Law & Order: SVU alum Jamie Gray Hyder is opening up about her abrupt exit from the series. She admits that she was blindsided by the decision, especially because her character represented the LGBTQ+ community. She was only on the show for three seasons. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, she says she learned a lot from the experience.
"The No. 1 thing you have to learn, if you want to go into show business, is that a majority of decisions that are made that impact you usually have nothing to do with you," she said. "It's a hard reality, but one that you're serving yourself better the sooner you can get that in your head. So for me, my time on SVU was so incredibly educational and really built my confidence. I have great relationships with the cast. I love the crew. The saddest part about leaving was not being able to spend every day with those people that you formed these relationships with. My ending came a little bit more abruptly than I would've anticipated, but SVU has been doing it that way for a long time. I think it keeps the fans on their toes. Do I wish there was a different outcome? Of course, but I leave that experience with such a surplus of knowledge and experience that I'm grateful that it happened at all."
But she's bounced back in a new Hallmark holiday film, Sugar Plum Twist. She says the family-friendly role was more than welcomed.
"I've just come off of working two years on SVU and dealing with such dark and heavy subject matter that the idea of doing something lighter and more uplifting really appeals to me and my brain. So, I said yes," she said of being asked to star in the film. "We talked about things that were important to me, as far as my character goes, using my ethnicity for the character. They were all ears and super accommodating and we found a place that we both liked and decided to work together."
She stars as a ballerina in the film but has had no formal training. She says she told the casting producers such multiple times and they were fine with it. But she did prep in advance. "I did a week of ballet intensives with our two ballet choreographers and with our salsa choreographer," she said. "My co-star, Laura, she is an experienced ballet dancer and she dances all styles. She came in and really picked it up quickly. But for me, I had to work with them a little bit longer because I wanted to make sure that I was doing the part justice, but also I didn't want too many ballerinas to cringe while watching my performance. Fingers crossed everybody likes it."
Sugar Plum Twist drops Thursday, Dec. 2 on Hallmark Movies Now.