This story and pictures first appeared in the September 2021 issue of Men’s Health.
The jacked ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ star is 60 years old and embracing his inner zaddy.
“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.’ ” In other words, if September cover star @chris_meloni and his melons were going to happen, they should have happened already, writes Anna Peele. So why does America want him to be its Zaddy now?
That is how Meloni merrily turns the story of a placid morning into the cold open of an episode of Law & Order: SVU, the corner of the Dick Wolf multiverse in which he spent 12 years bashing perps. He played Detective Elliot Stabler, who retired from the force in 2011 due to an offscreen contract dispute with NBC. Meloni spins his tale of corpse finding from the 26th floor of a luxury high-rise purchased with the money that enticed him to return to Law & Order in his own spin-off, Organized Crime. Stabler is now in his mid-50s and coming into, Meloni says, “a world he doesn’t understand. You know, you’re a white cop of a certain age, you’re not allowed to do a lot of things, and you’re being challenged on your bona fides on both sides. How woke are you? And how much of a man are you?”
“Zaddy!” the Internet cried. And Zaddy Meloni welcomed his new acolytes onto his thickly quaded lap. When I tell him he’s having a cultural moment, he says, accurately, “My ass is.” And Meloni, with his butch blend of off-color bluntness and gleeful mugging, is enjoying the high. “It’s cool as shit,” he says of having a renaissance in the back third of his life, sipping espresso out of a mug with his face printed on it.
“[Exercise is] therapy, church, meditation, and a kind of personal reengagement where the brain and the body get to talk to one another.”Chris Meloni