Ainsley Seiger on the ‘whirlwind’ of joining Law & Order: Organized Crime

LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME -- "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" Episode 104 -- Pictured: Ainsley Seiger as Jett Slootmaekers -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME -- "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" Episode 104 -- Pictured: Ainsley Seiger as Jett Slootmaekers -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC) /

Ainsley Seiger has been a wonderful surprise on Law & Order: Organized Crime, where she plays uniquely-named tech expert Jet Slootmaekers.

Ahead of the show’s return tonight, she spoke to One Chicago Center about joining the Dick Wolf hit for her first TV series regular role, the number of times someone has mispronounced Jet’s last name, and her theatre background—including starring as Wendla in the iconic musical Spring Awakening.

Get to know more about Ainsley and Jet in our interview before a new Law & Order: Organized Crime airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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One Chicago Center: This is your first TV starring role. What has it been like to make your TV debut as part of the Law & Order franchise?

Ainsley Seiger: Whirlwind doesn’t even begin to cover it. When I first got the call, I remember I got off the phone with my team, and then my manager called me afterwards to follow up. He was like, “So we’re looking at getting you a flight on Tuesday.” And I was like, “This Tuesday?” He goes, “Oh, two days from now.”

There were some weather issues, but I flew up to New York from North Carolina days after getting the call that I had booked the show. Stayed in a hotel, had to quarantine, and then found an apartment. Everything has moved so fast, and I cannot believe how far along we already are. I still feel like I’ve only been here for five minutes. It’s so exciting, but it feels like it’s moved that fast. I think that’s an indicator that I’m having a pretty good time.

OCC: Your character has the most interesting name in the whole Law & Order universe. How many times has someone botched saying it?

AS: Oh my God, if I had a dime for every time someone mispronounced it. (laughs) It’s so funny because when I got there, maybe my first or second day of work, we started having the discussion. There was a line that essentially I told Stabler that he pronounced my name better than everyone else, but I didn’t say that he pronounced it right. So [director Ken] Girotti was like oh, everyone just sees a different way to say her last name, except for Chris. Chris will say it a little bit closer.

We took that and ran with it, which is why Danielle [Moné Truitt] calls me Slootamaker, which it took me so much strength not to burst out laughing every time she said that. But even just walking around the set, people who have no doubt heard it tossed around in scenes several times would be like, “How do you say it?” I’m like, “I don’t know.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime
LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME — “Not Your Father’s Organized Crime” Episode 102 — Pictured: Ainsley Seiger as Jett Slootmaekers — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC) /

OCC: So far Law & Order: Organized Crime hasn’t shown us much about Jet. Can you say if there is more about her in the rest of season 1, or what else can we expect in upcoming episodes?

AS: I wish I could tell you, and I say that only because I’m really unveiling Jet as a character and as a person on an episode by episode basis. I’m learning brand new things about her every time I get a new script. It’s like, “Whoa, this is how she tackles this situation. This is how she goes about that. Oh, this is what she does.” It’s interesting because I keep saying the question, when are we going to learn more about Jet? When are we going to learn more Jet? And I’m just going to be saying it this whole season.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Ten years is a long time to make such an event for such a huge comeback. With Stabler, we really needed that room to breathe and to let that live, and we’ll get to the task force, but I’m so excited because the few things that I am starting to pick up on about Jet’s backstory—and not even her backstory, but just some things of her personal life are being told to me [that] are very exciting for me. I can only hope that the fans are just as excited.

OCC: You come to the show from a theater background, including starring as Wendla in one of the great plays, Spring Awakening. Did that or any other theater experience help you as you’ve moved into this role?

AS: I started doing theater when I was very young. I did my first musical when I was in the sixth grade, and ever since then knew that I wanted to be an actor. Middle school me would absolutely be dead if she knew that this was what I was doing now.

But theater has taught me everything, and it’s gotten me to where I am. Spring Awakening is such a unique show, and was such a unique experience for so many reasons. It being my final show at my university. The show has very dark, heavy undertones. And then coming off of that, the interesting thing about theater school for me is that after doing something like Spring Awakening  [that’s] very dark, very heavy, I went to the next and I was like, “I want to do a comedy. I want to do a play about a standup comedian.”

But I think what it has given me is the ability to really think on the fly, and be present in the moment with other actors. And I think that having done theater for such a long time and not much else, gave me a sense of just faking the camera. I try my best not to think about it. Of course I want to think about the technique of it, but I want to live it like I’m living a play.

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