It never ceases to be interesting that Christopher Meloni — the guy who seems like he would crack your skull for even thinking about running out on Law And Order: Special Victims Unit — is always popping up in comedy films like Wet Hot American Summer. So when the Netflix series was announced and his name was a part of the cast, you couldn’t help but get a little excited.
Meloni’s Gene is one of the shining spots of the original film, particularly his fondness for smearing mud on his ass and fondling his sweaters. But it was one moment in particular that garnered some interesting questions in a recent interview with Vulture about the revival series. You know the one:
I’ve always wondered something about the original “hump the fridge” scene. Were those kid campers actually in the room watching you hump the fridge?
I insisted that they be there.
They sort of cut away enough that I wasn’t sure.
There comes a time in every kid’s life where they have to learn the facts. And I thought it was important that they stay there and watch me enjoy the fridge.
Did the kids keep a straight face?
They did once I pulled out the bulletin board and gave a presentation about how it works. Anatomically.
Meloni also gave a little detail on his audition for the part in the original film, including his chess showdowns with Michael Showalter at the Chess Shop in New York. It turns out that playing Gene was a lot easier than expected for the actor:
I knew who Gene was. When I audition for something, sometimes it’s more of a work in progress where I hope I’ll find it, and hope I’m the thing they’re looking for. But this one: I was locked down. Locked in. I knew this guy. It’s one of the few times I actually enjoyed the audition, and felt completely confident in myself and what I was doing. And I walked out of there thinking, I’m your guy, and if you hire me, you made the right choice and if you don’t, you made the wrong choice…
The first thing coming out of Gene’s mouth, you’re like, Oh, this guy is ridiculous.
The only thing that could’ve topped Meloni in this role is an actual Vietnam vet with bouts of mental haziness and psychosis. And that would be more sad and depressing than comedic.