In an ingenious — but at the same time sort of creepy — bit of stunt-casting, Mike Tyson went a few rounds with his first real dramatic role on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" and, suffice it to say, ended up with split decision
It was a nice departure for Tyson. who was used to parodying himself in the "Hangover" movies or reliving the dark side of his life in an autobiographical stage show that hit Broadway.
On "L&O: SVU," Tyson, playing a death-row inmate convicted of rape and murder himself, capably handled the role as the soft-spoken con who was framed. Tyson looked the same except for the real-life tribal tattoos on the left side of his face that were neatly hidden by makeup, soft lighting and right camera angles.
This particular role hit a nerve with rape victim groups after some complained that playing the part of a rapist was too close to the former heavyweight champion's own conviction for rape in 1992. Tyson spent three years in prison for the crime.
The convoluted plot of Wednesday night's L&O featured actor Ed Asner — who got to chew the heaviest scenes as a child molester —but Tyson held his own with the L&O cast including scenes with always amazing Andre Braugher.
The only Emmy award I see going to this episode is for the superb makeup and lighting cover-up, but I'm sure NBC pulled in plenty of viewers curious about seeing Tyson — the actor.