Law & Order veteran actor Sam Waterston will be guest-starring on an upcoming episode of SVU and fans can now get a first look at his emotional return.
Waterston played Jack McCoy on 16 seasons of the flagship series, and has popped up on SVU a handful of times. He does it again on the Feb. 7 episode, as reported by THR.
The new episode is also a crossover, as it sees Chicago Justice/Med/P.D. star Philip Winchester, who plays Peter Stone, turn up in New York for the funeral of his father.
This is the catalyst for a conversation between Stone and McCoy which sees the two of them reminisce about Stone's father.
Current Law & Order: SVU showrunner Michael Chernuchin worked with Waterston on the original series and is a big part of why the actor agreed to the guest-star role.
"I knew him well; I know he's a wonderful writer, and so it was really easy to say yes," Waterston said, later adding that he is not surprised that SVU is still running because of the "genius of the original architecture of the storytelling."
"It's something that J.P. Morgan said, which is that it's all right to put all your eggs in one basket as long as you watch it very carefully. And of course, it's not one basket for Dick Wolf except in the sense that it is a kind of single universe with many branches," Waterson continued. "I think that the story, really, is how careful Dick Wolf and his entire organization have been about keeping the standards up."
As previously mentioned, this is not the first time Waterston has turned up on SVU, but it as still a surreal experience to be back.
"At first, for about a half a day it was completely strange and wonderful, like stepping back in time, and then it was just very familiar. It suddenly became like I'd never left," Waterston said
However, he reveals that series star Mariska Hargitay was very welcoming and completely put him at ease.
"I can't tell you how wonderful she was; how welcoming, how generous," he gushed. "They treated me like visiting royalty, all of them did. But she was at the front of that; she was the leader of that and it was just a delightful time."
Finally, Waterston spoke about the difference between doing a crime drama and a comedy show, which he currently stars in on Netflix's Grace and Frankie.
"[It's] an awful lot of murders. When you do Law & Order, it's a nasty world. Now I'm doing Grace and Frankie and I'm telling jokes and laughing all day long, and I have to say it's a pleasant contrast. I've missed the quality of the show, but I've been lucky," Waterston explained. "I've been doing other shows that have very high standards. That was a long time to spend in homicide."