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Law & Order: SVU’s Kevin Kane Teases ‘Lingering Revenge’ Lurking in Bruno’s Future

The one Law & Order: SVU character that TVLine readers ask about the most is Det. Terry Bruno, played by Kevin Kane. And we get it: A recurring role in the Bensonverse since Season 24, in addition to a few one-off appearances as different characters before that, has made Kane a full-time member of the squad (even if he technically remains a guest star). Add in Kane’s portrayal of his intriguing character — a cop who’s so rich he never has to work another day in his life, yet chooses to show up for the most grueling of cases? — and we understand why you all want to know more about the precinct’s Bronx transplant.

So we recently chatted with Kane, an Emmy winner from his time as an executive producer on Inside Amy Schumer, to find out what he could tell us about Bruno’s future with the squad. Little did we know that when the conversation turned to his work on Hulu’s Life & Beth, where he’s an actor and EP, that’s when things would get really interesting.PREV

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TVLINE | We’re going to talk about both SVU and Life & Beth, but we’re going to start with SVU, because I have a burning question: Do you decide whether Bruno wears his badge around his neck or on his hip? Who decides where characters wears badges?
KEVIN KANE | I think, initially, that was just given to me as a prop. It’s so funny you’re asking this, because it’s such a pain in the butt that I was like, “Can I graduate into a guy who has it on his hip?” Because they put your mic right on your chest, you know, so the chain keeps hitting it, and they’re like, “We got a little sound issue,” and you’re like, Oh.” But they stuck me that way, and so, now, I’m a chain guy.

TVLINE | In a recent episode, we saw Bruno playing bad cop to Velasco’s good cop. How much do you think he enjoys that kind of thing?  
He comes to work because he sees that Benson is someone who believed in him when nobody else did, and somebody really wanting to be there to make a difference — because he doesn’t need the money — and I think he enjoys this group of people and being able to do work the way he wants to do work, you know? There’s a lot of that fun. And I think [showrunner] David Graziano likes to use the character as an outlet to have a little fun, too.

TVLINE | Bruno was a whistleblower when he was at Bronx SVU. We’ve definitely seen in the show, in general, that cops that do that kind of thing often get blowback. Will we see anything like that for him this season?
Maybe. I don’t know. I think your instincts are right, but I don’t know if I can say anything. I remember when they were introducing the character… we’d have like background police. Like, every time I’d walk to the scene, they’d look at me and go the other way, you know? [Laughs] There was a lot of that that didn’t necessarily get into the [final cut of the episodes], but I think that’s the intention. When you get people in trouble by telling the truth, or you end people’s careers, there’s going to be some lingering revenge out there to walk into. So, I think it could come back. [Laughs] Hint, hint.

law-and-order-svu-kevin-kane-interview-season-25-terry-bruno
law-and-order-svu-kevin-kane-interview-season-25-terry-bruno

TVLINE | Also, how fun for you that you got to absorb that animosity and it never made it onto the screen!
[Laughs] Yeah. Yeah.

TVLINE | We know Bruno has an ex-wife. What do you know about her?
It’s been a little vague in presentation, but I do know that the idea was that I couldn’t be there for her all the way because I got a little obsessed about this wrong that was happening, that I was in the middle of, that I needed to make right.

TVLINE | Do you think there’s any possibility we’ll meet her at some point?
I don’t know. It might be…like, it’s kind of a start of a new life in Manhattan for Bruno. [Editor’s note: As an eagle-eyed TVLine reader pointed out, Rose — Bruno’s ex-wife — was briefly on screen in Season 24. Sorry, Rose!]

TVLINE | Can you talk to me about who you’ve shot most of your scenes with lately?
I just did some really fun scenes with Jordana [Spiro, who plays Shannah Sykes]. And then, you know, me and Ice[-T], we can’t go too long without hooking up at the hip, you know?

law-and-order-svu-kevin-kane-interview-season-25-terry-bruno
law-and-order-svu-kevin-kane-interview-season-25-terry-bruno

TVLINE | What episode are you guys shooting now?
We are about to start 9 today. I’m very excited, because our director is Mariska [Hargitay]. And a few years ago… it’s never been said, but I feel like she kind of put a little heavy hand on the scale when this character came up, because a couple years ago, she directed an episode that I was one of the guest leads of. [Editor’s note: Season 20’s “Mea Culpa,” in which Kane played the husband of a woman who accused Peter Stone of rape.] So, that’s where we really bonded.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about Life & Beth now.
Yeah. I feel like it’s rare that I’m not only talking about one. So, it feels comforting that like we’re going to just address both sides of this split personality.

TVLINE | I’ll be straight with you: When we first met Matt in Season 1, I was like, “Oh, he’s the messy one. He’s the one we laugh at.” But this season, he has depth and layers and a kid?! I was definitely proven wrong this season. Whose idea was it to have him find out he was the father of a teenager?
Well, maybe I’ll drop a bomb on you.

TVLINE | Yeah?
We say this series isn’t autobiographical, but it’s semi-autobiographical. Before Season 2 — because I’m in the writer’s room with Amy and everybody — she looked at me. She was like, “Hey, so, I think maybe we should tell this story.” And I was like, “Oh, no, no, I can’t put that out there.” And she was like, “Really? So, you’re not going to give a little bit, after everything I’ve given?” [Laughs] So, yeah, so, it’s inspired by a true event that happened to me.

TVLINE | That is insane. Wow.
It’s not the exact situation. The only thing that is true is that I was closing some play downtown, and I was living on the Upper West Side, and I would get this whim, sometimes, artistically, to just be in your head a little bit. I’d listen to music, and I’d walk all the way from downtown to the Upper West Side at night. And on one of these walks, I got that phone call. I was on the phone for a little while, getting the whole story, and then immediately was texting Amy. I was like, “I’m coming over, open a bottle of wine, we’ve got to talk.”

And so, it’s true. Matt runs to Beth as the first person he talks to about it, and that’s what I did. I ran to Amy.

TVLINE | This is obviously a very personal thing, but when you met — is it a daughter or a son that you have?
Daughter, yeah.

Kevin Kane in Life and Beth Season 2
Kevin Kane in Life and Beth Season 2

TVLINE | OK. So when you met your daughter for the first time, how did it go, compared to how it went on the show?
She and I are very similar, so we’re both very shy at the jump, you know? … I was a little nervous, she was a little nervous. I didn’t want to come on too strong, or anything like that, so it was kind of a funny little dance we did. Amy playing Cyrano on the side is not what happened, [Laughs] but you know, it’s sort of describing the situation. And we got really close, and we’ve been in each other’s lives ever since.

TVLINE | Great job with that scene, by the way. That’s a hard needle to thread.
It’s funny because, “Matt”: Like, I think we even named the character Matt because all of the ladies in the Season 1 writer’s room, whenever they had a story about this awful boyfriend, like multiple of them, Matt was the name of the guy.

TVLINE | When I spoke with Amy before the season came out, she said she was game for a third season. Do you have any thoughts about where Matt might land if you guys do another round?
… You know, Amy and I have been working together 16, 17 years, and we just felt like Season 2 came so easy for us, the making of it, that we feel like we’re just starting to get our stride with the show. So, we would be very, very excited to tackle some of these million ideas we have for Season 3.

Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC. Life & Beth Season 2 is now streaming on Hulu.

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