David Wain’s They Came Together is more than a rom-com parody—it’s also a camp reunion. The film, written by Wain and Michael Showalter, features Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino, and Christopher Meloni—all of whom also starred in Showalter and Wain’s 2001 cult comedy classic Wet Hot American Summer. Naturally, filming the new movie felt a little like getting the band back together. “That was the strongest feeling for me,” Meloni tells EW. “I was walking around going, ‘What the hell took so long?’”
In the film, the man formerly known as SVU’s Det. Elliot Stabler plays Roland, the imposing CEO of Candy Systems & Research, a sugary conglomerate bent on running Poehler’s tiny sweet shop out of business. (Originally, Meloni’s character was the head of a company called “CorporateCo Corporation and Co., Inc.,” while Poehler’s ran a candle store. As Meloni explains, “When it comes to these guys and their comedy, it’s just evolutionary. Everything just kind of evolves as the winds and spirits and what everyone’s gut is telling them to take it.”)
Being ensconced in the Wainiverse once more gave Meloni ”a very safe and secure feeling”—even during his character’s showcase scene, which finds Roland stuck inside a very tight Green Lantern costume during a crucial moment. (Coincidentally, Meloni voiced Hal Jordan in a direct-to-DVD animated Green Lantern movie in 2009.) Let’s put it this way: As Meloni says, “It cramped my style in places it shouldn’t be cramping. To [try to] get that thing off, that was not acting.”
But any residual discomfort won’t be enough to keep Meloni away from the WHAS crew—especially if the Wet Hot prequel series they’re developing with Netflix comes to fruition. For now, the actor says, “I don’t know anything about it. I probably know as much as you do. They’re in the middle of trying to figure out financially or economically how to make it work.” If the gang does take another trip to Camp Firewood, though, ”I’d be all in. I love working with these guys.”
They Came Together arrives in theaters and on VOD today.