Former heavyweight champion and noted face tattoo aficionado Mike Tyson has played himself — or an exaggerated version of himself — in a number of films and television shows, most notably The Hangover. But now it appears he is trying to branch out a little, as he will be making his dramatic acting debut in an upcoming episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
[Tyson] will play Reggie Rhodes, a murderer on death row whose violent actions may in part be the byproduct of a horrible childhood. His case attracts the attention of Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and defense attorney Bayard Ellis (recurring guest star Andre Braugher) during an SVU investigation. Also guest starring in the episode is Ed Asner as someone connected to the investigation. [Deadline]
All right, first of all, let’s get this out of the way: There’s something a little … icky … about a convicted rapist getting a potential career boost by appearing on a show that is ALL ABOUT locking up rapists and throwing away the key. I love Mike Tyson, please don’t mistake me. He is a fascinating, occasionally bonkers person who seems to have gained real perspective from a life that has been anything but conventional, and I am all for pointing cameras at him whenever possible. But that’s the elephant in the room here, that he’s appearing on this show, so we might as well mention it.
Second of all, I really hope they let Ice-T question his character at some point. The idea of Ice-T and Mike Tyson doing an intense interrogation scene on a major network in primetime is making me entirely too giddy given the last paragraph I just typed. You could say I’m a little conflicted.
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