Fans rejoiced when Christopher Meloni returned to Law and Order: SVU as Elliot Stabler after a 10-year hiatus, but his reunion with Olivia Benson (played by Mariska Hargitay) was short-lived.
Although many fans may have wanted Stabler to rejoin the Special Victims Unit upon his return, Elliot took on a new role in Law and Order: Organized Crime with hopes of avenging his late wife, Kathy Stabler (played by Isabel Gillies), after she was tragically murdered in the season opener.
Over the years, we’ve gotten to know Elliot Stabler pretty well. Along with being a father of five, he is also a former marine with a tattoo on his forearm to prove it. But was Christopher Meloni really in the military?
Was 'Law and Order' star Chris Meloni really in the military?
Sometimes a character can be so convincing that we start to forget that they aren’t real people, and this is especially true when it comes to Chris Meloni. Although we’ve always known the actor as Elliot Stabler, in reality, Chris is much different from his on-screen persona.
Previous episodes of Law and Order revealed that Elliot Stabler grew up in Queens, N.Y. and served in Desert Storm as a hand-to-hand combat specialist, unlike Chris Meloni, who is originally from Washington, D.C. but raised in the suburbs of Virginia.
Before booking gigs on Oz and later, Law and Order: SVU, Chris attended the University of Colorado and worked as a bartender, construction worker, bouncer, and even a personal trainer, but he was never in the military. With this said, what’s up with the marine tattoo that we’ve seen on previous episodes of Law and Order?
Elliott Stabler’s tattoos are fake, right?
Unlike Elliot Stabler, Chris Meloni never served in the military and does not have a marine emblem tattooed on his arm. Although Elliot’s marine tattoo is only temporary, in real life, Chris has a butterfly on his upper thigh, an astrological chart on his lower leg, and a large crucifix on his bicep.
We know what you’re thinking — everything we know about Elliot Stabler is a lie. But the plot thickens. In old episodes of Law and Order, Elliot is said to be Irish American, unlike Chris Meloni, who has roots in Italy.
Chris Meloni isn’t really Irish, but he is part Italian.
According to reports, Chris’s mother was French Canadian, and his father’s lineage links back to Italy, where, coincidentally, Elliot Stabler has been hiding out for the last few years.
In recent episodes of Organized Crime, Elliot discovered that he, too, has a family history in Italy. Now, fans wonder if he’s bilingual in real life.
So, does Christopher Meloni speak Italian?
It’s unclear if Chris learned Italian for his latest role or if he grew up speaking the language fluently. But recent episodes have us convinced that he has gotten pretty well acquainted with Rosetta Stone.
Early in the season, Elliot showed off the linguistic skills that he acquired after spending the last decade in Rome, and fans were pleasantly surprised.
To continue watching Elliot Stabler’s story unfold, tune into Law and Order: Organized Crime on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.