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Law & Order's Odelya Halevi On What It Was Like Joining Such An Iconic Show - Exclusive

When "Law & Order" returned in 2022 after a 12-year hiatus, it brought back two original cast members — Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson — plus added a slew of new characters. Those additional recruits include Camryn Manheim, Hugh Dancy, and Odelya Halevi, who plays Assistant District Attorney Samantha Maroun.

Born and raised in Israel, Halevi previously had supporting roles in "Good Girls Revolt" and "Good Trouble," and she's slated to appear in the DC Comics-based movie "Black Adam" starring Dwayne Johnson. As Sam Maroun on "Law & Order," the rising star works closely with Waterston and Dancy, and together, they represent the "Law" side of the series. The character carries on in the footsteps of previous ADAs such as Connie Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza), Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell), and Serena Southerlyn (Elisabeth Röhm).

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Halevi revealed what it felt like to join such an iconic show as "Law & Order" in its 21st season.

Halevi felt like she had 'giant shoes to fill'

"It was very exciting and nerve-racking at the same time," Odelya Halevi said of joining "Law & Order." "I never, in a million years, thought that I would play a lawyer on American TV ... I had been watching the show since I was a baby with my mom. My mom was obsessed with the show and Sam Waterston — who wouldn't be?"

After moving to the United States when she was 20, Halevi said she had a hard time breaking into mainstream acting because of her accent and ethnicity. "I never thought I would get this opportunity," she admitted. "When the opportunity came, I honestly could not believe it, so it was nerve-racking. I felt like I had giant shoes to fill after Carey Lowell and Elisabeth Röhm, all these great actresses that played the ADAs for so many years. I thought I was going to get fired ... It felt like I was joining a show that had been there for a long time, even though there was that 12-year break. That's why it was nerve-racking. I'm working with amazing actors who have nominations and Emmys under their belts."

However, her nerves were calmed the first time she met Waterston on the "Law & Order" set. "Sam gave me the biggest hug [and] made me feel so comfortable," she said. "He's been my Papa Bear ever since ... It felt like I was in a dream and somebody was going to pinch me and wake me up. I was born in a different country, moved to this country, learned how to speak English, all that stuff, and boom. I ended up on a show that was legendary to me."

Season 22 of "Law & Order" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and streams the next day on Peacock.