Elisabeth Röhm, the A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn said for three and a half years that she felt altruistic, sometimes a little naive (but still sharp) character reflected her own values. "There's a belief in my heart that people are good, not that people who do bad things aren't bad, but that the spirit of people in general – that there is hope for us," said the Long Island actress Weekly in May. "I think Serena had this idealism and so did I."
Idealism, at least, could have been her downfall, Branch disagreed with Southerlyn's approach to a case and fired her. Out of nowhere to her memorable answer was, "Is that because I'm a lesbian?" The answer was no, but it was a scratch because Serena's personal life had never surfaced. (It ranked 25th in the Top 100 Most Unexpected Moments in TV Land's TV history.)
Let's just say Röhm's time on set ("my colleagues were Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston, I mean, they're real actors") sounds more pleasant than Southerlyn's time in the prosecutor's office.
"On my last day at work, Sam Waterston wrote a speech," remembers Röhm, whose most recent works include Jane the Virgin and Bombshell. “He said I came to Law & Order with a 'blowtorch of happiness' and I have a childlike enthusiasm for life. I like having fun. I like being kind to people want to make a difference. " I want to make a difference. "
She continued, "And I think I have this filial enthusiasm and idealism and belief in humanity. I am never surprised when people are kind because I know that there is all this hope and desire within us, to develop and be happy. That doesn't mean there are no criminal minds, humiliation, despair, poverty and violence. "