Is christopher meloni gay?

Table of Contents

’Law and Order: SVU’ Stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni Reunite Ahead of History-Making Season

Benson and Stabler, back together? At least on Instagram. “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay reunited with her former on-screen partner Christopher Meloni ahead of the long-running show’s history-making season 21. Meloni left the series after season 12.

“Sunday night dinner….,” Hargitay captioned the series of selfies.

View this post on Instagram

Sunday night dinner….

A post shared by Mariska Hargitay (@therealmariskahargitay) on Sep 15, 2019 at 10:49pm PDT

The two former costars have not been shy about reuniting–off screen. Meloni reportedly left the series after season 12 because of a contract dispute and has only been mentioned, never seen, since. Season 21 of the series makes it the longest-running scripted primetime drama, unseating “Gunsmoke” and “Law & Order.” Might we see Meloni’s Stabler back in the fold to celebrate the historical season?

Does Mariska Hargitay Have an Ideal Ending for Law &Order: SVU?

U.S. & World

Coronavirus 2 hours ago

China Reports 304 Virus Deaths, Fires Officials for Poor Job

“It’s interesting to me. As long as the show is running, I feel like we will–someday, I would hope to see him again,” returning showrunner Warren Leight told E! News about Meloni. “I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but, yeah, that’s kind of, I think the fans and Benson and Stabler are owed that.”

“Law & Order: SVU” season 21 premieres Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.

Christopher Meloni is the latest celeb to fall victim to a death hoax See more news, pictures and video.

Hot news

News of actor Christopher Meloni’s death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However the January 2020 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the actor best known for his roles in True Blood or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is alive and well.

UPDATE 02/02/2020 : This story seems to be false. (read more)

Christopher Meloni death hoax spreads on Facebook

Rumors of the actor’s alleged demise gained traction on Friday after a ‘R.I.P. Christopher Meloni’ Facebook page attracted nearly one million of ‘likes’. Those who read the ‘About’ page were given a believable account of the American actor’s passing:

“At about 11 a.m. ET on Friday (January 31, 2020), our beloved actor Christopher Meloni passed away. Christopher Meloni was born on April 2, 1961 in Washington, D.C.. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”

Hundreds of fans immediately started writing their messages of condolence on the Facebook page, expressing their sadness that the talented 58-year-old actor was dead. And as usual, Twittersphere was frenzied over the death hoax.

Where as some trusting fans believed the post, others were immediately skeptical of the report, perhaps learning their lesson from the huge amount of fake death reports emerging about celebrities over recent months. Some pointed out that the news had not been carried on any major American network, indicating that it was a fake report, as the death of an actor of Christopher Meloni’s stature would be major news across networks.

A recent poll conducted for the Celebrity Post shows that a large majority (71%) of respondents think those Christopher Meloni death rumors are not funny anymore.

Christopher Meloni Death Hoax Dismissed Since Actor Is ‘Alive And Well’

On Saturday (February 01) the actor’s reps officially confirmed that Christopher Meloni is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said.

Some fans have expressed anger at the fake report saying it was reckless, distressing and hurtful to fans of the much loved actor. Others say this shows his extreme popularity across the globe.

Reddit Gone Wild: The best amateur NSFW subreddits

It’s tough to find porn—or for that matter any NSFW sex-related content on the internet—that features real, consenting people in a supportive environment that is also totally safe for your computer. Maybe you’re interested in chatting with strangers, BDSM, exhibitionism, public nudity, or sexting, but you’ve been too afraid to try it. Either way: Reddit Gone Wild is your answer.

Gone Wild subreddits have long been a bastion of user-submitted Reddit porn subreddits. Even some of the longest-running Gone Wild subs continue to grow their audience and improve community guidelines. Here is our Reddit Gone Wild list, curated to include only Reddit porn subs that are moderated, safe, inclusive, and definitely hot.

BRAZZERS Sign Up Now
REALITY KINGS Sign Up Now
MOFOS Sign Up Now
TRUE AMATEURS Sign Up Now

Reddit Gone Wild: The best NSFW subreddits

1) r/GoneWild

Reddit Gone Wild is the best-kept secret in amateur pornography on the internet. That is if you can still count it as a secret when almost a million people subscribe, and even more just pop in for a visit. Reddit GoneWild has fostered a deeply supportive community, with regulars and a dedicated pack of commenters. Reddit’s GoneWild allows people to safely explore their exhibitionist tendencies, but it’s basically just women.

Photo via dollen/Flickr (CC-BY)

2) r/GoneWild30Plus

Once you get a little older, it’s nice to see people your own age. GoneWild30Plus offers a supportive community for women over the age of 30 (though it typically tops out with women in their 50s) to post nude or just flattering photos. It’s nice to know you still got it. If you’re looking to see women with their partners, check out r/gonewildcouples, and if you want to delve deeper into discussions, head over to r/SexOver30.

r/GoneWildOver30/Reddit

  • The best sites for homemade and amateur porn
  • Porn on Netflix: The sexiest movies to watch
  • The best free mobile porn sites for when you’re on the go
  • The 20 sexiest porn stars on Snapchat

3) r/PetiteGoneWild

PetiteGoneWild, according to its apt description, is a place for women who are in some way short, skinny, or small to post pics of themselves “showing it off in a comfortable environment without pressure.” It’s all about women’s submissions here, so no luck if you’re looking for men.

Reddit/Imgur

4) r/GoneWildCurvy

Another moderated subreddit for women to self-post and celebrate their bodies in a secure, positive, shame-free environment. All submitters are required to verify before posting.

Photo via Imgur

5) r/gonewildaudio

Audio porn has seen a major resurgence on Tumblr and Reddit in particular, and Gone Wild Audio features the best of the best user-submitted and even professionally scripted adult scenes or sex audio. Each post title describes the content in detail and makes this sub easily searchable.

Wikimedia Commons

6) r/GWNerdy

GoneWildNerdy is a beautiful crossover of some of the things that make Reddit, well, Reddit. It’s not just cosplaying, either. This GoneWild subreddit features tons of photos of self-described geeks setting down their gaming controllers and letting their hair down too.

Photo via Imgur

7) r/TreesGoneWild

Love weed? Love sex? If you love both sex and weed and particularly hot and proud stoners, welcome to your new favorite sub. r/TreesGoneWild is “known as ‘the happiest place on the internet’” and hosts a whole community of weed enthusiasts posting topless selfies with their favorite jar of kush or looking for a fellow “naked smoke buddy” to share their best self-portrait. You’ll find mostly women posting in this supportive community, save for the occasional high bro.

r/treesgonewild/Reddit

8) r/gonewildstories

R/GoneWildStories hosts short-form erotic stories written by users supposedly recounting their own experiences. You’ll find tales of couples unexpectedly swinging, public sex, first-time experiences, and more.

r/GoneWildStories/Reddit

9) r/gonewildsmiles

If you’ve ever felt your explicit content is missing something, it might be people who look happy. This subreddit is frequently updated, but it isn’t particularly diverse and features pretty much only topless or naked women smiling (not that that’s a bad thing).

Reddit/Imgur

  • 10 safe porn sites you can feel confident visiting
  • How to find the best porn on Snapchat
  • Here are the steamiest sites for audio porn
  • The best 4K porn sites on the internet

10) r/gifsgonewild

For user-submitted GIFs that are all about sharing self-posts without any hate or negative feedback, turn to r/gifsgonewild. This community requires that users only share GIFs of themselves and strictly bans revenge porn. (For more, see our guide to porn GIFs.)

Giphy

11) r/bdsmgw

Short for “BDSM Gone Wild,” this is a space for users around the world to share videos, photos, and GIFs of their own experiences with BDSM. It’s a great place to find amateur work that still adheres to strict guidelines of consent. Post titles are usually pretty self-explanatory, so you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into before clicking.

javierpais

12) r/GoneWildTrans/

This Reddit Gone Wild forum exists for transgender redditors to go wild and post their nude bodies in a safe, NSFW environment. Users who misgender, harass, or exhibit otherwise transphobic behavior will be banned per the sub’s rules.

13) r/dykesgonewild

“Far from the male gaze: SHOW YOUR STUFF!” reads the r/DGW subreddit description. “This is a community for female-identified queer girls of all flavors.” NSFW posts here range from the mild naughty selfie to masturbation videos.

r/DykesGoneWild/Reddit

14) r/GayBrosGoneWild

Like all Reddit Gone Wild channels, r/GayBrosGoneWild is specifically for self-posts without promotion, spam, or revenge porn. For a more wholesome, supportive community (but still definitely sexy or flirty content), check out r/GayBrosGoneMild.

Photo via Imgur

15) r/mangonewild

As this sub’s description aptly states, “this is for the ~50% who think penises, cute butts, and powerful ejaculations, are the most erotic thing there is.” That about sums it up.

16) r/ladybonersgw

R/ladybonersgw is a place for an audience of mostly straight women (though there’s nothing that bans anyone else) to ogle the male body. The thing is, submissions are from men. So it’s not exactly all about the female gaze, but we’re getting closer.

r/LadyBonersGW/Reddit

  • Reddit NSFW list: Every good porn subreddit
  • The finest and filthiest Tumblr porn
  • The best sites for ethical porn
  • 30 sexy porn stars to follow on Instagram
  • Is Pornhub safe?

17) r/AltGoneWild

If your affinity for tattoos feels a bit kinkier than usual or a nice set of gauges really makes you look twice, you’ll like r/AltGoneWild, Reddit Gone Wild’s home for “tattooed/pierced/otherwise “alternative” ladies to share their nude selfies with Reddit and celebrate anonymous exhibitionism.” It doesn’t matter if your definition of “alt” is one tattoo or a face full of piercings—it’s all welcome here. Posters must be verified.

Reddit/Imgur

18) r/AnalGW

Bet you can’t guess what this subreddit is all about! ICYMI, it’s butt stuff. r/AnalGW is an inclusive space for “open-minded Adult Redditors” anal enthusiasts, butt plug-lovers, and otherwise butt selfie-obsessed people to “exchange their ass for karma.” Keep in mind this isn’t so much watching people have anal sex as it is user-submitted photos of butt-related acts. For asshole-specific content, peep r/AssholeGoneWild.

(CC-BY)

19) r/OnStageGW

r/OnStageGW is an interesting environment, if only because it’s not as clear what kind of “on stage” acts can be submitted. Redditors can share anything from flashes and nip slips, videos from particularly revealing runway shows, exotic dancers, and even pop stars performing in short skirts. If the idea of seeing a confident performer onstage gets you hot and bothered, start here.

Reddit/Imgur

20) r/UnderwearGW

Keep (some) clothes on and head over to this cozy corner of Reddit Gone Wild where “nudity is not essential but welcome” and all underwear-wearing posters must be verified. Most posts here are tagged for male, for female, for couples, or for transgender, so it’s easy to search for only what you want.

Reddit/Imgur

21) r/LeggingsGoneWild

Some people are into underwear, some people are into the things you wear on top of underwear. Leggings and yoga pants are notoriously hot as far as legwear goes, and this subreddit is a place to celebrate them. r/LeggingsGoneWild is a super supportive environment for women of all shapes and sizes to post their bodies wearing leggings and feeling confident.

r/leggingsgonewild/Reddit

22) r/WeddingsGoneWild

There is a lot of honeymoon content in r/WeddingsGoneWild, but if you’re all about seeing a bride (both in her dress and out) you’ll probably like these redditor-submitted bride photos. However, posters here aren’t verified, so you’ll see a good amount of porn clips and photosets and other photos pulled from the internet alongside submissions from real people.

Reddit/Imgur

23) r/GWPublic

For nature lovers, exhibitionists, and voyeurs alike, r/GWPublic is a home for real people to share their public sex escapades and hottest moments. It’s a friendly, encouraging environment that discourages users to include any personal info. The only main requirement is that your photo makes it explicitly clear that you’re outside, in public, and totally lacking privacy.

Reddit/Imgur

24) r/CoffeeGoneWild

Providing the best kind of porn pick-me-up is r/CoffeeGoneWild. The freshly brewed Reddit Gone Wild forum is dedicated to sharing photos of piping hot ladies and cups of coffee. Sexual foam art is what initially kicked off r/CoffeeGoneWild before members began thirsting for the real thing and uploading shots of women rather than shots of espresso. There are, occasionally, artistic shots of men in various states of undress alongside their favorite coffee beverages.

Photo via Reddit

BRAZZERS Sign Up Now
REALITY KINGS Sign Up Now
MOFOS Sign Up Now
TRUE AMATEURS Sign Up Now

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.

Want to read more? Here are the hottest porn stars on Instagram, everything you never knew about Pornhub, and the safest porn sites you can feel confident visiting. Plus, read up on other adult performers, from veteran faves Brandi Love and Tori Black to Mia Khalifa, Dani Daniels and Sasha Grey.

With his piercing blue eyes, sculpted physique, and enough masculine swagger to fill a cell block, it didn’t take long for Christopher Meloni to gain the attention of gay men after he stepped into the role of bisexual criminal Chris Keller at the age of 37 on HBO’s prison drama Oz. But it was his outspoken support of LGBT causes at the time that turned that attention into a loyal fan following. Now, 15 years later, the 52-year-old father of two quickly reminds me why he is still one of the strongest examples of a straight ally in Hollywood.

As we sit at a table near the back of the Universal Hilton’s lobby lounge to discuss his latest role, on Fox’s new comedy Surviving Jack, Meloni throws back his head and laughs when I ask him what he thinks of homophobic parents who claim same-sex marriage will confuse children. “My son is 10 years old, and he gets it,” he says. “I remember when he was 7 and he looked at a gay couple who are friends of ours and asked, ‘Are they married?’ I said, ‘They’re partners and they love each other. That’s what makes them happy.’ He just said, ‘Oh, OK,’ and that was it. It was such a nonissue and it proves the point that once you take everything out of the darkness, once you shine a light on things, it’s not a big deal.”

Meloni had a rare opportunity during the time he worked on Oz to hear a number of stories from a generation of gay fans who shared how living in the darkness of a closet had affected their lives. “I got a lot of letters and had personal meetings where gay men of a certain age, usually men slightly older than me, let me know how important seeing that character was to them. It was important because they lived in Matthew Shepard country. They lived under that threat. They lived under this code of manliness in the middle of nowhere. I think they really identified, or finally had a symbol of, not the fey homosexual, but a man who happened to be gay. Even though that character used his sexuality as a weapon, it was a secondary issue for them. It was a guy who was fearlessly gay. It helped give them a sense of power.”

In Surviving Jack, based on the novel I Suck at Girls by Justin Halper and set during the 1990s, Meloni plays Jack Dunlevy, an overbearing father who the actor describes as an “Archie Bunker type of guy, minus the racism.” He says both the time period in which the series is set and his character have caused him to reflect on the progress that’s been made in the battle for equality since the days when Hypercolor T-shirts were in fashion and grunge bands ruled radio. “That Macklemore song, ‘Same Love,’ that song is so important — especially for young people,” he says. “One of the biggest things about it that hit me when I heard it was him asking, ‘My uncle is gay. Am I gay?’ That’s a big question, because you don’t know enough information about yourself when you’re young. That’s why you need to have a responsible adult around you to guide you through like his mother did and say, ‘You’re not gay. And if you are, let’s not sweat it. Let’s deal with how you want to operate on that level.’ You can’t ignore these things and pretend like they don’t exist.”

It’s a line of thinking Meloni says he applies to his own parenting as he tries to foster an inclusive view of the world in his own children. “My son plays football, and I remember when Michael Sam came out. I told him, ‘That’s a real man. That’s a guy with courage.’ Right before he’s about to take the next step toward furthering his career, he said ‘I’m gay. Let’s move on,’” says Meloni. “And my son was into it — he agreed. I think that’s the kind of example, the type of behavior, that’s going to push us forward. For more people to say, ‘I don’t want to carry this silly burden anymore, this silly secret, let’s move on. It’s not the focal point of who I am.’”

“That said,” he adds, “I’m not gay and I don’t deal with it on a daily basis, but that’s how it strikes me and I think we’re already way far into it.”

Meloni believes continually challenging long-held beliefs about gender norms and sexuality will ultimately be the undoing of widespread homophobia, and while many LGBT allies have paid lip service to ideas such as this in the past, it’s obvious the concept is well-practiced in his own life. When I ask if he’s surprised to find his gay fan base has remained devoted to him several years since he last played an LGBT character on Oz, he doesn’t hesitate. “With the ass that I’m sporting? No,” he jokes before bursting into a steady stream of laughter.

After regaining his composure he says, “When it comes to homophobia, I think it’s a basic aspect of the human animal, which is to say we fear those things that we don’t know or understand. There’s comfort in tradition and change scares many people on a variety of levels. But it’s just sex. Everybody relax. All these arguments against is a bunch of flack being thrown up into the air to try to divert attention. Bigots love it when they can grab on to any kind of ‘gay perversion.’ But who are they kidding? Straights are just as perverse. We’re all a bunch of kinks, and we have a degree of kinkiness in all of us.”

Surviving Jack airs Thursday nights at 9:30/8:30 Central on Fox.


Christopher Meloni – interview by Chet Cooper and Dr. Gillian Friedman

While some actors suggest any work is a blessing, many struggle to find roles that allow them to demonstrate a diverse range of talents. The objective, of course, is to avoid being typecast. Sean Connery, despite his extensive filmography, will always be James Bond. In fact, it was once said that if Sean Connery had been cast in Jurassic Park, people would wonder why James Bond was fighting dinosaurs. On the contrary, it is unlikely Woody Allen will ever wear the trademark tuxedo and answer to the secret code name 007.
What then can be said about Christopher Meloni? While he is best recognized for his portrayal as the idealistic, straight-laced Detective Elliot Stabler on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, to suggest Meloni is typecast as a cop is as accurate as saying Hillary Swank can only do boxing movies. Sure, they’re both great in their roles, but their respective characters are only single aspects of impressively larger repertoires. One peek into Meloni’s portfolio will find an actor with one of the broadest ranges in the industry. And not only can he do it all … he does it all really, really well.
Meloni’s Detective Stabler is a level-headed, albeit sometimes stern, sex-crimes cop whose references to his own daughters suggest an inherent vulnerability. Just as love and hate are said to be different sides of the same coin, Meloni is also renowned for his role as Chris Keller, a psychopathic sexual predator and serial murderer, in HBO’s dark prison drama OZ. While Detective Stabler has to play it cool for prime-time television, Keller shined from Meloni’s freedom to do whatever was necessary to get it right. Despite the acclaim he has received for his roles on both sides of the law, his passion lies in intellectual comedies. Few guest appearances on Scrubs are as memorable as when Meloni’s Dr. Norris (with help from his puppet Mr. Cookiepants) matched wits with Scrubs’ own infamously dry Dr. Cox. For those few who find their entertainment in the theater as opposed to the living room couch, you’ll recognize Meloni as Coach Bob, Julia Roberts’ jilted fiancé in the romantic comedy Runaway Bride. Meloni’s other credits include Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Wet Hot American Summer, The Souler Opposite, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Twelve Monkeys.
ABILITY Magazine’s editor-in-chief Chet Cooper and managing health editor Gillian Friedman, MD, recently played good cop/bad cop when they caught up with Christopher Meloni on the set of Law & Order: SVU for an interrogation ABILITY-style. During their railroading of Meloni he fessed up about how he got into acting and how he got his dad to quit smoking, his tattoos, his family and his personal connection with multiple sclerosis.
Gillian Friedman, MD: As we drove to the set I was thinking about the difference in your roles in Law and Order: SVU and OZ—playing the cop and the convict. Wasn’t there a period you were filming both series simultaneously?
Christopher Meloni: Yeah, for about three years.
Friedman: How hard was it going back and forth?
Meloni: It was great for the first two years, and then the last one got a little difficult. But when you’re a working actor—and that’s what you keep saying in your head, how blessed you are to have a job—and you are working with heavyweights, working with the best guys in TV, it’s pretty cool. Exhausting, but cool.
Chet Cooper: Where do you think your work ethic comes from?
Meloni: My old man, and my mom—both my parents. My mother raised three children on her own and my dad was a doctor working 16 hours a day.
Cooper: He smoked, right?
Meloni: He did.
Cooper: I read the “Tobacco and Me” article you wrote. I loved your writing style.
Meloni: Thanks. I was very proud of that, actually.
Cooper: What else have you written?
Meloni: I’ve written a couple screenplays and half-finished plays.
Cooper: I was surprised to read about your father’s love of smoking and then learn he was a doctor.
Meloni: You know, that generation …
Friedman: There used to be an ad for Camels that boasted, “The brand most doctors choose.”
Cooper: What finally made him quit?
Meloni: I was about 19 and we were all at the table. My sister was begging my father to stop smoking, but he said, “It’s just not that easy.” And at the time my hair was down to here, down to my nipples.

Cooper: Readers note, he just touched his nipples.
Meloni: (laughs) Anyway, I said, “Dad, I’ll cut my hair if you quit smoking,” and we shook on it. Then I grabbed his cigarettes, and he said, “Wait, I want to finish this pack.” I said, “No, we shook hands, and the bet’s started.” I told him, “If you stop for a month, I’ll cut my hair.”
Cooper: And you’ve looked pretty much like this ever since?
Meloni: (laughs) Yep, I have. That was around … 1986, maybe? My hair was short but I wasn’t bald!
Friedman: Short and feathered back, right?
Meloni: (laughs) Something like that.
Friedman: I see you’ve done some PDAs … I mean, Public Service Announcements.
Meloni: (laughs) PDA is something else … maybe we’ll talk off the record?
Friedman: (laughs) So no Public Displays of Affection during the interview? … I meant, I saw you did a PSA for TV.
Meloni: That was for NBC. I’ve also done PSAs for—I don’t know what the politically correct way to say it is—gay issues. Topics having to do with awareness, respect, at-risk children in high school who are being picked on because they’re gay, bisexual, sexually confused or transgendered. Since being on this show I’ve also branched out into abuse issues, obviously focusing on women, but also children.
Cooper: Were some of the PSAs a result of your work on OZ?
Meloni: They were. The gay community was very … um … appreciative and affected by my character, in a myriad of ways (laughs) … from the shower scenes to the acting—or at least I like to think so. I feel as though they are an oppressed minority. They’re institutionally oppressed. Just ask the . Yeah, I’ll get political, c’mon! (laughs)
Cooper: But what’s that tattoo on your arm?
Meloni: It’s Jesus. (laughs) Want to talk about that? Boy am I conflicted!
Cooper: You got the tattoo at what point in your life?
Meloni: Oh, six years ago? I was thirty-seven.
Friedman: So you’re still working things out?
Meloni: (laughs) Yes, I am.
Friedman: When you speak out on issues such as tolerance, are there people in your community who get ruffled by your stance?
Meloni: No, not at all. But I came from a conservative Republican background. I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and although it was a suburb of Washington DC, it was still in many ways a small, southern town. It was kind of provincial and limiting, and people were just not aware of the issues of human … I don’t want to say human suffering, but … the problems that can come with being a human being. A city like New York has clashing cultures and clashing ideas and big ideas, but these sorts of things weren’t being thrown in the air and bandied about where I came from. In suburbia things are really ironed out as cleanly as possible. But my parents are great. Everyone’s very tolerant, highly educated.
Cooper: Do you know Irvine, California?
Meloni: Just heard of it.
Cooper: Very conservative city south of Los Angeles. They are starting to have gangs come into the city, and there’s graffiti—it’s typeset … That wasn’t my joke, but I thought it was funny.
Meloni: Is it in Orange County?
Cooper: Yes.
Meloni: You should have said Orange County. Next time you try the joke, use Orange County.
Cooper: I heard it at the Improv in Irvine. Anyhow, speaking of stand-up comedy that I don’t do … (Meloni laughs) How hard was doing stand up for your role in Souler Opposite?
Meloni: It was unbelievably difficult. In order to be a successful comic—unless you’re a natural, like you—Orange County—it takes years. It’s all in the timing and the phraseology. If you put a word … if you put Irvine where Orange County belongs, you’re toast; you get the stone wall reaction.
Cooper: Have you ever thought of doing stand-up?
Meloni: Yeah, when I was first starting out I thought of it all the time. I just didn’t have the balls big enough.
Cooper: I would have thought you might try it—it seems you’re gutsy enough to do a lot of things.
Meloni: In my own defense, I wrote a one-man show, and that to me was more where I fit. I don’t think I chimed in with the joke delivery of stand-up, just kind of getting up there and doing the jokes. I like intellectual journeys. I think Chris Rock at the Oscars was a great example. I thought that was intellectually hilarious. The Gap starts a war with Banana Republic … That to me was funny.
Cooper: The guys who make it look easy—they’re brilliant. There is a form of genius going on. Many, like Jamie Foxx, are starting out as comics, then going off in other directions. There is so much talent there.
Meloni: I think to be a successful comic, you have to be exceptionally smart and exceptionally perceptive.
Friedman: At what point did you know you wanted to be an actor? …
continued in ABILITY Magazine subscribe
Other articles in the Christopher Meloni issue include Letter From The Editor, Gillian Friedman, MD; Humor: My Year; Headlines: Project Hope, Blind Justice & Down Syndrome; Senator Grassley: The American Dream for All; USA Freedom Corps: Director Desiree Sayle; Employment: Latinos with Disabilities; Book Section: Too Late to Die Young; Multiple Sclerosis: New Development; Geoffrey Erb: SUV’s Director of Photography; Comedian Spotlight: Tanyalee Davis; World Ability Federation; Events and Conferences… subscribe!

Biography

Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky “tough guy” stance and effortless charisma, TV’s Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences’ attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his sexually arresting portrayal of a sociopathic killer in the gripping prison drama Oz (1997) on cable TV. Although his small screen roots were in 90s situation comedy, the network powers-that-be wisely discovered his power and allure as a dramatic star and quickly handed him his own prime-time crime series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), as a not-quite-by-the-book crime detective. This one-two punch of “Oz” and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) put Meloni, who seems to grow sexier with age, on the map and well on top, where he remains today.
Christopher Peter Meloni was born on April 2, 1961, in Washington, D.C., the son of Cecile (Chagnon) and Robert Meloni, an endocrinologist. Of Italian and French-Canadian parentage, he attended St. Stephen’s School and played quarterback for his high school team. Developing an interest in acting rather early in life, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder following high school graduation. He initially majored in acting but wound up earning a degree in history in 1983. Acting won out in the long run, however, and Chris relocated to New York where he studied with acting guru Sanford Meisner at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse. Supplementing his income during these lean years by taking advantage of his powerful physique (as construction worker, bouncer, personal trainer), Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder via parts in commercials.
With a full head of hair in the early days, he broke into series TV in 1989, the first being the already-established cable football comedy 1st & Ten (1984). In this sitcom, which was HBO’s very first back in 1984, Chris played ex-con quarterback Vito Del Greco (aka “Johnny Gunn”). The series’ star Delta Burke had already left the cast by the time Chris came aboard in its final season. A second sitcom arrived almost immediately with the stereotypical Italian family sitcom The Fanelli Boys (1990) featuring Chris as dim-eyed, skirt-chasing Frankie Fanelli, one of the four “dees, dem and dos” sons of Brooklynite widow Theresa Fanelli (Ann Morgan Guilbert). Despite a strong, boisterous cast, the show was painfully obvious and met an early demise. True to nature, Chris gave voice and added to the fun as a cocky, mooching high school teen who knows the “how to’s” of attracting pretty girl dinos in the animated prehistoric series Dinosaurs (1991).
He also made a manly mark in mini-movies with co-starring roles in such “women” dramas as In a Child’s Name (1991) starring Valerie Bertinelli, Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992), which top-lined Molly Ringwald, Without a Kiss Goodbye (1993) as the caring husband of Lisa Hartman, and the Connie Sellecca starrer A Dangerous Affair (1995). An interchangeable ability to convey both heartfelt sympathy and virile menace did not go by unnoticed. After minor parts on the big screen with Clean Slate (1994), Junior (1994) and Twelve Monkeys (1995), Chris drew strong notices in the featured role of gangster Johnnie Marzzone in the classic neo-noir Bound (1996), which earned cult status for its sexually-charged lesbian sub-storyline.
A tough recurring part on NYPD Blue (1993), a typical mafia role in the mini-series The Last Don (1997) and another short-lived comedic series lead (Leaving L.A. (1997)) finally led to a big payoff in the brutal and brilliant cable series Oz (1997). Christopher’s introduction to the Oz prison as bisexual psychopath Chris Keller was powerhouse casting and he drew immediate notice and critical applause into the show’s second season. Unflinching in its blood-soaked presentation of life behind bars, Chris’ raw animal magnetism was unparalleled on the show and his steamy, erotic couplings with another male prisoner on screen promoted him swiftly to gay icon status. Undaunted by the possible career-damaging effects that could occur, Chris’ frank acceptance and acknowledgment was admirable indeed and his outright support of human rights causes earned him high marks.
The father of two (daughter Sophia Eva Pietra (born March 23, 2001), and son Dante Amadeo (born January 2, 2004), he has been married since 1995 to production designer ‘Sherman Williams’ (The Dark Backward (1991)). Chris’ sudden burst of cable notoriety earned him his own prime time NBC series. With the veteran “Law & Order” program developing a sister spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), Meloni raised the bar with his trenchant pairing with co-star Mariska Hargitay as partners of a special victims crime unit. Despite the show’s reality-driven approach, Meloni and Hargitay’s dynamite chemistry carried the show to a new level. Allowing their characters’ more serious flaws to surface, Meloni, in particular, managed to convey Detective Stabler’s private pain and personal turmoil with a raw poignancy. Both he and Hargitay have been honored with Emmy award nominations for their work here (she has won). Occasionally appearing on stage, Chris’ theater credits include “The Rainmaker” (as Starbuck) (1998) and “Comers” (1998), both at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He earned standout reviews as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” which he performed at Dublin’s Gate Theatre in 2005. In 2006 he joined the campy proceedings at an Actors’ Fund of America Benefit of the soap opera spoof “Die, Mommie Die!” starring drag illusionist and “Oz” alumnus Charles Busch.
Going well over a decade’s worth of service to the series that made him a household name, Meloni finally retired his TV detective in 2011. Throughout the show’s run he continued to flaunt his humorous side, showing up on such parody shows as MADtv (1995) and cracking up on the various night time TV haunts. On film he continues to shatter his dramatic image in such fare as The Souler Opposite (1998), Wet Hot American Summer (2001), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) and its sequel Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008). While he has not found outright stardom on the big screen (he has nominally played “other man” roles in such popular films as Runaway Bride (1999) and Nights in Rodanthe (2008)), Chris has more than proved his staying power since he left the popular series.
More recently, he moved forward as a writer/producer/director/star of the comedy film Dirty Movie (2011), which also has in its cast “L&O: SVU” co-star Diane Neal. In addition, Chris supplied the voice of DC Comics classic character Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern) in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight (2009). He also has held regular roles on the series True Blood (2008) in 2012 and Surviving Jack (2014) as well as strong cinematic parts in the Superman film Man of Steel (2013) and in Small Time (2014).

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / [email protected]

Chris Meloni Tells Heartbroken Gay “Oz” Fan To Fantasize About Him

by Dan Avery 7/11/2016

Our love for Chris Meloni is well-documented, so it’s always nice to see someone else profess their crush on the former Law and Order: SVU star.

Brazilian teen Ariano Médio finally got around to bingewatching Oz and was despondent there were no more episodes to enjoy. And no more sexy Chris Meloni.

“I finished Oz two days and I’m depressed about it,” tweeted the 18-year-old. “Especially with the end of your character… how handle ?

Meloni quickly replied, “Take a shower and pretend I’ll be joining you.”

Take a shower and pretend I’ll be joining u https://t.co/qAS8QZ3W6v

— Chris Meloni (@Chris_Meloni) July 10, 2016

I’m dead, HAHAHAHAHA https://t.co/pJd9hlqKLY

— Ariano Médio (@LuksAnd97) July 10, 2016

On HBO’s acclaimed prison series, Meloni played sociopathic Chris Keller, who had a sexual relationship with fellow inmate Tobias Beeher (Lee Tergesen).

Over the course of five seasons their bond wavered between tender and psychotic. And we seem to recall a shower scene or two.

HBO Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere. @ItsDanAvery

Christopher Meloni is no stranger to playing interesting and unexpected characters.

Ever since he broke out on TV with the dual roles of bisexual felon Chris Keller on Oz and Det. Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, he’s gone on to play a vampire guardian on True Blood, reprise his role as Gene on the Wet Hot American Summer continuation series, portray a secret bounty hunter on Underground and appear as Elektra’s sugar daddy on Pose. Following his most recent series, Happy, which was recently canceled after two seasons, Meloni has signed onto The Handmaid’s Tale as a new, high-ranking commander, joining the ranks of season three’s stellar guest stars, including Amy Landecker, Cherry Jones, Clea DuVall and Elizabeth Reaser, who plays Winslow’s wife, Olivia. And like many of the characters he’s played before, Winslow comes with a few unexpected twists.

Now that Hulu’s Emmy-winning series adapted from Margaret Atwood’s celebrated novel has reached its halfway point in season three, things are only getting more complicated for June (Elisabeth Moss) and the Waterfords (Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski) — especially as Fred attempts to regain his place among the commanders and Nichole’s return becomes the focus of this agenda. In episode six, fittingly called “Household,” the action moves to Washington, D.C., the highly conservative power center of Gilead, where audiences finally meet Commander Winslow and Olivia, who are hosting the Waterfords and June during their visit.

Elizabeth Reaser and Christopher Meloni as the Winslows. Image courtesy of Hulu. More

At first glance, the Winslows are everything Fred and Serena have been dreaming about. They have a happy marriage, a large house full of kids — all fathered by the commander with various handmaids — and undisputed power and rank in D.C. “The number of children he has is unheard of,” Meloni says. “He represents everything that Fred aspires to be.” Essentially, he’s like a lion at the top of a mountain, the actor adds, especially to the Waterfords, who are still rebuilding from the ground up.

While seemingly leading the perfect Gilead household, Winslow is not all that he appears to be. Halfway through the episode, a scene unfolds that can be interpreted in many different ways.

During a game of billiards, Winslow shares his admiration for Fred, whom he first doubted but admits to being surprised by his ability to reshape the politics around Gilead by involving Switzerland in his plight to bring Nichole home. As the game continues, Winslow displays physical affection, playfully tapping Fred with his pool stick and later caresses his shoulder, all the while teasing a future for him and his wife in D.C.

“He is first not sure about Fred Waterford’s tactics and then he respects him,” executive producer Warren Littlefield says, explaining that interaction. “Then there’s affection, and then we’re like, ‘Whoa, all of this stuff is going on.’”

Joseph Fiennes and Chris Meloni in a scene from season 3. Image courtesy of Hulu. More

While the moment suggests that Winslow might be a closeted gay man, or at least have some physical attraction to Fred, Meloni says it’s not quite as clear. “I thought of it as a nice touch,” he says, preferring not to get too specific about the motivations behind it. “Everyone has their own interpretation of it… It’s what your brain tells you it was.”

Another telling moment, that certainly has fans buzzing, is when Winslow gets extremely close to Fred in order to take a shot with his butt nearly pressed against his opponent. “I intentionally positioned myself in such a way and engaged Joseph in such a way — it was all intentional,” Meloni says of his actions in the shot, explaining that he “thought of them as animals, you know, literally dogs sniffing each other’s a**es who’s alpha.”

Framed nicely in the camera, the moment could have easily just been a bit of fan service since Meloni’s rear has been the subject of many conversations. (For reference, just watch this segment on Conan: “Christopher Meloni Has the Best Butt in Primetime.”) But the actor says, “I don’t do things so the fans will go wild.” However, he seemed to take delight — laughing during our conversation — in knowing it was appreciated.

Meanwhile, Littlefield goes even further to suggest that Winslow, whom he describes as “a compartmentalized man,” might not be straight. Or that there might be gay men hidden among the commanders. “In another world, who knows what that outlet might have been for Winslow, but we’re in Gilead. We’re in the most extreme version of Gilead in D.C. that we’ve ever seen,” he teases. “So do we peek at it? Yeah. How far do we go there? Well, we’re in Gilead in Washington, D.C.”

Whatever plays out between Winslow and Fred is just the tip of what’s to come from Meloni’s character, who has a big presence during the show’s D.C. arc. “If you were here to hate the Waterfords, then just wait,” he says with a big laugh, teasing a menacing presence to come. “He’s a man of voracious appetites.”

“There’s a great trajectory for that character,” Littlefield says, adding that his compartmentalized nature will have “pretty dramatic ramifications. It’s explosive.”

New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale debut Wednesdays on Hulu.

RELATED CONTENT:

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: The Cast Breaks Down What’s to Come on Season 3 (Exclusive)

Bradley Whitford Reveals the Real-Life Inspiration Behind His ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Character (Exclusive)

Alexis Bledel on Emily’s Unsteady Future as a Refugee on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (Exclusive)

O-T Fagbenle Reveals How Elisabeth Moss Helped Him Film a Pivotal ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Scene (Exclusive)

  • Hollywood Bikini Bods Over 40
  • Biggest Celebrity Breakups of 2019 — So Far!
  • Celebrities in Their Underwear

One of the most compelling aspects of the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale is its gradual expansion of Gilead’s power structure beyond its regimented, puritanical facade. Christopher Meloni’s High Commander Winslow, first introduced in the Washington, D.C.–centric sixth episode, represents a level of power—and therefore a level of privilege—beyond anything we’ve yet to see on the show. It’s evident every moment he’s on-screen.

Winslow and his wife (Elizabeth Reaser) are introduced alongside their mind-boggling gaggle of children, who amount to a status symbol in a world where fertility rates are dramatically dwindling. Additionally, Winslow’s overly intimate behavior toward Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) led many viewers to wonder whether he’s gay and powerful enough to not fear reprisal in a world where “gender traitors” are regularly hanged. But this week’s episode saw Winslow’s arrogance cost him his life during a chance sexual encounter with June (Elisabeth Moss) at Jezebel’s.

Related Story

Last week’s episode saw June counseling Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) through the Ceremony by teaching him her coping mechanisms: “Treat it like a job.” This week, she finally reaches her breaking point. When Winslow tries to rape her in a private room at Jezebel’s, she stabs him to death with his own pen. A sympathetic housekeeper aids her flight from the club, and a group of Marthas clean up the murder scene and incinerate Winslow’s body, making his death like a disappearance. It’s a deeply cathartic moment that also represents a profound shift in June, who’s now taken a life for the first time.

Meloni sat down with BAZAAR.com to discuss the ambiguity around Winslow’s sexuality, how he differs from every other commander we’ve seen on the show, and his “satisfying” demise at June’s hands.

What did you know about Commander Winslow when the role first came to you?

I knew nothing! All I knew was that he was going to be a power player, as all commanders are, but even more of a power player because his power emanates from the federal source in Washington, D.C. I figured that he’s a goal for Waterford to be climbing toward, a representation of a greater power outside of what the characters have been living, and what the audience has been introduced to. But the most telling thing I knew was that Winslow has got five kids.

That first scene, where the Winslows are introduced followed by all of their children, is pretty breathtaking.

It tells you a lot. In a society where one of the main sources—if not the main source—of value and social status is in fact children, here’s a guy who’s like the modern-day billionaire who collects pieces of art. He’s the guy who hoards the gold. He can’t have enough of whatever the currency is, whatever the thing is that gives you status. I thought that was kind of a wonderful perversion and a fascinating starting message for who this guy is.

Christopher Meloni (right) and Joseph Fiennes in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3. Hulu

Winslow’s ambiguous sexuality has been a big subject of discussion among fans. Are we meant to be reading something erotic into his interactions with Fred?

Whether you want to call it Easter eggs or bread crumbs, I just thought there was something to play there. The action is just, I put my hand on Waterford. And I thought, This is a man of great appetite, and there’s also a sense that this is how things work when you have absolute power. Things are not what they seem to be, and there is a corruption and a perversion of norms. I’m not saying that to be bisexual is a perversion, of course, but that this person is not authentic. You’re propping yourself up to be one thing, and the truth is that you are something else. That was an interesting duality to get into with Winslow.We’ve seen Waterford in the position of power so often that it’s interesting to see the tables turned, where he was made to feel pursued and uncomfortable.Exactly, and suddenly he’s in the position of having to question, “How far are you willing to go now, to get what you want? You’ve wielded your power to subjugate others, but how do you react to being subjugated?” When I read that line in the script, that I put my hand on Waterford, I thought it tied into something about Winslow that was really clear in all the action lines. When the children all come in and I allow them to climb all over me, we’re purposefully showing that I’m a different kind of guy. Every other commander that I’ve seen on the show is very uptight, very linear, kind of always looking over his shoulder: “Am I doing this right? Am I pretending the right way? Am I doing this by the book, the Gilead way?” And all of a sudden, you have this guy who couldn’t give a shit about any of that stuff, because there’s no need to. My power is assured. It’s as though I’m the final arbiter of what Gilead is and how these muckety-mucks are allowed to behave and express themselves.

Commander Lawrence has a line in Episode 10 about how “there are always exceptions that can be made” for commanders. The fact that Jezebel’s exists just reinforces that.

Yeah, and Winslow with his ease and his ability to be physical and touch people, there’s a sense that I can basically get anything I want. I can have anything I want, anytime I want, in a way that’s not true for other commanders we’ve seen.

Which makes it incredibly satisfying when June butchers him! Did you know your arc was going to be this short?

I didn’t know that exactly, but I knew I wasn’t redirecting the ship! I liken it to when I did True Blood—I knew my days were numbered. They introduce you as kind of a provocative character, a character who’s going to make somewhat of a splash, and then part of that shock would then be to get rid of him. And that’s satisfying, hopefully.

Meloni (left) and Fiennes in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3. Hulu/Sophie Giraud

It’s definitely satisfying, especially because it’s such a turning point for June. What was it like to play that moment with Elisabeth?

It’s always so much fun to work with her, because you get to act a lot with what is said versus unsaid. She’s very adept at saying a million things with her face, and I like that. I like working in that way, with an actor who really understands that aspect of it, so that you’re basically having all these scenes underneath and in between the words that are coming out of your mouth. And I must say that I found it very satisfying for her as well to be stabbing me with my own pen! I was like, “Finally! Girlfriend’s getting a whack at the piñata!” And also his final demise , I found that very satisfying. It’s like it’s a group effort to burn this motherfucker!

His last line is so interesting too: “My children.”

I found that so layered, because that’s usually the final plea for sympathy, the idea of, Oh, the children, that’s something that a person would connect to. And in this instance, for June, I think it’s the opposite. It’s like, “Fuck you, you mean the children you stole?”

It’s the worst possible thing he could say to her!

Yeah, she’s like, “You deserve another stab for that one!”

It’s also interesting, earlier in the scene, that Winslow wants to take June from behind. Did that connect with the ambiguity around his sexuality in your mind?

You got me there. I didn’t think of that, I just thought it was a part of the dehumanizing element. But that’s a great point. So many of the moments with Winslow are about possibilities and different interpretations. What do all the children mean? What does the touch on Waterford mean? There was also a scene where I’m speaking with the Waterfords, up in that beautiful penthouse room they’re staying at—and I don’t know how they cut it, I didn’t see the episodes yet—but I was flirting with Serena, right in front of her husband. I don’t know whether they used it, but afterwards, Yvonne overheard me talking to someone else about it and was like, “Wait, that’s what you were doing yesterday?” Because it wasn’t in the script. I was like, “Yeah, he’s trying to get in your pants!” I liked the different ways you could read that power play. There’s this voraciousness that Winslow has that can never be expunged. He’s just constantly looking for something to conquer.

Emma Dibdin Contributor Emma Dibdin writes about television, movies, and podcasts, with coverage including opinion essays, news posts, episodic reviews and in-depth interviews with creatives.

Christopher ‘Chris’ MeloniEdit

Meloni was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children (he has a brother and sister) of Cecile (née Chagnon), a homemaker, and Dr. Charles Robert Meloni, an endocrinologist. His maternal ancestry is French Canadian and his paternal ancestry is Sardinian (Italy). Meloni is a typical and widely diffused Sardinian surname.He attended St. Stephen’s School (now St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School). He was a quarterback in high school and at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he first studied acting, graduating with a degree in history in 1983. After graduation, Meloni went to New York where he continued his studies with Sanford Meisner at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse, as well as the Center for the Media Arts.Christopher Peter Meloni (born April 2, 1961) is an American actor. He is best known for his television roles as NYPD Detective Elliot Stableron the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and as inmate Chris Keller on the HBO prison drama Oz. In June 2012, he returned to HBO, as the vampire Roman on True Blood. He appeared as US Air Force Colonel Nathan Hardy in Man of Steel.

Meloni worked as a construction worker prior to getting his acting break. He has also worked as a bouncer, bartender, and personal trainer. Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder with commercials, short-lived TV series, and bit parts in a number of films. His first noticeable role was as the hotheaded son of a Mafia Don in the 1996 thriller Bound. He also appeared as Robbie Sinclair’s friend Spike in Dinosaurs and Julia Roberts’ fiance in Runaway Bride.

From 1998 to 2003, Meloni portrayed the bisexual criminal Chris Keller on the HBO series Oz.

Law & Order producer Dick Wolf signed Meloni to play Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 1999; until Oz went off the air in 2003, Meloni appeared on both Oz and Law & Order: SVU simultaneously. In 2006, Meloni was nominated for an Emmy Award, in the category ofOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Elliot Stabler.

In May 2011, Meloni announced that he would not be returning to SVU in fall 2011 for its 13th season after the failure of negotiations over a new contract.Meloni stated he would consider guest starring on SVU in the 14th season. “I’m always willing to consider. I had 12 great years on the show. I loved the people and I loved that character,” Meloni said at In 1999, Meloni jokingly kissed Lee Tergesen (who playedTobias Beecher, Meloni’s on-screen boyfriend on Oz) at an awards dinner for GLAAD. In 2006, Meloni was given the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award, along with actor Jake Gyllenhaaland director Ang Lee, for his work on behalf of LGBT issues.

In 2004 and 2006 respectively, Meloni competed in both the fourth and the eighth series of Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown; in the eighth series he finished in second place, behind Robin Tunney, and ahead of Macy Gray, Joy Behar, and Andy Dick. He played for Feed the Children. Celebrity Jeopardy! Sam Waterston Kathryn Erbe. Meloni split his $50,000 charity prize between the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Program and the Montefiore Advocac

Meloni was included in the 2006 edition of People magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive.

Meloni is married to production designer (Doris) Sherman Meloni (née Williams) and they have two children, daughter Sophia Eva Meloni (b. March 23, 2001), and son Dante Meloni (b. January 2, 2004).

He has a Cubist-inspired representation of the crucifixion of Christ tattoo on his upper left arm, as well as a butterfly tattoo on his left upper thigh and a Chinese astrological chart of his family on his right lower leg. In 2007, Meloni was inducted into his high school’s athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the undefeated 1978 football team, for which he was quarterback.

Meloni has been a longtime gay rights supporter and in 2011, he joined the Human Rights Campaign’s “New Yorkers for Marriage Equality” campaign.

As of 2012, Meloni resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.

As of 2013, Meloni and his family live in California, where he is working on TV series Surviving Jack.

Christopher Meloni is no stranger to playing interesting and unexpected characters.

Ever since he broke out on TV with the dual roles of bisexual felon Chris Keller on Oz and Det. Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU, he’s gone on to play a vampire guardian on True Blood, reprise his role as Gene on the Wet Hot American Summer continuation series, portray a secret bounty hunter on Underground and appear as Elektra’s sugar daddy on Pose. Following his most recent series, Happy, which was recently canceled after two seasons, Meloni has signed onto The Handmaid’s Tale as a new, high-ranking commander, joining the ranks of season three’s stellar guest stars, including Amy Landecker, Cherry Jones, Clea DuVall and Elizabeth Reaser, who plays Winslow’s wife, Olivia. And like many of the characters he’s played before, Winslow comes with a few unexpected twists.

Now that Hulu’s Emmy-winning series adapted from Margaret Atwood’s celebrated novel has reached its halfway point in season three, things are only getting more complicated for June (Elisabeth Moss) and the Waterfords (Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski) — especially as Fred attempts to regain his place among the commanders and Nichole’s return becomes the focus of this agenda. In episode six, fittingly called “Household,” the action moves to Washington, D.C., the highly conservative power center of Gilead, where audiences finally meet Commander Winslow and Olivia, who are hosting the Waterfords and June during their visit.

Elizabeth Reaser and Christopher Meloni as the Winslows. Image courtesy of Hulu.

At first glance, the Winslows are everything Fred and Serena have been dreaming about. They have a happy marriage, a large house full of kids — all fathered by the commander with various handmaids — and undisputed power and rank in D.C. “The number of children he has is unheard of,” Meloni says. “He represents everything that Fred aspires to be.” Essentially, he’s like a lion at the top of a mountain, the actor adds, especially to the Waterfords, who are still rebuilding from the ground up.

While seemingly leading the perfect Gilead household, Winslow is not all that he appears to be. Halfway through the episode, a scene unfolds that can be interpreted in many different ways.

During a game of billiards, Winslow shares his admiration for Fred, whom he first doubted but admits to being surprised by his ability to reshape the politics around Gilead by involving Switzerland in his plight to bring Nichole home. As the game continues, Winslow displays physical affection, playfully tapping Fred with his pool stick and later caresses his shoulder, all the while teasing a future for him and his wife in D.C.

“He is first not sure about Fred Waterford’s tactics and then he respects him,” executive producer Warren Littlefield says, explaining that interaction. “Then there’s affection, and then we’re like, ‘Whoa, all of this stuff is going on.’”

Joseph Fiennes and Chris Meloni in a scene from season 3. Image courtesy of Hulu.

While the moment suggests that Winslow might be a closeted gay man, or at least have some physical attraction to Fred, Meloni says it’s not quite as clear. “I thought of it as a nice touch,” he says, preferring not to get too specific about the motivations behind it. “Everyone has their own interpretation of it… It’s what your brain tells you it was.”

Another telling moment, that certainly has fans buzzing, is when Winslow gets extremely close to Fred in order to take a shot with his butt nearly pressed against his opponent. “I intentionally positioned myself in such a way and engaged Joseph in such a way — it was all intentional,” Meloni says of his actions in the shot, explaining that he “thought of them as animals, you know, literally dogs sniffing each other’s a**es who’s alpha.”

Framed nicely in the camera, the moment could have easily just been a bit of fan service since Meloni’s rear has been the subject of many conversations. (For reference, just watch this segment on Conan: “Christopher Meloni Has the Best Butt in Primetime.”) But the actor says, “I don’t do things so the fans will go wild.” However, he seemed to take delight — laughing during our conversation — in knowing it was appreciated.

Meanwhile, Littlefield goes even further to suggest that Winslow, whom he describes as “a compartmentalized man,” might not be straight. Or that there might be gay men hidden among the commanders. “In another world, who knows what that outlet might have been for Winslow, but we’re in Gilead. We’re in the most extreme version of Gilead in D.C. that we’ve ever seen,” he teases. “So do we peek at it? Yeah. How far do we go there? Well, we’re in Gilead in Washington, D.C.”

Whatever plays out between Winslow and Fred is just the tip of what’s to come from Meloni’s character, who has a big presence during the show’s D.C. arc. “If you were here to hate the Waterfords, then just wait,” he says with a big laugh, teasing a menacing presence to come. “He’s a man of voracious appetites.”

“There’s a great trajectory for that character,” Littlefield says, adding that his compartmentalized nature will have “pretty dramatic ramifications. It’s explosive.”

New episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale debut Wednesdays on Hulu.

RELATED CONTENT:

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: The Cast Breaks Down What’s to Come on Season 3 (Exclusive)

Bradley Whitford Reveals the Real-Life Inspiration Behind His ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Character (Exclusive)

Alexis Bledel on Emily’s Unsteady Future as a Refugee on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (Exclusive)

O-T Fagbenle Reveals How Elisabeth Moss Helped Him Film a Pivotal ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Scene (Exclusive)