Skip To Content
  • win badge

How "Law & Order: SVU" Mastered The Art Of Casting

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit casting director Jonathan Strauss reflects on 11 years of casting guest stars, giving Hollywood's biggest names their first major jobs, and helping A-list actors transform their careers.

After 10 seasons and 240 episodes, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit casting director Jonathan Strauss estimates he's hired nearly 10,000 actors for a smattering of speaking roles over the last 11 years. And while many guest stars never graduate to the big leagues, SVU has, like the Law & Order mothership before it, served as the launching pad for a dizzying array of stars who've gone on to win Oscars, Emmys, and Tonys.

BuzzFeed sat down with Strauss in his offices on Manhattan's Chelsea Piers, on the Hudson River, to reminisce about 13 actors who got their acting start, or revitalized their careers, on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Zoe Saldana

Amanda Seyfried

Bradley Cooper

Paul Wesley

Rooney Mara

Norman Reedus

Elle Fanning

Emily VanCamp

Cynthia Nixon

Sarah Paulson

Kathy Griffin

Jennifer Love Hewitt

James Van Der Beek

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.