John Stamos: Playing SVU's Serial Babymaker 'Scared the Hell Out of Me'

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Having played it safe with so many of his past career choices, John Stamos says he “jumped at the chance” to play a charming but totally twisted perp on this Wednesday’s Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 10/9c).

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The set-up: An abandoned baby leads the SVU team to a wealthy venture capitalist (Stamos) who was bedding the tot’s nanny at the time the wee one went AWOL. Stamos’ character is “more than happy to help Benson and Stabler through the investigation,” series boss Neal Baer previews, but along the way he’s revealed to have a habit of not just sleeping with many, many women, but purposely impregnating them.

Playing a “reproductive abuser,” as such a criminal is called, “scared the hell out of me,” says Stamos, who is of course well known for playing more wholesome sorts, such as Full House‘s Uncle Jessie and Glee‘s toothy dentist. “He’s unlike any character I’ve seen.”

In fact, when first pitched the part, Stamos admits, “I said, ‘I can’t do this…. It makes no sense for someone like me.’”

But that is precisely why SVU conceived the role with Stamos specifically in mind. Says Baer, “We wanted to see him in a light that he maybe hasn’t been in with other shows,” while to go with an actor who more readily reads as nefarious “wouldn’t have worked.”

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Fortunately, Stamos came around, realizing that this is the sort of chance he used to take after his Full House run. “You get so caught up in being a celebrity these days that you forget why you’re a celebrity — because you’re an actor. And roles like this that scare you is where I should be going with my career,” he says. “I really think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done on television.”

Are you curious to see John Stamos change things up on SVU?

Comments (11)

  • Because he was so wholesome in Fatal Vows…

    Comment by JRose48 – May 4, 2011 07:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Except he doesn’t play a criminal. It is not against the law to get a woman pregnant even if you are putting holes in the condom to do it. Or by telling the guy that you are on the pill when you aren’t in order to get pregnant. The fact that women can also be reproductively coercive is missing from the episode.
    Stamos doesn’t do an outstanding job here. He isn’t charming enough to have us believe he could pull this off. And he doesn’t create a chill factor to scare you into believing his views are dangerous. But that is as much the fault of a badly written script as a bland performance.

    Comment by HGFM – May 4, 2011 07:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So let me get this straight.
      You haven’t seen the episode, yet you are judging a performance of a character you’ve never seen?
      You can’t go around judging something you know nothing about. He could turn around and have an amazing performance.

      But then again you might not see it because you’ve blinded yourself with the fact that he’s already going to be horrid, and that’s all you will see.

      Stop being so arrogant and just wait for the show to air before posting your one-sided view of the episode.

      Comment by Kai – May 4, 2011 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Law & Order SVU airs in Canada on a Tuesday, so HGFM’s probably seen the episode already.

        Comment by bob – May 4, 2011 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Totally agree. How can you say that it might suck when you haven’t even seen the episode yet. Most of the episodes have been really good.

        Comment by Allison – May 4, 2011 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I did see the episode Tuesday night so I do get to comment on it. My comments were based on what I saw and not the article. And I stand by what I said. This was another badly written episode without any good acting performances.

        Comment by HGFM – May 4, 2011 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “But that is precisely why SVU conceived the role with Stamos specifically in mind.”

    I see what you did there!

    Comment by Dirk – May 4, 2011 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you. Every story is a small Easter egg hunt.

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – May 4, 2011 11:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As said above SVU airs on Tuesdays in Canada, so I have seen it already! John Stamos is fantasticly creepy in this episode. A long cry from the Uncle Jesse I grew up with.

    Comment by SingDanceLaugh – May 4, 2011 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Now, just convince him of taking the role of Charlie Harper in 2 1/2 men.

    not as a new character, as Charlie himself

    Comment by STARK – May 4, 2011 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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