Kelli Giddish: ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ Gives Me Nightmares

Celebrity Q&A
December 19, 2012

Giddish says images she knows are fake still turn up in her dreams

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
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Does working with such dark subject matter on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” ever give Kelli Giddish nightmares?
—Sarah Krevoy, Rochester, N.Y.

Giddish, 32, who is in her second season as Detective Amanda Rollins on the hit NBC procedural drama says that some of the images from the show—even ones that she knows were generated solely for storyline purposes—are disturbing.

“My dreams were so screwed up when I first started working on ‘SVU,’” she says. “I dreamt that I got chloroformed and thrown in the back of a pickup truck. And then I woke up and was like, ‘All right.’ But as hard as it is to deal with it, at least we’re shining a little light on it. At least those nightmares really never happened to me in reality, you know? And they have to a lot of people.”

That is why the Cumming, Ga.-born actress feels it is important that they continue to explore ripped-from-the-headlines storylines. She hears from actual victims of crimes all the time about how much it means to them.

“It is sad to say, but there is so much to rip from,” she says. “I talk to my mom about it, who is a long-time fan of ‘SVU’ and she [says], ‘Kelli, it is so incredible. I am looking at ‘SVU’ to see what is happening next in the headlines.’”

One such example is the “Personal Fouls” episode of the series, which told the story of a longtime basketball coach accused of sexually abusing his young players just as he is getting inducted into the local basketball hall of fame. It aired shortly before the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke, almost as if it were a prediction of things to come.

“In the episode, my character says, ‘Men are where women were 50 years ago about coming forward with the abuse that they have suffered.’ It is important to explore that and not make it such a dark thing,” the actress adds.

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