Christopher Meloni Knows You Call Him Zaddy

After having played detective Elliot Stabler for 12 seasons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, actor Christopher Meloni left the show in 2011 only to serve us with an unexpected comeback 10 years later.

During the latest episode of the Fitness+ podcast, Time to Walk, Meloni recalled the moment when a photo of him stretching on set was posted on social media last year, sparking a viral (read: extremely thirsty) reaction on the internet. “We were shooting in Brooklyn and an innocent bystander […] took a shot of my rear end — my asset — and it hit the interweb and became an international sensation overnight,” he explained.

When Meloni accepted the challenge of playing his role again in the new spinoff Organized Crime, he felt the need to prepare not only emotionally but also physically. “I was like ‘This is kind of a dream right now.’ I didn’t take it lightly,” Meloni said, adding that he realized “people would remember me/ Elliot Stabler as he was 10 years prior, because that’s the last time they would have seen me physically.”

His athletic preparation was certainly noticed worldwide. “”It traveled the globe,” Meloni said. “And I was given the moniker ‘Zaddy’ which I believe means an elderly gentleman with a certain patina of sexiness to them.”

While other actors might have shown a different reaction to the sudden rise in internet meme-ability, Meloni said to have accepted his fans’ comments as “almost their warm welcoming of Stabler back and me back in this role.”

Organized Crime is currently airing its second season. We look forward to feasting our eyes on Zaddy Stabler then.

Photo via Getty/ Bobby Bank/ WireImage