If you detect a certain palpable chemistry between Olivia Benson and Hank Voight during the “Law & Order: SVU”–“Chicago PD” crossover, you’re not imagining things.
The engine driving the three-part crossover, which began on Tuesday’s (Nov. 11) “Chicago Fire,” is a very grim story about a child-pornography ring. As the two squads work together to investigate the case, though, Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Voight (Jason Beghe) develop a mutual respect for one another despite their very different approaches to the job.
“Voight, he rolls over most people. There are not a lot of people who can go toe to toe with him,” “Chicago PD” and “Fire” executive producer Matt Olmstead says on a conference call with reporters. “So here comes this equal whom he respects. [She’s] formidable. He knows he can’t run a game on her. And even though they have different policing styles, there is a mutual respect. They are both coming from the same place.”
“SVU” showrunner Warren Leight says viewers can also expect “fireworks” between the two as a result of those different approaches: “I think we all know Voight can be a little more physical, and Olivia is in general a more empathic detective,” he says. “And that is two different schools of how you work in interrogation. And those kind of fireworks take place in both episodes. And I think they are among the most fun scenes in both ‘PD’ and ‘SVU.'”
When Benson arrives in Chicago, Voight seems genuinely happy to see her (see the clip below). Olmstead says that reaction grew out of a conversation he had with Beghe.
“There was a point when I was talking to Jason [and] he was asking is Voight ever going to have a love interest? I said I don’t know,” Olmstead says. “I mean, we have always portrayed that he has done some dirty stuff. He has one true love, which is his wife who is no longer in his life. But that was it, and he has become married to the job.
“I said, ‘But you know, there is a scene coming up with Mariska,’ and he said, ‘Don’t say another word. I know exactly how to play it.’ … So who knows what else … he feels about the Benson character? But there is a real bond right away between those two characters.”
The “SVU”-“Chicago PD” crossover begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday (Nov. 12) on NBC. Prepare your #Voightson hashtags accordingly.