After bidding farewell to Gabby Dawson on Chicago Fireplace, Monica Raymund is stepping behind the digicam to pursue one other dream: directing. The actress will helm Thursday’s episode of Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit which hits the airwaves at 10/9c on NBC.

It is all a part of NBC’s Feminine Ahead initiative which goals to foster larger gender parity behind the scenes. This system opens the door for upcoming feminine administrators, giving them the chance to shadow one in all NBC’s present scripted reveals for as much as three episodes with a dedication to direct a minimum of one episode. For Raymund, taking up the TV juggernaut that’s SVU was a possibility to flex one other inventive muscle whereas additionally staying true to her ardour of telling compelling tales about social justice.

Forward of the foremost milestone, we hit up the actress-turned-director about pursuing her ardour behind the digicam, whether or not or not she’ll return to Chicago Fireplace and what’s subsequent for her on display.

Monica Raymund, Law & Order: Special Victims UnitMonica Raymund, Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit

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How did you get entangled with this system?
Monica Raymund: I used to be within the NBC household as expertise however I had explored directing a couple of years in the past and located that it is one thing I am very critically keen about and when the appliance got here out, I submitted my brief movie together with all the opposite necessities. I went by way of an interview course of after which I used to be accepted.

Had been you assigned to Regulation & Order: SVU or was that your alternative?
Raymund: The way in which I perceive it’s they assign who goes the place based mostly on the work that’s submitted. For instance, my brief movie was a bit about social justice. It was a 15-minute movie a couple of younger girl who was being intercourse trafficked. That matter and that style suits very effectively with SVU in order that’s in all probability why I bought assigned it.

How do you assume NBCs Feminine Ahead program helps fight the general lack of girls represented behind the digicam?
Raymund: This system helps by simply actually giving area. It is a very topical dialog, clearly, this concept of inclusivity and equality. The Feminine Ahead program is about as much as handle particularly that, creating area for girls to have the ability to play on the sphere. After which by means of creating area, hopefully forging a extra inclusive and equal taking part in area. I feel that it says one thing about how intense these conversations have been for the previous few years that now we’re shifting from a spot of phrases into a spot of motion.

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Did you discover it intimidating to take the helm of such an iconic collection as Regulation & Order: SVU?
Raymund: I used to be not intimidated a lot as I used to be excited to have the ability to proceed working with my bosses who had been my bosses after I was in entrance of the digicam [on Chicago Fireplace]. And so, having an understanding of that vocabulary and being within the Wolf Movies world for six years was positively a bonus [and I felt] comfy transitioning into Regulation & Order world. Everybody’s acquainted with the present and it revolutionized tv by way of format and content material. The present helped create an area for dialog about how we might be of service to victims and that is one thing Mariska Hargitay has taken extraordinarily personally, having began organizations simply from doing the present. So after I was assigned to [SVU], it felt very pure as a result of illuminating issues inside social justice is part of my calling as an artist.

As a director herself, did Mariska have any recommendation for you?
Raymund: We talked rather a lot about each [of us] being main girls in Dick Wolf collection and what a possibility that created for us to take the chance of expressing our curiosity and want to grow to be administrators. When she first began on her present because the lead, this was 20 years in the past. It was a unique tone within the tv world, within the Hollywood world. Not drastically totally different than what we’ve now however simply sufficient the place area and company was simply nonexistent. And now that is altering… And whereas I stay a pupil, whereas I’ve a lot to learn–because I didn’t go to movie school–I am studying this as I am going. I have been in entrance of the digicam for 12 years and now I am behind it so this can be a very experiential studying expertise for me. What I did inform Mariska and what we agreed upon is that I cannot be apologetic. I cannot apologize for taking over area on the earth.

That is vital.
Raymund: Yeah and I feel that’s one thing we mentioned, how vital it’s to seek out that unapologetic energy. That is very tough as a result of we do not at all times discover the help. However simply having the ability to meet Mariska and realizing that we had been preventing for a similar trigger, it was a ravishing expertise of feeling help from one other sturdy girl. We’ve got to proceed supporting one another. We’ve got to be there to assist the opposite as a result of if we keep on this collectively, we are going to overcome.

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Monica Raymund, Law & Order: Special Victims UnitMonica Raymund, Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit

Now that you have had this expertise, what’s subsequent? Are you trying to direct extra Regulation and Order episodes or broaden to different reveals?
Raymund: I am simply taking it one step at a time. My needs, hopes and desires are that I proceed directing. I hope for Regulation and Order and/or different reveals throughout the spectrum of networks and codecs. It’s my dream, finally, to direct my very own options as effectively. It is one thing that’s altering as I fluidly change too. As a result of I’m an actor and I’ll at all times be an actor, each of these issues will coexist.

What was probably the most memorable a part of your first time stepping on the set of Regulation & Order: SVU because the director?
Raymund: I used to be curious and barely intimidated by how environment friendly that machine is. The crew and the expertise have been working collectively for thus lengthy that the present nearly shoots itself. The very first thing I bear in mind is [asking myself] what can I deliver to this? How will I make this totally different? What’s it that I am bringing to the desk? What’s my standpoint? And the way do I specific that by way of this present?

How do you add your individual enter to one thing that is already so established?
Raymund: I do not know that there’s a solution to that as a lot as there’s an experiment to it. So what I have been experimenting with is coming in ready. It is actually vital that I can management what I can management. I can not management what occurs on set the entire time, there’s gonna be unexpected crises. However what I can management is how ready I are available in that day. So doing the homework, ensuring that I’ve a plan, that I’ve a imaginative and prescient, that my intention is obvious, that I perceive the story. That is a very powerful factor.

Did something unexpected occur? What was the largest sudden occasion?
Raymund: That is the world of tv, child! Unexpected issues occur nearly each minute on the set. For instance, we bought rained on and I could not shoot a scene in a selected location. So I stated cool, that is alright. It is raining? Alright. We will not management that however we will management the place we set it now. There was a very lovely bridge proper down the road from the place we had been taking pictures. [I thought] it might be actually cool if we shot beneath the bridge with rain coming down either side. It advised the story and we made it work.

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My private way of living and I am discovering that I am utilizing it in my work life, is that all the things has an answer. Except a meteor is spiraling in the direction of Earth, there’s nothing that we won’t determine tips on how to cope with. And so, that helps handle my anxiousness and my stress and permits me to have enjoyable. As a result of issues are gonna occur, ? S–t occurs.

Your subsequent huge venture entails taking up a drastically totally different position within the upcoming Starz collection P-City. What are you able to inform me about your character?
Raymund: I am getting ready now. I am excited to be part of one thing that’s wealthy and complicated in character and in addition coping with the opioid epidemic. It is very a lot deep on the earth of that, which is clearly a ubiquitous drawback. Additionally, having the ability to have the chance to play a Latina of coloration who can be queer. My character Jackie is making an attempt to get better and she or he’s additionally coping with medication and alcohol. So there are a variety of obstacles to beat for her. And that is what probably the most drastic distinction, is that with Jackie in P-City, she’s being confronted with a variety of obstacles to beat. Having a possibility to play that out, somebody who’s coping with points which can be very private for hundreds of thousands of individuals on the earth, I take it very critically.

Derek Haas says the door is open so that you can return to Chicago Fireplace. Is that one thing you are open to doing?
Raymund: I actually do miss my solid and my crew. It is a pleasure and an honor working with these individuals. I actually adore it. The storytelling of first responders in America what they do day by day to guard individuals such as you and me, it is a fairly unbelievable honor to inform that story. Actually, I do not know! If I simply cannot bear it and should return to the present, I do know the door stays open and I am grateful for that. However lady, I am making an attempt to determine what I am gonna do tomorrow so I don’t know whether or not or not I will return to the present. That’s up for debate however I’m very humbled that the door stays open.

Regulation & Order: SVU airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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Jesse Spencer and Monica Raymund, Chicago FireJesse Spencer and Monica Raymund, Chicago Fireplace

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