By Clark Collis
July 09, 2020 at 05:12 PM EDT
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Christopher Meloni is still best known for playing the hotheaded detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — a role he will reprise on the upcoming spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime. But the actor has repeatedly shown his comedic chops in projects like Wet Hot American Summer and Veep, and does so again in the new music-industry-set show Maxxx, which starts streaming July 28 on Hulu. The show stars O-T Fagbenle as a onetime boyband member attempting a comeback, Pippa Bennett-Warner as his reluctant new manager, and Meloni as as an old-school music mogul with the appropriate name of Don Wild.

"Yes, my name is Don Wild and I am a record producer/hitmaker," Meloni tells EW. "Now, where I really stand in the pantheon of record moguls is, I think, up for debate. I think in his mind, he may be a half-notch below Clive Davis. Other than that, he's part snake oil salesman, part mad genius."

Below, Meloni talks more about Maxxx and his return to the world of Law & Order. You can also watch an exclusive clip from Maxxx above.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved in Maxxx?

CHRISTOPHER MELONI: You know, that's a question which has yet to be answered to my satisfaction. My agent passed the script along to me and I just thought it was so outrageous and so funny and the character was so crazy, but I really couldn't understand why [they wanted me]. It was originally written as a 74-year-old man, so I didn't quite know how to take that. I can play 70s now, I guess!

As we're roughly the same age, I'm going to say that's a testament to your talents rather than your appearance.

Yes, well said, well said, sir!

Don Wild has quite a distinctive sartorial style and general look, with the goatee and the earrings and everything. Did you have a hand in that?

Yeah. I thought of him as a 58-year-old man who just does not accept that fact. In his mind, he's 26 and — he's 26! [Laughs] That's it! I've been accused of pilfering Bono's look, which I deny. I was lucky enough that, in my youth, I had pierced my ears and in fact those holes were still there, so I used those. That was fun, to get earrings back in my earlobes. And I got to dye my hair, and that was it.

In one of the early episodes, your character is involved in a failed ménage à trois. What was it like filming that scene?

Very difficult. They're always very difficult. All the humor, the attempt at the savage humor, helps, but it's always very weird. [Laughs]

How would you describe your own musical taste?

All over the map, everything from Radiohead to Tool. I confess that I'm not too up to date on the latest and greatest. The 1975 is the band that I'm listening to now. I'm kind of a rock & roll person.

You're returning to the Dick Wolf universe with Law & Order: Organized Crime. What can you say about that?

We're going to reintroduce my character Elliott Stabler and give the audience the backstory of where he's been, how he's been, and he's going to rejoin the NYPD, but with the organized crime unit.

Do you think the show will reflect what's going on at the moment?

That's a loaded question. There are so many things going on at the moment. I mean, my God. You know, look, I just know that they're hammering out the arc of what exactly the story is about and who the bad guys are, and they're going to be filling in the time and place and what's current and what they can fit in, I'm sure. But I can't speak on it because I just know the writers are busy hammering out all angles of what everyone is dealing with these days.

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