Christopher Meloni Interview: ‘Happy!’

“It is a graphic novel ripped off the pages and presented on film,” actor Christopher Meloni says about his new show “Happy!” in an interview with Gold Derby (watch the exclusive video above). He elaborates, “There are not too many rules. You can get as fantastical as you want, you can get as graphic as you want… and the humor can be really out there and hopefully edgy.”

Meloni plays Nick Sax, who is identified in the series’ trailer as a “degenerate ex-cop hitman.” The show itself is a stylized dark comedy faithfully adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by its author, featuring an imaginary anthropomorphic blue unicorn in the eponymous role. It might seem to be a surprising vehicle for Meloni, who is best known for his serious turn in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” for which he received a 2006 Emmy nomination for Best Drama Actor, but Meloni has frequently demonstrated comedic chops, especially since leaving that show in 2011 after 12 seasons. He explains, “The[se projects] truly make me curious as opposed to my choices before. Curiosity is great and stretching muscles is great, but I also had to worry about paying bills and [the] future. I had financial obligations, so once those things get a little figured out or settled, what I do is for me; it’s what I want. I mean, life is short!”

One such project is “Wet Hot American Summer,” for which Meloni will presumably be on the ballot a third time this year, in Best Comedy Supporting Actor for the second season. (For “Happy!,” Meloni contends in Best Comedy Actor, as well as Best Comedy Series as an executive producer.) “It’s like going home,” says Meloni, having appeared in the original 2001 film of the same name to which the series is a continuation. Meloni continues, “Any time I’m asked to play with these guys, the answer’s just ‘yes.’ I don’t need to read the material.”

Meloni speaks similarly fondly of the cast and crew of “Veep,” noting that he would welcome the opportunity to reprise his role on the show, for which he received a Gold Derby Award nomination in 2014 as Best Comedy Guest Actor. He reveals about the upcoming final season, “They did ask to have me on. I was unavailable, so a few tears were shed.”

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UPLOADED Apr 30, 2018 3:03 pm