While Christopher Meloni has long been a pop culture icon thanks to his role as Elliot Stabler on the long-running show Law & Order: SVU, it took a pandemic to turn him into an intergenerational heartthrob. But according to the actor, it’s all because of his butt.
In a new cover story for Men’s Health, author Anna Peele informs Meloni that he’s currently having a cultural moment to which he actor replies succinctly, and accurately, “My ass is.” He’s of course referring to the proliferation of images of his backside that go viral on social media on any given day. A phenomenon which seemed to reach its pinnacle this April when someone posted a photo from the set of Law & Order: Organized Crime which appears to suggest Meloni hasn’t missed a single leg day for the last 60 years. Cher even seemed to take note—of his theatrical prowess, at least, if not his posterior—tweeting just days later, “CHRISTOPHER MELONI IS EXCELLENT, CHARISMATIC ACTOR.” But whether the current zeitgeist he’s riding is thanks to all those squats or his acting chops, Meloni says, “It’s cool as shit. The aspect of age comes into play as far as the cover of [this magazine] and how I feel about it. A friend of mine said, ‘Did you ever think in a million years you’d be on the cover of Men’s Health?’ I said, ‘Certainly not at age 60.’”
But it’s also reaching that milestone age that has helped turn Meloni into America’s zaddy, even if the actor doesn’t totally understand what that word means exactly. “I just thought it was a cutie thing,” he confesses. But after finding out that it’s a term typically applied to a man of a certain age and distinction, he adds, “Daddy plus? Daddy platinum? It’s reserved for an older gentleman.” And now that he fully understands the catbird seat of cultural influence he holds, Meloni muses, “How much am I allowed to taste of this fruit? How much am I allowed to enjoy this?” But thankfully, should this current zaddy moment ever fizzle out, Meloni still has plenty of practical applications for his internet-breaking butt. “I catch flies with my ass cheeks, like a Venus flytrap,” he says with a cackle. “I’m clever with my ass cheeks!”
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