Law & Order: Special Victims Unit guest star Alex Brightman got to check off two big items on his bucket list while filming the most recent episode of the long-running series. Not only did he get to sit in an interrogation room with Ice-T, but he was also arrested by Mariska Hargitay! Brightman, who is best known for his Tony-nominated performances in School of Rock and Beetlejuice on Broadway, told PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview that working with the two television icons the most exciting part of filming the episode.
In "Turn Me On, Take Me Private," Brightman starred as Gabe Miller, a paralegal obsessed with Zoey Carrera, a cam girl played by a fellow Tony nominee, Eva Noblezada. At the start of the episode, Gabe rapes Zoey on camera, and the SVU team quickly tracks him down. To his surprise, Gabe learns Zoey considers what he did rape. Gabe's attorney convinces him to take a guilty plea, but during his arraignment, Gabe decides to represent himself in court so he can take the case to trial and spend more time with Zoey.
While Gabe spent most of the time battling Carisi (Peter Scanavino) in the courtroom, he did get a scene in the interrogation room with Fin (Ice-T). Later, Gabe was arrested when he violated a restraining order when he tracked down Zoey's father. At that point, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) arrested him and read him his rights.
Brightman, a longtime SVU fan, said all he ever cared about was sharing scenes with Hargitay and Ice-T if he got on the show. "Getting cuffs put on me by the one and only Olivia Benson, it's like, there's nothing better," a giddy Brightman said. "I mean, I would have been okay, I would have been totally satisfied to be a dead body in that episode. So to be able to act against the Ice-T of it all or the Jamie Hyder of it all, or especially, most of the episode is me and Peter Scanavino going back and forth."
The episode also featured a surprise appearance from filmmaker John Waters, who returned as the skeevy pornographer Floyd Cougar. This was an "extra bonus" for Brightman. It was the kind of thing that made Brightman take stock of how lucky he is to be in showbusiness.
"I just had a bunch of really interesting fun for eight days," Brightman said. "The perks of this kind of job is that all of a sudden you're doing something that you would pay to do, first of all. I mean, it's so much fun. Then the added bonus is, right across the way from your dressing room is f— John Waters. And you're like, "What am I doing?" ... It's one of those 'look at your life' moments when you're in the dressing room kind of, [thinking] 'I'm hungry, I've been waiting here for a little too long, whatever.' And then you feel that for about 0.5 seconds until your brain kicks in and goes, 'Look what you're doing. Your life is crazy. I mean, this is nuts.' But I love this stuff."
When asked if there were any iconic SVU guest appearances that influenced his acting on the show, Brightman immediately brought up Pablo Schrieber. In seven episodes, Schreiber's rapist William Lewis terrorized Benson. Schreiber delivered "one of my favorite performances, guest star wise, perp wise, and bad guy wise," Brightman said. SVU fans will get to see hopefully more unforgettable guest appearances in the rest of Season 22, with new episodes airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.