Christopher Meloni on Lee Tergesen
"Words from Chris" feature at the now-defunct Official Christopher
Meloni Web site
Last updated March 4, 2006
When he first met Lee, Chris had "no real thought. I was there to do
a job" (Dec 25 2002). Their relationship developed to the point that
Chris describes himself and Lee as "good friends" (Mar 4 2000) and
says that he got along best and hung out the most with Lee out of
all the people from the Oz set (June 26 2000; Dec 14 2000). During
the Oz run, Christopher said that he hoped to work again with Lee,
but that the Oz experience "has been very unique. Lee is a great guy
and actor" (Sept 28 2000). Chris also said, "Hopefully, we'll stay
in close touch" (Sept 28 2000).
When asked whether he participated in Oz cast get-togethers to bowl
or play pool (and who is the best player), Chris responded: "I've
partied with the boys and had a few pajama parties but I didn't hit
the pool/bowling thing. Lee is the best at everything! It's always
LEE, LEE, LEE" (Dec 14 2000). He and Lee saw each other during
Thanksgiving of 2001 and, for Christmas of that year, they were
planning to "call each other every day just to say 'Hi' and find out
what each other is wearing…ya know, guy stuff" (Dec 19 2001). More
recently, they've been known to go water-skiing together (Sept 8
When asked about Lee and Mariska Hargitay, Chris says, "I love both
of them immeasurably. The limited time I have here would never give
my feelings justice" (May 22 2002). He also says, "Lee has brought
such a different perspective to my life, and a joy, that it would be
a grave mistake to let our friendship stray. I'd say we're in weekly
contact. We hung out the other night and laughed our asses off. It's
beautiful" (Oct 9 2002). Until he was told about it by fans, Chris
didn't know that on the Oz - Season 4 DVD, Lee plays a cell phone
message that Chris had left for him: "Can't wait to hear it. Nice to
have documented proof of how much I love the man" (Apr 5 2005).
His and Lee's lip-lock at the 11th Annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance
Against Defamation Media Awards was them "playing with the
paparazzi" (Apr 17 2000); although their script called for them to
share one kiss for the cameras, the two actors ad-libbed an
additional two smooches (Aug 13 2000). When asked to choose "Mariska
or Lee Tergesen," Chris responded with a simple "Lee was my first"
(Dec 19 2001).
Christopher and Lee apparently did not do much advance preparation
for their scenes together; Chris says, "Ninety percent, we just let
flow" (Mar 4 2000). Once he knew how the Beecher/Keller storyline
would develop, Christopher says, "I wanted to do it because it was
Tom Fontana and then later because it was Lee" (Aug 23 2000). He
elaborates: "Acting with Lee - now THAT'S when I get tingly all
over. Lotta love for him as a person and actor" (Nov 1 2001). If Lee
had been "a complete asshole," doing such intimate scenes with him
would have been "tougher" for Chris, but he says, "Ya gotta do what
ya gotta do with whomever they throw in yer path" (Apr 24 2000).
When discussing his chemistry with Lee, Chris says, "I think we're
both - Lee and I - lucky that we happen to get 'it.' We're lucky for
Tom Fontana's words and the situations he's put us in and I have
learned a great deal from Lee. What can I say, I love the man -
there, I said it" (Jan 7 2001).
When it came time to kiss Lee, the fact that they were friends "was
not a factor either way" in making the scene easier or harder to do
(Apr 6 2001). Chris says that filming those intimate scenes (in
close quarters) was made easier by having "a cameraman up my ass"
(Oct 9 2002). When asked what he felt when kissing Lee, Chris
replied, "Aside from my heart skipping a beat? I was thinking…'I
wonder if Sherman would fit in a wood chipper and then Lee and I
could escape (once the season was over) to a tropical island…I
wonder if he likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain…'
That was pretty much it" (Nov 16 2004). Chris reports that, when
doing nude scenes, Lee used to "fret a little," but that he would be
fine when Chris would give "the bitch a little chore to occupy
himself (like hold my robe)" (Jan 14 2002).
On whether he could fall in love with Lee, if Chris were a woman:
"He's not my type, but he's a damn fine kisser…that's a toughy" (Feb
15 2002). He also says that Lee is a better kisser than Brian Bloom
(Feb 4 2001). In fact, any fan who would like to get in the middle
of a Beecher-Keller Oreo would need "a crow bar, 'cause when Lee and
I get together, we can barely keep our hands off each other" (Oct 9
Doing a comedy with Lee "would be the greatest experience ever" (Mar
4 2000). If he had to direct a movie starring Lee, Chris says, "If
it were a comedy, no directing would be necessary - just get out of
his way. Any project would be great and suitable. Lee is just a
great actor and awesome to work with. How about Shakespeare's The
Merchant of Venice?" (Apr 18 2000)
Chris says he liked Lee's performance in Shaft and "thought Lee was
great and under-used" (July 24 2000). Chris also thinks Lee should
have played Wolverine in X-Men (Nov 14 2003). He's seen Lee in
Wayne's World (July 24 2000), but as for Lee's "funny performances"
in Weird Science, Chris says, "I've never seen - would love to. Hey,
yer preaching to the choir. I KNOW the man is funny" (Nov 14 2000).
A potential guest-starring role for Lee on Law and Order: SVU could
go something like this: "Maybe he can be Stabler's old college
buddy. The one that he 'experimented' with - ya know, guy
stuff...hmm. I think we're on to something..." (Jan 7 2001) Chris
admits that there's a vast conspiracy keeping Lee from such a role:
"Yes, it's me. I'm envious of that little bitch and am spending an
inordinate amount of time trying to scuttle his career. And if you
get in my way, you will be swept aside" (Sept 22 2001).
Christopher's also made a number of comments about Lee, some less
serious than others. When asked to pass fans' love on to Lee,
Christopher said, "I will as soon as he gets his shit together and
gets on with it" (Sept 17 2000). According to Chris, Lee smells of
"the most heavenly bouquet" (May 22 2000). He also says that Lee is
quite honest, explaining, "Well, we do call him Lee 'Pull No
Punches' Terg" (Mar 29 2002). Chris couldn't say which Beecher
hairstyle was the sexiest: "Hey, with a mug like his, how can you go
wrong with any 'do? I mean…really. Perfection, thy name is Tergesen"
(Mar 29 2002).
Still, Chris does not appear to be sick of being asked about Lee
just yet: "Talking about Lee is like eating a big fat chocolate
sundae. I know it's bad for me, but I can't help myself. I catch
myself doing it all the time or dreaming about it. I'm trying to
quit, 'cause it's ruining my girlish figure and I can't fit into any
of my clothes the way I used to...wait...hmm. Metaphor run amok"
(Sept 26 2002).
Chris reports that Lee's nickname for him is "all-knowing manly man
of manhood and talent" (June 28 2002). When asked how Chris's
nickname for Lee came to be "bitch," he replied, "It's evolution,
baby, and I think he wears the name well and proudly" (Nov 1 2001).
In fact, if Chris had a "Bad Bitch" T-shirt, he would give it to Lee
(Sept 21 2003), but also has given him another name: "When he's
really, really bad and he needs it really bad, I call him Beth.
Questions?" (Oct 9 2002)
On what Lee would do if Chris took a sip out of his glass: "If I
sipped, he'd drink. If I spit in it, he'd guzzle" (Mar 29 2002).
Despite his ties to Tergesen, Chris appears to like his freedom; he
threatens to "have a talk with that little bitch" when told that Lee
is quite possessive of him (June 22 2003).
On Lee Tergesen's wedding: "I was not in the wedding party. The
bachelor party cannot be discussed in polite society and yes, I
screamed out at the ceremony, 'YOU POD-MATE STEALING BITCH! PLEASE,
SOMEONE, STOP THIS HORRIBLE MISTAKE. MAKE IT STOP.' Or, something
along those lines" (Sept 22 2001).
The last word on Christopher's feelings for Lee Tergesen: "My bitch
and I don't see much of each other, but when we do - step back,
'cause the love train is entering the station" (Oct 27 2004).
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