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E!: Was this the first time that Cragen and Stabler talked in 10 years? What can we expect out of this reunion?
DF: I do think they probably stayed in touch, just like Dann Florek and Chris Meloni stayed in touch. Not a lot, but we called once in a while or we would text, and so we stayed connected. But it wasn’t as close as it was for those dozen years. And so, I think the scene, when you have that many years in a relationship, it’s there. It’s like an old friend. It’s almost like you picked up right where you left off. But the scene— I think it’s a wonderful surprise. A number of things come up that Stabler is bothered about. And he comes to Cragen, and he has some questions, and they’re not easy to answer. In fact, maybe there is no correct answer.
E!: Do you have a favorite on-set memory with Chris or Mariska?
DF: There are so many, it’s hard. I’ve done over 400 episodes and counting, so when you break that down, that may be at least 12,000 scenes. But with Mariska, I remember an episode called “911”—if I see it on reruns, it still gets me. When she uncovers the little girl in the lot, I lose it.
With Chris, one of my absolute favorites was when Stabler’s daughter got a DUI, and he went to fix it. And when I found out about it, I called him out. And that was one of my absolute favorite scenes of all of them because it was real. I had to call him out. I had to say, not only are you not doing your job, you’re not being a good parent, and that it was tough and it was a lot. At the end of it, I remember the crew applauding, which doesn’t happen that often.