The 60-year-old actor recently opened up to Men’s Health on how he’s embracing his new identity as a “Zaddy,” sharing his new outlook on fame and spilling the details on contract dispute that led to his shocking exit from Law & Order: SVU.
Meloni broke the internet after photos surfaced of him on set of his smash hit new series, Law & Order: Organized Crime — which ranks as the fifth most watched scripted series in America — showing his rather firm behind in tight pants. The actor thinks the newfound attention is “cool as sh*t.”
Although the TV legend wasn’t sure exactly what a “Zaddy” was, he's ok with the term. “I just thought it was a cutie thing,” he said, before clarifying if it was “daddy plus?” or “daddy platinum?.” The term “Zaddy” is defined as an “attractive man who is also stylish, charming and self-confident,” but is usually reserved for older men.
“I’m clever with my a*s cheeks,” the father-of-two jokingly told the magazine. The jacked actor expressed that even though he is 60, he's not letting age get in his way. “The aspect of age comes into play as far as the cover of [this magazine] and how I feel about it,” he said, adding that a friend of his asked, “Did you ever think in a million years you’d be on the cover of Men’s Health?” and he replied: “Certainly not at age 60.”
Meloni became a household name as the brash Detective Elliot Stabler in the long running drama series Law & Order: SVU before retiring from the force in 2011 after a nasty contract negotiation with media giant NBC.
There was no explanation at the time as to why his character had left, but the Oz alum is spilling the deets on why he decided to walk away from the hit series.
“My thought was: Instead of 22 episodes, bring me back for nine episodes, or bring me back for 18 episodes. They literally came to me on a Thursday night and said, ‘This is the deal. We want the answer by tomorrow. It’s our way or no way.,’” he explained. “I don’t want to f**k around with you guys. This is what I want. If you can’t do it, that’s fine. Let’s figure out my exit.”
In April, the prolific actor reprised his role when Stabler reunited with Captain Olivia Benson — played by Mariska Hargitay — on SVU before his new series, Law & Order: Organized Crime, debuted.
“This time around with the Law & Order ride, I’m not stressed by: Will it go well? Will it not go well? Not that I know how it’s going to go. Just that, eh, just ride. Just do, just be,” he told the magazine regarding his current mind frame on showbiz.
“There are bigger things, more important things. I know how important this is to me, but I have a clearer vision of life. I know a little more about love. I know a little more about real pain. I know about joy. I know better management skills.”
He continued: “As you go through life, you get a clearer understanding of things, of your holes and of your gifts.”