A Mexican in the UVE: Octavio Pisano arrives at the Law and Order franchise


Law & Order: Special Victims Unit It is the longest-running prime-time series on American television. The Dick Wolf-created show began broadcasting in 1999 and has captivated audiences ever since with its compelling and pertinent stories centered on Detective (now Captain) Olivia Benson and her fellow detectives. Within the 16th police station in New York City, this group is dedicated to investigating crimes of a sexual nature. With 22 seasons broadcast, and a new one on the air, the project stands firm as one of the most beloved within the police investigation genre.

One of the most welcome aspects of the Show is the selection of its main cast. The members of the ensemble have delivered performances praised by audiences around the world. Season after season, the team of investigators grows and, it seems, will continue to grow.

Proof of this is the recent addition of detective Joe Velasco, an undercover agent who is willing to go to extreme lengths in order to obtain justice. The character is played by the Mexican actor Octavio Pisan, who told Cinema PREMIERE his experience joining the cast of the already iconic procedural series.

Octavio Pisano as Detective Joe Velasco in Law & Order SVU. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC.

For the native of Tijuana, it has been essential to belong to a community in which they constantly strive to deliver a quality product to those on the other side of the screen. SVU It commonly explores and exposes themes that, as a society, we do not dare to discuss or think about. According to the actor, the element that guarantees the success of these episodes that focus on such dark crimes is precisely telling stories that feel close to reality. He knows that, although it is a fiction, the cases that serve as the basis for the narrative must be grounded as well as possible.

“It takes a lot of courage from everyone. From the writers, the producers, the studio, putting these issues, as you say, into fiction. But apart from that, I think that a very important ingredient is the authenticity with which we work here. They all work with a collaboration and an authenticity where we’re always fighting for the truth and we’re always questioning, ‘Is this really how this would happen?’ he says. “It’s not imagination, it’s based on truth.”

Octavio Pisano (Detective Joe Velasco) with Ice T (Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola), in Law and Order SVU. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC.

Pisano made his first appearance in the series with the first episode of the twenty-third season, just released. In the chapter, Velasco poses as a famous influencer in order to attend an event where a corrupt senator will be present. Through a false housing support foundation, the politician traffics girls and also shows intentions to rape one of them. The investigator must become involved in the case to such an extent that he can closely monitor the politician and subsequently arrest him.

About the challenging duality that he must manage to capture the mentality of an undercover agent, the actor tells us: “Basically, pretend that I am doing two characters, and every time it is my turn, or that it is Detective Joe’s turn, undercover, well I have to go through the same process as an actor, what I do for Joe I have to do for another character, right? Depending on the role, he has to change the way he walks or the way he talks, or the way he sees people, because Joe looks people in the eye, but maybe his character [encubierto] no. So all those details change so they can’t see that he’s a detective, that he’s a police officer.”

Continue reading: Interview with Octavio Pisano, from Law and Order UVE

Although the role played by Octavio is of a complicated nature, the effort he put into his role paid off. Initially, his character would only appear as a special guest. However, a few weeks after his debut, the news was made public that the actor would be promoted to regular –that is, a member of the main cast– (via). Regarding this, he says, “There was a rumor that he could probably be promoted to series regular. But then, obviously, it could also be not. Then, [mientras estaba] working on the first episodes was the rumor and I tried to ignore it, because, if not, then no way. In any case, it was still an incredible opportunity to have been as a guest.”

octavio pisano interview
In an interview, Octavio Pisano spoke about his integration into Law and Order: UVE. Here he is seen with Terry Serpico (McGrath). Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC.

Not being able to believe that he is forming part of this audiovisual universe, he tells us that, in reality, he does not like to think much about the reaction he had when he heard the gratifying news, because he prefers to face work seriously:

“I still have a hard time processing it when you say it, because I try to avoid those thoughts so I can see eye to eye. […] Because when you realize that the series has this impact and has this legacy that has been going on for so many years, well, it intimidates you a little bit.”

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Today, the actor is proud to be part of the cast. However, during the talk, he confessed to us that although he had heard some details about the show, he was not an avid fan: “I had never seen an episode until they told me I was going to work on the series.”

But this ignorance did not mean an obstacle to accept the offer, quite the opposite: it promoted a challenging marathon of gigantic proportions:

“I threw all the seasons in about three weeks,” he says smiling. “All progress, since season one.”

As part of the interview, Octavio Pisano said that, despite having reviewed all the episodes in preparation for his role, there was a moment when he hesitated to do this, as he did not want to have a preconceived image of Mariska Hargitaythe protagonist, who brings to life the unstoppable Captain Benson:

“I didn’t want to see as much because I didn’t want to get to the set and have that image of Mariska for what she is: the celebrity with the global recognition that she has, because at the same time my character doesn’t have that perception of her character. I waited like two weeks after I met her, after I worked on this and I was like, ‘Okay, yeah. I can watch the whole series now.’”

You might also be interested in: Law and order, Juan José Campanella makes history by directing the 500th episode

Regarding his relationship with his co-stars, the histrion acknowledges that at first he was nervous to discover how the dynamics of collaboration would take place on the set. However, relieved, he says that now they live together as if they were family. The good news is that this relationship not only blossomed between performers, but also with Dick Wolf.

octavio pisano interview
Octavio Pisano (Joe Velasco) opposite Mariska Hargitay (Captain Olivia Benson) and Ice T (Sergeant Odafin “Fin” Tutuola). Photo: Heidi Gutman/NBC.

Octavio had previously worked with Wolf, on a pilot titled New York Undercover. During the time they were developing that chapter, Pisano came to this conclusion: “He let me see that he is a normal person, with normal problems, with insecurities, and I was delighted to see a person of such caliber, in terms of his success. as a creative, business and executive. […] He took advantage of his opportunities, developed and had the discipline to develop. Every word she said I kept to myself to apply it in my life”.

season 23 from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit It is broadcast in Mexico on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. by the Universal TV signal.

Featured Photo: Will Hart/NBC.

The entry A Mexican in the UVE: Octavio Pisano comes to the Law and Order franchise was first published in Cine PREMIERE.


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