Shameless star Ethan Cutkosky is hyping his psychopathic return to Law & Order: SVU in this week's episode. Back in Season 14, Cutosky first appeared in the long-running police procedural as Henry Mesner, a teen who was sent to juvenile detention for heinous crimes. Henry had killed a neighbor’s dog, and then attempted to murder both his own sister and Detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino).
Now, Henry is 18 and eligible for release, but he could still very well pose a threat to just about anyone. In a recent interview with TV Insider, Cutkosky opened up about what it's like playing the "Post-Graduate Psychopath," as well as how he felt returning to the role. "Law & Order, back in 2013, was I think the only thing that I did between my high school years — I graduated in 2018 — while filming Shameless," he shared. "We saw the reaction from people throughout the years, which was unexpected and very lovely to hear about."
As for playing Henry again after all these years, Cutkosky said "it was a nice challenge coming from playing Carl Gallagher for the past" decade. He continued, "They wanted to write a character that is born on the psychopathy level. These are roles that I want to take into my career and move forward. And so it was a very exciting yet daunting role to take on, especially at this age. When I was 13, I had only a sliver of amount of understanding comparatively to 21 now, so I was very excited to be able to take this at this age and put my all into it."
Cutkosky also offered fans some insight into what they will see from Henry this time around. "You can expect the creep factor, the scare level that everybody experienced back in 2013, but a little bit maybe more menacing from this age. The depthness of the psychopath in this character is definitely there. I think it’ll be a very intriguing episode."
Finally, Cutkosky also shared his perspective on what is driving and motivating Henry these days. "Mostly revenge, [against] everybody that hurt him and everybody that betrayed him. [It’s not that he] cares to be on the outside of the world, but more so just to seek his revenge and put pain into where he wants and then be able to manipulate himself back into the system. Because he knows that he’ll be able to plead insanity."
The actor added, "He knows certain things that he can do that will lead him back to the spot where he has the most power." SVU airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, with the brand-new spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime — which stars former SVU actor Christopher Meloni — airing at 10 p.m. ET. Both series are available to stream on Hulu and Peacock.