Kelli Giddish’s Law & Order debut saw her in a very different role

Long before Kelli Giddish made her SVU debut as Amanda Rollins, the actress appeared as a very different character in an episode of Season 8. Giddish, credited as Kara Bawson in the episode “Outsider,” plays a victim who’s an integral part of Fin Tutuola’s (Ice-T) pursuit of a serial rapist (via IMDb).

Giddish isn’t the only “SVU” cast member to have a small role on the show before eventually taking on a larger role. Diane Neal, best known as Senior Assistant District Attorney Casey Novak, first appeared in a Season 3 episode as an attorney named Amanda Chase. Similarly, Peter Scanavino had an early “SVU” role before signing on to play Carisi.

But SVU wasn’t the only series in the Law & Order universe Giddish appeared in. A few months after her SVU debut in January 2007, the actress landed a role in an episode of the seventh season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Giddish has been named as Dana Stipe, a professional diver who is suspected.

Though Giddish’s role on SVU has been a constant for over a decade, the actress admitted it’s fun to take the character out of the usual Law & Order setting. “It’s so great to get on a different set,” Giddish said of her crossover episode on Chicago PD (via ScreenSlam). “You can play the same character, but it’s a completely different set… It’s all handheld stuff, so the style is a little bit different than ‘SVU’.”

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available to help. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact the RAINN National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Kelli Giddish’s Law & Order debut saw her in a very different role

Charles Jones

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