‘Law & Order’s Danielle Moné Truitt Reveals Bell & Benson Actually ‘Know Each Other Very Well’

Danielle Moné Truitt stars as Stabler's partner Bell on 'Law & Order: Organized Crime.' She teased to HL EXCLUSIVELY how the May 13 episode will challenge their partnership and Bell's connection to Benson.

Danielle Moné Truitt
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Law & Order: Organized Crime returns with a new crossover episode with SVU on May 13. The characters of SVU and Organized Crime will be tested in ways they haven’t been before. Bell’s personal life will blend over into her professional life in the episode, and Danielle Moné Truitt spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY how this and Stabler’s quest for vengeance will impact their partnership moving forward.

Danielle noted that Bell “understands” Stabler and empathizes with what he’s going through. However, she “checks him” on some of his questionable decisions and “trusts” he’ll do “what’s right at the end of the day.” She also revealed Bell and Stabler’s former partner, Benson, will share their first scene together in the crossover, but this won’t be their first introduction. Danielle admitted that Bell and Benson have a “very familiar relationship.” Read our Q&A below:

Danielle Moné Truitt
Danielle Moné Truitt stars as Det. Ayanna Bell on ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime.’ (NBC)

What are Bell’s feelings about the lengths Stabler is willing to go for vengeance over his wife’s death?
Danielle Moné Truitt: I think they are definitely different, almost two sides of kind of the same coin, so I think she probably understands him in a way that his children don’t because he’s a father to them. Whereas Bell sees them as equals, and I’m sure she can relate to that desire to find out the truth to get justice for the death of a loved one or anyone who was unjustly killed or murdered. I think with Bell, she notices certain things. As the series goes on, she checks in with him about things. I think she’s always watching. She’s very observant. Nothing gets past her. But I think she’s very smart and meticulous in the way that she chooses the right moment to bring it up or to talk about it. I think she knows forcing something on him is not going to be the thing that makes him change. Being there, even if it’s in silence or if it’s a nod or understanding of certain things, that will help.

Do you think that she trusts him?
Danielle Moné Truitt: I think at this point in the series, she trusts him. I think she trusts that, at the end of the day, even though he might have different ways of doing it, he wants to do what’s right. You will see as the episodes keep coming these cool moments where Bell sees what’s going on and how he’s choosing to do things, and she checks him on it. But at the end of the day, she and Stabler want the same thing. They want to take Wheatley down. They just have two different reasons. I think she understands his reasons, and she trusts that at the end of the day he’ll do what’s right.

What can say about where this Richard Wheatley storyline is going? I feel like we’re building to like an all-out war.
Danielle Moné Truitt: Well, what’s funny is, I don’t really know what’s going to happen. We read the scripts as they come. So although I know a little bit more than you, I don’t know that much more. Richard is smart. He’s given Bell and Stabler a run for their money. It’s not going to be easy to take him down, and you have to do it in a way that’s very calculated and smart. Because if we mess up in any kind of way, it could blow the whole thing. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m kind of on the edge of my seat as well. I love working with Dylan [McDermott], and Chris [Meloni], of course, but Dylan is the villain, and we don’t know what’s going to happen with him.

Danielle Moné Truitt
Danielle Moné Truitt with Christopher Meloni. (NBC)

We know a little bit about Bell’s personal life. Will we see more of that going forward? 
Danielle Moné Truitt: Oh, yeah. The crossover episode is a really good one. You’ll definitely get to see more of Bell’s personal life. Something that’s going to take place, it’s going to challenge her on the family and professional front. You’ll just kind of have to see how she has to navigate that. It’s going to be really interesting.

Bell is challenged in a big way when it comes to her family and her job. How is she feeling about everything in this crossover episode?
Danielle Moné Truitt: I think Bell is a big proponent of doing what’s right. Now, what’s right might not necessarily be according to the standards of her bosses, might not be according to the standards of her wife, but she does what’s right for her and what she feels in her gut is the right thing to do. She also knows where she wants to go in her career and, and where she wants to go in her relationship with her wife, and then bringing a child into the world. Whatever she does, she’s going to have to do it in a way where truth and honesty are paramount, but also trying to figure out how she can keep her marriage and keep this dream of a career that she’s worked so hard to get, and then also honor that she is a Black woman in America right now. Although she’s in law enforcement, she definitely has a heart for her community, social justice, and all of that. I’m excited to see what Ilene [Chaiken] and the rest of the writers come up with as far as how she’s going to navigate this. Once again, I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m very proud to play her. Because she’s so integral and so introspective. She doesn’t fly off the handles. She doesn’t make quick emotional decisions. She thinks things out, thinks these things through, and then figures out the best way to get a positive outcome. But we’ll see what she comes up with this time.

Stabler is the old guard when it comes to the NYPD, and he’s had to make changes and adapt to how law enforcement is now. How will Bell standing with her family and not the NYPD impact her partnership with Stabler? 
Danielle Moné Truitt: That dynamic is going to be interesting as well. In episode 3, I believe that was when they took that road trip and kind of had a moment where it seemed like they were kind of understanding each other in a different way. I think this situation will put that to the test, and we’ll get to see how much they really are going to be down for one another as partners. I think, without giving away too much, I think the audiences will be happy with the way each of them is dealing with it, but it’s going to challenge his character. Of course, this is not going to just be Bell’s cross bear. It’ll be a good lesson in allyship. We’ll find out if Stabler’s an ally or not.

Danielle Moné Truitt
Bell and Benson will share their first onscreen seen in the May 13 crossover. (NBC)

Have Benson and Bell met? I don’t think they have.
Danielle Moné Truitt: Not that the audience has seen yet. In the upcoming episodes, you guys will see Bell and Benson together. Benson is Bell’s mentor, so they know each other very well. But in the world of our show, you guys are coming in when that’s already all been done. We have a very familiar relationship. We know each other and you’ll get to see us together in this crossover episode.

Do YOU know what’s in Elliot’s letter to Olivia
Danielle Moné Truitt: None of us knows what’s in that letter. We’re all speculating what was in that letter. Sometimes I wonder if the things that the writers put in the script, if they actually think that the audience is going make a thing out of it. Sometimes I think they write things, and I don’t even think they think the audience is really going to be wondering what’s in this letter. But I would like to know what’s in this letter as well. I have no idea. I don’t even know if it’s going to be a thing. We shall see. You never know. They have a great way of circling back to things.

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