sex addicts.

Later, ADA Hardwicke (Melissa Sagemiller), along with Stabler, try to get information from Cap, his lawyer Lorna Scarry (Mariette Hartley) is present. Hardwicke tells them they found that Falmouth is the Cape Cod town where Cap’s family used to spend their summers. Stabler tries to get Cap to say which one of Cap’s patients is the rapist. Cap becomes incensed that Stabler thinks he does not care about Ann. He insists some people get better in his program. Stabler thinks that Cap’s silence means it IS a patient who is raping these women. As Stabler walks out of the room, Dr. Huang shows Stabler a book written by Cap called “Eros Run Amok”, his autobiography, and that Cap also was a sex addict. Huang introduces himself to Cap and they have mutual admiration for each other. Huang says sex addiction will get recognized as a real disease thanks to Cap’s efforts. Huang wants to talk to Cap, not about the rapist but about his daughter Ann.

Cap talks with Huang about his own experiences with sex addiction, and that his wife killed herself. He admits his problem kept Ann at a distance for 20 years; in his book he said the estrangement started the summer Ann was 16. He is reluctant to answer their questions and he leaves the room. Stabler and Huang follow, Huang showing Cap a book of Hindu gods and goddesses and the god of erotic love has a face like the attacker’s mask. The god had a power of spiritual redemption through sex. Huang brings up the issue about the rapist wanting to cure Ann of Falmouth but Cap still won’t go into it. They follow him into the elevator and continue to press him, accusing Cap of raping his daughter at Falmouth. Cap finally shouts back that he can’t remember, he thinks he did. He breaks down.

Back at the hospital with Ann, Debbie explains to Benson that Ann does not talk much about her childhood but suggests she talk to a childhood friend, Linda. Ann begins to wake up and Benson explains what happened to her. When Benson brings up Falmouth, Ann becomes very upset and begins seizing. Doctors race in to treat her.

Back at SVU, Stabler and Huang discuss the situation and Stabler will have Fin to try to track down Linda. Stabler asks about whether Huang was just flattering Cap to get him to talk, but Huang says sex addiction is real and that Cap is a pioneer. He says most sex addicts are not rapists but that some rapists may be acting out on a compulsion. Sex addicts who rape should go to jail. Huang also says a pattern is emerging; he sent the Richmond sketch to SVU nationwide and there are more victims which match the MO. The locations are all cities with sex addiction rehab centers. Stabler wonders if the perp checks into sex rehab, hears about the women who were raped, and then rapes them again to “redeem” them. Huang also thinks the perp is a narcissist, who are prone to sudden bursts of violence when things don’t go according to plan. They can’t get the files from the clinics because of privilege. Stabler says he will stake out Cap Jackson’s center and tail anyone who walks out of there. Captain Cragen (Dann Florek) tells them there has been another attack.

Later, with Stabler and Cragen on the scene of this new attack, Holly, a stripper, describes her assault to Stabler and says that the man was wearing a mask and IDs the sketch of Ann’s attacker. She tells Stabler she was assaulted before by a professor in college. Her attacker today said she was an A+. She stabbed him on his forearm with a hidden knife. Stabler takes her knife to hopefully get a match on the blood. Cragen tells Stabler that Benson said Ann is in a medically induced coma. Cap is there and will not leave her bedside. Stabler tells Cragen to keep him off the grid for a while.

At the Jackson Clinic, there is a group session and Stabler is attending undercover – as a sex addict. He listens as one addict, Clay Gibson (Chris Meyer), talks about his addiction. The therapy leader Brett (Chandler Williams) gets on Stabler for rolling up his sleeves, telling him they have a modesty rule – long sleeves and long pants. Stabler is annoyed, saying what Clay is going is illegal yet they are getting on him (Stabler) for rolling up his sleeves.

Meanwhile, Cap is with Ann at the hospital and he speaks with Benson who tells him the rapist struck again. She tells him the rapist is using him to find other victims. Cap becomes upset, saying he spoke to his group just last week about what he did to Ann that night years ago. He describes the images of what happened which came back after 20 years. He said it kills him that he was never able to say he is sorry. But he still cannot talk about his patients, whatever they’ve done they are still human beings. As Cap talks about what his patients go through, back at the therapy session, the man who was the professor is talking, and another woman, Courtney (Lindsey Craft), and another man speak about their issues with sex addiction. Cap asks Benson if she can say some people aren’t worth saving, and she says she can.

At therapy, Stabler signs up for chores for the group and the therapy leader pairs him up with Courtney as a “big sib” until he gets a sponsor. She says Stabler is the kind of guy she’d be banging within 10 minutes of meeting him before she got “clean.” She asks him if he is a cop, but he says he is an accountant. Therapy wraps up and the leader declares it bedtime. Stabler goes to his room and is told by one of his roommates that he can’t wear his sleveless (wife beater) t-shirt to sleep. One of the guys there gives him their standard issue sleepwear and Stabler notices a bandage on his arm. The guy has cuts all over and says it is part of his addiction, he used to hire prostitutes to cut him. He shows the cut on his arm is almost healed.
Back at SVU, Hardwicke confers with Cragen, who tells her they looked into the employment records for the other clinic in other cities and they came up empty. Cragen believes it is a patient. Stabler is supposed to call in and he snuck in his phone. They speak with him while he is doing his chores, looking for evidence. Courtney walks up to him and he quickly removes the phone earpiece from his ear.

Back at the hospital, Benson comes up to Debbie who is watching Ann from outside the ICU. Debbie tells her that Cap went to his clinic to check up on the sex addicts as they are a delicate bunch. Benson quickly gets on the phone.

Back at the clinic, Courtney asks Stabler if he is on the phone and he denies it, but then it vibrates from an incoming call. When he stops her hand from reaching for the phone, she says those are cop reflexes. She pulls out the phone and sees it is a call from Olivia and thinks it is a girlfriend. She comes on to him and teases him to get back the phone. She heads into another room and he follows her in. She closes the blinds and removes her shirt and really tries to push his buttons. He brings up his daughter’s addiction and reminds Courtney that she is clean, and she pulls away, calling him a walking douche bag. She hurries to get dressed as they hear someone coming and he pleads for his phone. She refuses. Clay Gibson walks in on them as Courtney leaves, saying he was looking for his shirt and group is starting early. He’s holding his arm funny.

At the group session, Clay accuses Stabler of wanting to do “gang bang” girl and then mentions she would take him to Nirvana. But Cap has arrived, and when Cap sits down for group session, he sees Stabler and Stabler quickly “introduces” himself and says Cap’s book changed his life. Cap looks stunned. Stabler goes on to compliment Cap’s courage and do the right thing moral code and that he is the reason why he is here. Cap welcomes him and says he is glad he is here.
After the session Cap stops Stabler and is upset he is there under false pretenses, saying that he is jeopardizing everything he is doing. Stabler asks if that is including Clay Gibson, and Cap says he does not know if the rapist is him. Stabler says to call another meeting and get whoever it is to admit what they did, and Cap says not with Stabler there. Stabler thinks Cap wants the rapist for himself and in the meantime more women get raped. Stabler says he can’t let that happen.

Back at SVU, Stabler reviews Gibson’s previous record and that his DNA is not on file but be believes he is Holly’s rapist. He thinks that based on Gibson’s use of the word Nirvana he is their man. Cap comes in and says Stabler is right, everything he has done was an attempt to run away from his own crime. Stabler tells him it is time to stop running, and a woman comes in and tells Cap it has been a long time. She is Ann’s old friend, Linda (Jennifer Roszell). Later, in an interview room with Cap, Stabler and Fin speaks with Linda. She says Ann did not tell her about what happened in Falmouth but she was there and said that they were skinny dipping and Cap came down. She said Cap was drunk and he stripped and jumped in and Ann got upset and went back up to the house. Cap is surprised that Ann was not there, but Linda said Cap came after her and there was no stopping him. She said they had sex on the dock, he did not have sex with Ann. He apologizes to her and she says she wanted to do it and she did not regret it. She said Ann stopped talking to him because Linda was Ann’s first love and it broke her heart that night and she blamed it all on Cap. Cap tells Stabler they should go and find the man that attacked his daughter.

Back at group therapy, Stabler is saying forearms are his thing and pinning women’s arms. Cap says they traced Stabler’s behavior to his father, Stabler adding his father beat him up every day. He knew it was coming when his father rolled up his sleeves. Cap begins to roll up his sleeves so that they all will to help Stabler with his therapy by doing so and showing Stabler “a little love” by shaking hands or hugging. But Gibson refuses to break the modesty code, and, with prodding, rolls up both sleeves and there is a tattoo on one arm – and no cuts.

Afterwards, Cap asks Stabler what they are missing. When Stabler mentions the other locations where the rapist struck, Cap realizes there is an overlapping computer system at those locations. He does not use that system, though, because Brett Kincaid does a good job with their security. When Stabler asks if it’s Brett who does therapy who is also doing the computers, Cap gets a look of realization. He says the Brett was in the room when he talked about Ann. Cap punches the picture of Brett on the wall, and races to the women’s therapy session that Brett is supposed to be leading. But, when they get there, someone else is leading the group, and they are told Brett left because he was not feeling well. Stabler asks where Courtney is, and is told that she didn’t show. Stabler asks for Cap’s phone and he calls Courtney on the phone and calls Courtney. She is down the street at the cop bar she said Elliot suggested. He tells her to get out of there, and he did not send her there. He tells her to meet her at Rockefeller Center, but suddenly a man in the mask jumps Courtney and she screams.

Stabler and Cap run to the abandoned cop bar while the attacker has Courtney bound and her mouth covered with duct tape. The man says he is curing her and making her respectable. Stabler rushes in with Cap alongside and Stabler fights the attacker while Cap works to release Courtney. Stabler subdues the attacker and Cap pulls off the mask – it’s Brett. Cap sees the cut on his arm that Holly gave him, and says he hopes they lock him up for life. As Stabler takes Brett away Courtney comments that she knew he was a cop.

Back at the hospital, Stabler is in the ICU with Benson as Cap walks in. Stabler asks how is he, and Cap says the clinic is empty, his patients are all gone because he let a cop in. Stabler apologizes, and says some of those guys should be locked up but most of them Cap was helping. Cap comments that Ann hasn’t woken up yet, but when she does, he’ll be there. While Stabler and Benson watch, Cap walks into Ann’s room, with Debbie waiting at her bedside, handing her a cup of coffee. Stabler and Benson look on as we fade to black.

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Jeremy Irons explores sexual taboos on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ – National Celebrity Q&A

Jeremy Irons explores sexual taboos on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ – National Celebrity Q&A.

What’s Oscar winner Jeremy Irons doing on a TV series like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”? That’s a question that Irons answered when he recently did a telephone conference call with reporters to promote his guest appearance on the procedural drama about sex crimes. After all, the image of British actor Irons, who rarely does TV projects, is that if he would do American TV, it would more likely be a starring role in the kind of prestigious miniseries, series or movie that expects to get numerous Emmy nominations. It turns out that “Law & Order: SVU” is a great breeding ground for Emmys, since several actors and actresses have been nominated for or won Emmys for being on the TV series, especially those who have made guest appearances.

No one will be surprised if Irons is at least nominated for an Emmy for his “Law & Order: SVU” role as Captain Jackson, a sex therapist and the father of rape victim Ann Jackson, his estranged daughter. As detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) interrogate Captain Jackson, his sordid past of sexual and alcohol addiction is revealed. Irons’ guest appearance on “Law & Order: SVU” is on the episode titled “Mask,” which premieres January 12 on NBC at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time. Here is what Irons had to say about his “Law & Order: SVU” experience. During the interview, he also revealed what is his favorite movie that he has ever done — and it may not be what most people would think it is. But here’s a hint: It has to do with a sexual taboos.

You haven’t done much network TV, so why now, and why this role?

Because it fitted in timewise, because I’ve done no network TV, because “Law and Order: SVU” is so popular amongst a wide variety of my friends. When I mentioned to them that I had been asked they said, “Oh, it’s a fantastic show. I always watch it,” and then I looked at some episodes. I don’t watch a lot of television, or hardly any American television, because I live in Ireland and England, and I thought it had great style and reminded me of those paperback crime novels, which move very fast and had a great facility. And I liked the way they told the stories, I liked the way they were done, and I thought, “Yes, I’d love to go and do that.”

Was there anything about your role specifically that drew you in about the character you’re playing?

No, except I thought he was multi-dimensional, which always hard to find on television, or any film work actually. And he contained enigmatic qualities; he was a mystery. Basically, a good person, but a person who had fought his battles in life and to a certain extent comes through. And I thought it was a multi-layered role and as a result something that I’d like to get my teeth into.

Was there anything that you found particularly challenging about this role in “Law & Order: SVU”? You mentioned the character as multi-dimensional.

The way the program is made, which is very fast and the guys who do it … they have such a facility for it, and I watched them in awe as they worked. And it is a very specific style and when you’re confronted by that as an actor, it’s interesting.

It’s something you think, “All right, well, shall I – do I play against this? Do I play with it?” And in fact, a lot of the guest characters are written with a slightly different pacing, a slightly different style than the, so to speak, home-base actors.

Do you have any specific memorable moments you had from your time on set?

Many, many. We had a lot of laughs; a lot of laughs. And I found I enjoyed working with Chris Meloni] a great deal. He’s a tremendous actor and I just remember those days as being days that I really looking forward to going into the studio and working pretty hard, as we all did. Ted Kotcheff, who’s one of the producers, is somebody I’ve know a little in life and it was great to be able to spend some time with him. And Donna Deitch, our director, who I hadn’t met before, but she manages to make the work enjoyable.

I’m not remembering any specific moment, I’m not telling you of any specific moment, but it’s so nice when you go into a show, which you know has a pretty tough schedule, and the week I was doing it they were shooting two at the same time, and to find that people were determined that it be an enjoyable experience for everybody and that doesn’t always happen.

What is it like for you as an actor to come in and step into such an established show?

Well, you have to watch and see how they do it, because they know how to do it. And to a certain extent, you have to watch the actors who’ve been doing it for 12 years very carefully because they can do it very well, and they know how to do it and learn from that. But you do feel you’re entering an area of safety because this is not an experiment. You know, they’ve honed their craft on all levels doing these programs, and you just hope that there’s an actor coming in that you give them what they want. And you know I hope that they would have told me if I wasn’t.

And as far as working in American television versus working in British television, do you see any big differences?

Well, I haven’t worked in British television for a long time, and I’ve never worked in series television in that way. I’ve done on-off plays, apart from “Brideshead [Revisited],” which was a not a series, so this is my sort of first experience. But, I’ve always felt that America is, I think it could be that there is a professionalism, which sometimes makes some British work feel a little bit amateur.

Now, that has strengths, but it is an oiled machine when a program … We have “Coronation Street” that’s been running for more than 12 years, yes. I suppose that’s an equivalent different sort of pacing and different sort of subject. The great thing about “Law and Order: SVU” is that it deals with subjects which are very important to people and which affect some of a small section of society very much, these different aspects they give to each program, different story lines. And in a way I think it’s remained cutting-edge, which is why it’s still, after 12 years, has such a following. I think there are few American series which have that sort of longitude. They must be doing something right. I hope inviting me to do an episode is a good decision.

Since some people may not expect to see you on “Law & Order: SVU,” how has going against the expected contributed to your identity as both a person and an actor?

One has to work within the parameters of the opportunities that are offered as an actor. But, I always try to put my foot, so to speak, in a place where it’s not expected as I walk along my career, and that is not easy to do. It gives me great enjoyment doing new things, stepping into areas that maybe are unexpected for the audience. It also gives the audience a bit of pleasure, because I can only be me and play the characters I can play, but at least if I’m doing it in ways and in places which are unexpected it’ll give them a little bit of fun. It gives me a bit of fun.

Besides the time factor, what was the biggest challenge or what did you enjoy the most about television?

Well, you know, there’s no difference between television and film, really. I mean, a low-budget film you work as fast as you do on television these days. There’s no doubt that I think work of a higher standard is now being done on American television than in many American films. The sort of work and the sort of actors who you’d find doing, what could loosely be termed as art movies or independent movies in America, are now finding them so hard to raise the budget for to make them, even though it’s a low budget, because of the price of distributing such films and advertising such films. More and more actors who we’re used to seeing on the big screen are coming and working on television and finding fantastic material.

I mean, you’ve got “Mad Men,” “The Wire,” the list would go on and on. And I think in the last ten years there’s been a revolution in American television largely to do, I have to say, with cable, but it spreads around. And so, whereas maybe 10 years ago I’d think twice about doing television unless it was to be a one-off film, now it’s something which is very attractive for actors. This took me just over a week and the producers were kind enough to say, “Well, when can we spot it in? You know, when can we do it? When are you free?” And so, they made it very easy for me, apart from writing me a wonderful character. So it’s not hard to make such a decision.

Will we see you again on “Law & Order: SVU”?

Maybe. Who knows? You know, they say the way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans.

Did you enjoy the fast-pace of shooting on the show, and did it affect the way you usually work?

No, I loved the fast pace of shooting. I’ve always enjoyed that. I’ve done some shoots which have been very slow and they were huge setups to organize and I find that quite tedious. It’s inevitable, but it’s tedious and I always like working fast and hard. I find it gets my juices going. And if I don’t have time to finish a crossword in a day, I’m really happy. So I enjoyed the pace we worked at and found it invigorating. And because your juices keep flowing, because there’s not so much down time, I think your work is probably better as an actor.

If actor came up to you for some advice, what would you say?

Don’t give up, or as we would say in this country, “Soldier on.”

You mentioned that your character’s basically a good person. So you prefer to play good characters or do you prefer to play villains as you’ve sometimes been type-cast as playing?

I’ve played a few villains. I like playing characters who are not necessarily what they seem. I like playing enigmas. I like playing people who live outside our normal life experience. I say “our” as audience members. People in life, people who own a watch, because I think one of the functions of the storytelling of television or film or whatever is to show people in a controlled environment they’re watching on a screen what happens if something happens, and how do people react and makes them think, “Well, how would I react?”

So to play characters who live experiences or have had experiences or live in such a way that is on the edge, possibly good, possibly not, I find very, very, very interesting. They’re sometimes called bad people. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a bad person, one or two about, but in the main, I think everybody does their best with coping with what life throws at them and what their nature is. In my experience, most people feel sort of neither good nor bad. They know they have both within them, and I enjoy playing characters who are true-to-life in that respect.

Would you ever consider starring in comedy?

Yeah, I’ve done the odd comedy. They’re not hugely successful because you wouldn’t have asked me that question if they had been, but I used to be known, before I was 30, I was mainly as a stage actor and I was known for comedy, but comedy on stage. Comedy on films is quite difficult because film, and to a certain extent television, it has to collect as many viewers as it can. The comedy tends to be quite broad, quite all-embracing, and what makes me laugh is perhaps a little bit more individual.

So it’s very hard to find the sort of humor in a film which tickles my fancy, which of course it has to do if you’re going to do it, you know? I have got one lurking around that we might make and, not this year but next year, and I’m always looking out for them. But people don’t come to me first for comedy, you know? They go to other people. They don’t think of me as a comedian actor. That’s one of the things about sort of type-casting: You’re always asked to do what you’ve done before.

Is there a medium that you prefer?

No. The medium isn’t the important thing really, it’s the story and the character. That’s what grabs you as an actor or, you know, if you’re going to work in certain media, you’ll be paid differently to others. But what you’re paid has nothing to do with how happy the work makes you when you’re doing it. So it’s really the quality of the writing, the way the work is protected by those who are because, you know, as an actor one is part of a family, if you like, you have a lot of people creating your performance with your. And if that’s a good group and the character is interesting and absorbing to you and the story is compelling, then that’s all I look for, and it could be in theater, on television, in movies. The medium is not important.

Of all the projects that you’ve done, is there one that’s most dear to your heart or that you consider your proudest accomplishment?

Yeah, and you’ll probably be surprised. I think it’s a movie called “Lolita,” which I made, which I thought did everything that a movie should do which was to stir up people and make them question things, to dealing with a tricky subject. [It was] a very well-made film by Adrian Lyne. A film which sadly got very small distribution because the studios got very frightened about it by the subject matter, and a picture which actually Showtime put out eventually …

But I think my work in that sort of spans. I suppose also because my nature is a little bit anarchy and because it was such a prolifically uncorrect movie – or incorrect movie and because I think that one of the things that movies and stories should do is to stir the sediment at the bottom of our apathetic pond, and to open people’s eyes to situations which they tend to shy away from. I think that movie pressed all those buttons; and therefore, I’m proud of that. Although I’m proud in other ways of some of the other work that I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in.

How has your experience on “Law & Order: SVU” compared with other projects you’ve done before?

There are some projects you enjoy more than others, and I have to say that “SVU” is way up with those I’ve enjoyed. It is a lovely team of people. They made me very welcome. I didn’t fall on my face, I hope. Although, I have to say I haven’t seen it, so maybe I do fall on my face …

And I’d been filming in Hungary for about five months before that, and it was very nice to come to New York for a week and not only meet some new friends on this show, but to catch up with old friends. And you know, life and work, it’s lovely when it meshes together, so it was a very happy experience.

 

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Jeremy Irons Talks About Law and Order: SVU

From Daemon’s TV:

LAW & ORDER: SVU is known for attracting high profile and talented guest stars, and that streak continues with the “Mask” episode, airing on NBC January 12, when Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons makes his American network television debut.

Irons plays Captain Jackson, the estranged father of a woman attacked by a man wearing a haunting mask. Jackson’s work as a sex therapist becomes an obstacle to Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) as they try to gather evidence in their investigation into his daughter’s attack. A. J. Cook (Criminal Minds) is also guest starring as the victim’s girlfriend.

A Best Actor Oscar winner for his role as Claus Von Bulow in ‘Reversal of Fortune,’ Irons has acted in films ranging from ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ and the uber- creepy ‘Dead Ringers’ to ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ and ‘Being Julia.’ He also voiced the villainous Scar in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ and has appeared in British and American cable television movies and miniseries like ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Elizabeth I.’ He will be seen later this year as Rodrigo Borgia in Showtime’s new drama series The Borgias.

Daemon’s TV was there when Irons and Law & Order: SVU executive producer Neal Baer talked about how this guest appearance came about, what we can expect from Captain Jackson, and which role has been Irons’ favorite.

On how this SVU appearance came about:

According to Baer, “We go and ask actors whom I’ve loved watching on television and in the movies. All they can say is no and if they say yes then we work as hard as we can to give them a part they will they enjoy.” He added, “I know that is what keeps the show fresh–that you get these unexpected actors who can deliver these soulful performances.”

For his part, Irons was intrigued by the offer of a guest spot on SVU because he had never done network television before and several of his friends are big fans of the show, so he watched some episodes. “I thought it had great style and reminded me of those paperback crime novels which move very fast,” he said. “I like the way they tell the stories. I like the way they were done.”

As for the character of Captain Jackson, Irons teased, “I like playing characters who are not necessarily what they seem. I like playing enigmas. I like playing people who live outside our normal life experience. To play characters that have or live experiences on the edge–possibly good, possibly not, I find very interesting.”

Irons also likes taking roles that might surprise people. He explained, “One has to work within the parameters of what one is offered as an actor, but I always try to put my foot, so to speak, in a place where it is not expected as I walk in my career.”

On Captain Jackson:

The role of Captain Jackson was written specifically for Irons. Baer said, “When there are actors we really want to work with, like Jeremy, we go to them and see if there’s any interest and then we develop a story specifically for them. We go after various folks and design stories that we think they’ll be interested in and will challenge them and raise some important questions in the minds of viewers. I think ["Mask"] does that. It’s not just a straightforward mystery, by any means. ”

Captain Jackson is a recovering sex addict and alcoholic seeking amends for his past behavior who is now one of the country’s foremost sex therapists. When his daughter, estranged from him due to a past incident, is attacked by a rapist, a link emerges between Jackson, his daughter, and the investigation. Jackson is apparently quite the divisive character because Baer said that the “Mask” episode “pits our characters against each other, particularly B. D. Wong and Chris Meloni, around Jeremy’s character.”

Irons liked the complexity given Jackson. “I thought he was multidimensional, which is hard to find. and he contained enigmatic qualities. He was a mystery–basically a good person but a person who had fought his battles in life. I thought it was a multi-layered role and something I’d like to get my teeth into.”

Baer could not be happier with Irons’ performance. “He’s brilliant in the episode. When you see him, he fits into the show quite well, and yet there`s something about him– and this is what I think separates the great actors from actors–you want to know him. From the moment he steps on the screen you want to know him. He brings to the show this intensity and that is very alluring, I think, to an audience,” Baer explained. “That’s what we wanted and that’s certainly what Jeremy gives in this performance and it’s a very interesting performance because as he was alluding to, his character is a very multi-dimensional character who is struggling with some very real emotional issues that he’s able to bring to the surface in a way we can all identify with. Even though there are things about [Captain Jackson] you won’t like, you empathize with him.”

On his favorite role:

Irons said that there are definitely projects he’s enjoyed more than others, adding “SVU is way up with those I’ve enjoyed. It’s a lovely team of people.” He also loved the fast paced shoot and said, “I watched [Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni] in awe as they worked.”

There was actually quite the mutual admiration society between Irons and Meloni. When asked what stood out the most about his experience on SVU, Irons replied, “I enjoyed working with Chris a great deal. He’s a tremendous actor.” Meanwhile, Baer said, “Chris kept texting me throughout out the shoot, ‘I love Jeremy Irons,’” to which Irons retorted, “We are talking about getting married.”

When asked what role was dearest to his heart, Irons said it was one that might surprise us. “I think it’s a movie called ‘Lolita.’ I thought it did everything that a movie should do which is stir up people and make them question things. It was a very well-played film [directed] by Adrian Lyne that sadly got very small distribution because studios were probably frightened by the subject matter.”

Law & Order: SVU airs on NBC Wednesdays at 10pm eastern/ 9pm central with “Mask” airing on January 12.

 

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Jeremy Irons in Law and Order: SVU – Video Clips

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Jeremy’s Press Interviews and Reviews for SVU

Click on the links for articles about the conference call phone interviews Jeremy did on Friday 7 January 2011.

All of the articles/interviews are basically the same, though.

Examiner.com

Starry Constellation Magazine

The Daily Actor - complete with Audio Podcast!! Jeremy_Irons <–Click the link to listen!
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from TV Guide:

Cheers to Jeremy Irons for his sterling guest shot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

The Oscar-winning British actor brought aching nuance to an uncommonly complicated role: a sex-addiction specialist conflicted over revealing the identity of the pervo perp who assaulted his daughter. Turned out the doctor was a recovering sex addict himself who believed he might’ve raped his girl during an alcoholic blackout when she was 16.

Pretty seedy stuff, but Irons found the humanity in a character he could’ve played as a small-screen variation on his twisted roles in Reversal of Fortune and Dead Ringers. SVU has racked up a string of best guest-actress statuettes in recent years (Ann-Margret, Ellen Burstyn, et. al.), but Irons could become the show’s first male Emmy winner.
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TV Tango (@TVTango) tweeted live during the conference call with Jeremy and SVU executive producer Neal Baer. Here are their tweets – from the most recent to the oldest:

Conf. call w/ Jeremy Irons & Neal Baer of LAW & ORDER #SVU is over. Irons guest stars in the episode “Mask” on Wed Jan 12 at 10pm ET on NBC.

Neal Baer, EP of #SVU: “[Irons' character] demands the large talent that Jeremy has. We specifically wrote the role for his talents.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “SVU is way up there with those I enjoyed. A lovely team of people. A very happy experience.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “I have one [comedy] lurking around that I might make next year. People don’t come to me first for comedy.”

Neal Baer, EP of #SVU: “As I heard from Mariska and Chris, their kids went crazy” over Irons because of his voice for LION KING’s Scar.

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “I’ve done the odd comedy. Not hugely successful. I was known for comedy on stage [when I was <30].”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “I loved the fast pace of shooting. If I don’t have time to finish the crossword in a day, I’m really happy.”

Neal Baer, EP of #SVU: “Chris [Meloni] texted me throughout the shoot ‘I love Jeremy Irons.'” Irons: “We are talking about getting married.”

Neal Baer, EP of #SVU: “[Irons] fits into the show quite well, but he brings to the show this intensity. It’s very alluring to an audience.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “I think I always try 2 put my foot, so to speak, in a place where it’s not expected where I walk in my career”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “There is a professionalism [in American TV] that makes some British work seem amateur.”

Jeremy Irons about working on #SVU: “You do feel like you’re entering an area of safety. They honed their craft on all levels.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “I watched them [Christopher Meloni & Mariska Hargitay] in awe as they worked.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU: “[My character] contains enigmatic qualities. A multi-layered role I can get my teeth into.”

Jeremy Irons, guest on #SVU, on why doing network TV: “Because it fit in timewise. #SVU is so popular amongst a wide variety of my friends.”

On conference call w/ Jeremy Irons & Neal Baer of LAW & ORDER #SVU. Irons guest stars in the episode “Mask” on Wed Jan 12 at 10pm ET on NBC.

 

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Law and Order: SVU – First official photos!

Law & Order SVU “Mask” Air Date January 12, 2011 (10PM ET/9C Wednesday NBC)

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Looks like Jeremy wore some of his own clothing in the episode…

Here is the information for a new episode of Law & Order SVU, “Mask”, which will feature guest star Jeremy Irons.

CAPTAIN JACKSON (GUEST STAR JEREMY IRONS) AND HIS ESTRANGED DAUGHTER ARE REUNITED BY HER PARTNER, DEBBIE SHIELDS (GUEST STAR A.J. COOK), UNDER UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES

Debbie Shields (Cook) comes home to find her partner Ann Jackson being raped by a man wearing a haunting mask. Shields contacts Ann’s father to notify him of her critical condition. As detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) interrogate Ann’s father, Captain Jackson (Irons), his sordid past is revealed filled with sexual and alcohol addiction. Jackson’s new role as a sex therapist is hindering the detectives from getting the information they need to solve the case and if Jackson won’t comply, the detectives are going to have to get creative.

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Jeremy Irons to Guest Star on Law and Order: SVU

Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar and Tony Award-winner Jeremy Irons will guest-star on an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU.

The 62-year-old actor will play Dr. Cap Jackson, a sex therapist who runs a sex addiction rehab clinic. The episode, titled “Mask,” is scheduled to air in early 2011.

“We’re elated to work with an actor of Jeremy’s caliber,” executive producer Neal Baer says. “He brings depth, intelligence and charisma to all his varied roles and we couldn’t be luckier to have him guest-star on SVU.”

Irons won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1990 for his role in Reversal of Fortune. He won another Globe as well as an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award for his 2006 performance in HBO’s mini-series Elizabeth I.

Irons is also set to star in the upcoming Showtime period drama, The Borgias. Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia, the patriarch of a corrupt, Renaissance-era Italian noble family who becomes Pope Alexander.

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

A photo of Jeremy’s co-star AJ Cook, taken on the set of the Law & Order: SVU episode “Mask””

She may have been booted from Criminal Minds, but AJ Cook will guest star on Law & Order: SVU.   Her character will be Dr. Cap Jackson’s daughter’s lesbian lover who is brutally attacked. The episode, “Mask,” will air in early 2011.

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