FILM ACTOR CONNIE NIELSEN JOINS NBC'S "L&O: SVU" FOR SIX EPISODES
CONNIE NIELSEN ('GLADIATOR') FILLS-IN FOR GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER MARISKA HARGITAY FOR SIX EPISODES WHILE ACTRESS TAKES MATERNITY LEAVE FROM NBC'S 'LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT'
"SVU" Episodes Mark First Small Screen Appearances for Acclaimed Actress
BURBANK - February 1, 2006 - Wolf Films and NBC Universal announced today that Connie Nielsen ("Gladiator," "The Ice Harvest") will fill-in for Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (Tuesdays, 10-11 p.m. ET) as the actress goes on maternity leave. The six episode run marks Nielsen's first primetime appearance on American television in her extensive film career.
"This is an unremittingly positive situation for us," said Dick Wolf, creator and executive producer of the "Law & Order"-brand series. "I'm thrilled that Mariska is having a baby and thrilled that we have someone of Connie's obvious talent, beauty and stature to come in for these episodes. It doesn't get any better than this."
Nielsen's as yet unnamed character will be a multi-lingual warrants detective who comes from a specialized unit and is on a specific assignment to replace Detective Olivia Benson (Hargitay) who will be relocated "away from the building." Hargitay's pregnancy will not be written into the script.
Nielsen first gained international notice when she starred opposite Russell Crowe in the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Gladiator." The Danish actress most recently starred in the soon to be released film "The Situation" directed by Philip Haas; the acclaimed feature film "Brothers," where she was awarded the Best Actress prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival and won the Danish Oscar for Best Actress -- Newsweek's Best of the Year feature (12/19/05) hailed her "Brothers" performance as "one of the most emotionally eloquent performances of the year... it shows how Hollywood has just scratched the surface of her talent." Nielsen also starred in "The Ice Harvest."
In addition, Nielsen earlier earned positive notices for her performance as a heroin junkie in "Permanent Midnight;" the French film "Demonlover," "Basic," " The Hunted," "Mission to Mars," "One Hour Photo" and "The Great Raid."
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a Wolf Films production in association with NBC Universal Television Studio. Wolf is creator and executive producer; Ted Kotcheff ("Fun with Dick and Jane," "Weekend at Bernie's"), Neal Baer (NBC's "ER," "China Beach") and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.