At this point, we all know the pandemic has really disrupted Hollywood and the entertainment industry, just like every other aspect of life. Film and television releases are starting to get back on track, new releases are actually releasing and filming is starting back up for a lot of series, albeit, with some behind-the-scenes changes. However, live entertainment, such as Broadway, is not so lucky yet. With the delays and added difficulty with filming, really any actor is lucky to be working right now. Actors who make their living on stage with live performances, though, have seen pretty much their entire livelihood disappear since the shutdowns. So what’s a former theater-geek-turned-star to do? Well, interestingly enough, Law & Order has come to the rescue, and stars like Jennifer Garner are here for it.
Jennifer Garner recently took to her Instagram to give props to Law & Order for employing as many Broadway actors as possible during the shutdown. The award-winning actress shared this post to her Instagram Story:
The Law & Order franchise has put out a ton of content over the course of 30 years and, with each episode introducing new characters and storylines, that includes a ton of actors. Jennifer Garner herself was actually in an episode back in the '90s, and she’s far from the only one to do so. In fact, if you were to play Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon, Law & Order Style, you may only need one degree (two tops) because pretty much every actor can be connected to each other through the long-running series in one way or another.
Although the casting of Broadway actors in Law & Order episodes is not new, the casting has now become deliberate as, apparently, over 50% of Broadway actors are now unemployed. With the show's need for actors to play the new characters they come up with, Law & Order showrunner Warren Leight is directing a lot of energy towards a prime talent pool. Leight, in an interview with Deadline, had this to say:
We are trying to hire every Broadway actor we can while we and they wait for the curtains to rise again. We know how hard the community has been hit here. The goal is to get as many jobs to as many theater actors as we possibly can.
Law & Order and Broadway actors have a very symbiotic relationship, with both benefiting from one another. With Law & Order shot on location in New York City, the actors who work(ed) on Broadway are a convenient choice, as they do not have to travel during the pandemic and will not need to quarantine as Hollywood actors flying in to set would. Also, Warren Leight notes that the Broadway actors typically need less takes when filming their scenes, as they are used to acting in front of a live audience and not redoing scenes. This makes them particularly valuable during the pandemic, during which contact needs to be limited and time is of the essence.
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