Fans of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” were shook when star Kelli Giddish revealed she’d be leaving the show, ending her 12-season run as NYPD Detective Amanda Rollins.
While Giddish announced the news back in August, Variety subsequently alleged that the decision to leave wasn’t hers, but came at the behest of showrunner David Graziano when her salary negotiations hit a stalemate.
Giddish’s final episode of “SVU” aired on Thursday, Dec. 8, and she spoke with ET Canada about her exit — and offered some hope for a potential return at some point.
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Reflecting on her exit, Giddish admitted she’ll miss the friends she made during her years on the show.
“I’m going to miss the camaraderie,” she said, singling out Mariska Hargitay.
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Giddish also opened up about her character’s story drawing to a close on a positive note. “Well, right now I’m basking in the glow of a happy ending, you know, but the door is always open,” she said of a potential return
“[‘Law & Order’] creator Dick Wolf has created a world in which characters can kind of come and go,” she added. “And I don’t think the audience would be sad to see a little more of it.”
Conceding that the role could be challenging, Giddish insisted that’s the way she wanted it.
Kelli Giddish Is Leaving ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ After 12 Seasons, Showrunner Responds
“I welcomed every challenge that they threw at me, like I always wanted the challenge,” she explained. “Any time something was a little out of the box or like, I think, they put it on the tumble cycle, that that’s when I got excited and I thrived and I was even more invested in the script. So any kind of challenging thing I would embrace with with open arms.”
Asked if she had a final message for the show’s fans, Giddish responded, “The audience and the fans’ reaction when they found out that Rollins was leaving was so amazing and overwhelmingly just sweet,” she shared. “Boosted my confidence, how Rollins was received all these years, so I just want to thank them for that.”