Law & Order: Organized Crime not only brought Christopher Meloni back to the franchise after a 10-year absence, but it also introduced a group of new characters to Dick Wolf's world. One of them is Jet Slootmaekers, a hacker Meloni's Detective Elliot Stabler brings in to help him and the Organized Crime Control Bureau take down Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott). Ainsley Seiger, who is making her television debut in the show as Jet, recently spoke with PopCulture and revealed just how intimidating it can be to act alongside a seasoned star like Meloni.
When the cameras are not rolling, Meloni definitely is not as explosive as Stabler is, Seiger noted. "I always say this, but I truly can't say enough good things about him," she said. However, it is still "incredibly intimidating," which she often jokes with Meloni about. Since this is "literally my first rodeo," Seiger said, she always wants to look as prepared as possible when she comes on set. But that is a little difficult when the first thing you shoot is a scene with Stabler looking over your shoulder.
"I want to be the new kid on the block who knows their stuff and is ready to work," Seiger told PopCulture. "And I always joke around with him that it certainly helps to be prepared when you have Elliot Stabler looming over your shoulder, all up in your space and your business, sharing the camera with him. And you're like, 'I have to bring my all, or else.'"
Seiger's character is really unlike anything Law & Order has seen before. She is much younger than the typical older detectives that now dominate the franchise. Seiger even said she was providing a "generational gap." Jet's very presence on the show highlights how different things are compared to 2011 when we last saw Stabler. The actress also has an opportunity to build a new character from the ground up.
There is "a lot of myself" in Jet, she said, particularly this "aspect of feeling intensely other" among new people. "It's very freeing to be able to play a character who embodies that feeling of when you're hanging out with a new group of friends for the first time, or you're hanging out with a group of people and they all somehow know each other, but you just know one person," she said. "And you're like, 'I really don't know how I got here, but I guess I'm here now.'" Jet is not trying to get along with the other members of the team yet, but Seiger predicted audiences will get to learn more about her character when Jet opens up over time.
The Law & Order franchise's fans seem to enjoy what Jet and Seigler have brought to the series so far. Seigler was "super nervous" about joining the show at first, but fans have been so welcoming that the nerves have started to disappear. "I felt so welcomed by the cast and the crew of the show and by the fans, which is something that I will never, ever forget or ever take for granted," she said. She also admitted to checking in on how fans react to major shockers on the show. "The first time that I saw myself in a GIF, there's no feeling like it in the world. There's nothing like it," she said. "My face on a loop, on the internet, forever? Yes, please."
Law & Order: Organized Crime returns on Thursday, May 13 at 10 p.m. ET, following a new episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. It will be another two-hour crossover event, with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) seeking help from Stabler to answer questions about her brother's death. You can find past episodes of both shows on Hulu and Peacock.