How Fatherhood Affects Skeet Ulrich in his LOLA Role

When it came time to prep for his new role for Law & Order Los Angeles, Skeet Ulrich took it to the streets. The father of twins (you can only imagine my excitement when I found THAT out!), gave Breezy Mama the scoop on prepping for the part, how being a father made him all the more scared of the violence he’d seen while shadowing real life detectives and more.

What drew you to this role?

It was [Creator] Dick [Wolf’s] explanation of the character, of where the show was heading, of his confidence in me to do it and obviously the brand speaks for itself. I’ve never played a cop and it’s compelling to me to delve into sides that I don’t get to see that much.

Did you have to get in shape for the role?

I have twins and they keep me in shape [laughs].

I’m pregnant with twins!

Are you really?

Yeah! So did some of the things you saw while preparing for the role scare you as a father?

Absolutely. I think that’s one of the things that Dick had talked about when developing the characters — this predatory need to weed out the bad influences from your children. My buddy [who is a detective] has three kids and that’s a prime motivation for him – trying to clean up things for the next generation.

So you actually shadowed detectives on the street to prep for this role. How did that go?

We are very fortunate to have a police force doing what they do. I [saw] gang violence; a store got it on two different video cameras. One of the biggest problems they’re having as detectives is service coming back – marines from the army. [I saw] this guy put someone in full military position and assassinated the guy. Shot him in the throat; shot him many times.

Were you scared?

Getting there was scary – it was not a great part of town and two guys rolling up in a personal car is not a great idea. My buddy has been on the force for several years, so I wasn’t scared until there were only four of us left and two of them were in the car. The section they had cornered off, a woman who lived there pulled up and asked how long they will be there and the detective said, “We’ll be here all night.” And the woman said, “Thank God; I’ll finally sleep.”

Suddenly it hit me so hard why these guys do what they do. There’s a palpable gratefulness to this force.

I’ve spent other times with detectives [recently] and it’s a diverse group of people that are the police force – men, women, black, white, you name it. They all have one goal in common and that’s to keep people safe.

Did the people on the street know you were an actor?

No. One of the detectives recognized me before we were introduced and was staring at me. Usually, what I get is, “Did we go to high school together? I know I know you from somewhere.” I’ll be the last one to tell you I’m an actor [laughs].

Do you bring your kids to the set?

Yes.

How are they on the set?

They’ve been on a set since they were 1 1/2– [they’re 9 now] — they’re at home. The second they’re on set, my son’s usually sitting on the dolly and checking out the camera.

Are they impressed at all?

NO – they worked with Robert Downey Jr. last year – they could care less [laughs]. I’m not Robert Downey Jr!

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