The shows veteran cast members discuss keeping things fresh for their seventh season

Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the third show from executive producer/creator Dick Wolf that is part of the Law & Order brand.

The series takes viewers into the minds of criminals while following the psychological approaches of the Major Case Squad. Law & Order focuses on two sets of partners played by Vincent D'Onfrio and Kathryn Erbe and Chris Noth and Alicia Witt, who is subbing for a few months for Julianne Nicholson who is on maternity leave.

Recently Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe sat down to discuss this show and what fans can expect from the seventh season.

Is there anything different now that show has moved to the USA Network?

Vincent D'Onofrio: They really haven't changed anything as far as production...

Kathryn Erbe: No, I think the same change that was starting last year is continuing. The show has felt like it's evolving from the beginning. I think last year we had a change in our main writer... and our shows executive producer. They came on and really started to breathe new life into the form in terms of the way that they were shooting it. That is continuing... adding the focus of our private lives. That continues right along but the only thing that feels different is that USA is incredibly excited about having us. Wanting to promote the show and wanting to get the word out that we're going to be on USA and they've been incredibly flattering to us. Its felt really good.

Vincent, your portrayal of Bobby Goren is really inventive and I was just wondering how you approached this character going into the seventh season?

Vincent D'Onofrio: Well, I'm not sure if our show influenced the other shows or not. I don't know it's hard to say who came first... all I know is that the first few years of the show was about... making the show work and making it different and we worked very hard to do that. Then, after the last three years I brought it back a lot. It was much more internal because I was a bit tired. The best thing about right now is because Warren Leight is very good at writing characters, because he's a playwright, and his writers, they write very good, character driven scripts. What's nice for us as actors in doing that is that we have the last 6 years to fall back on. Our fanbase knows exactly what we've been working towards and what we've said about us as characters. We can play with that now, we have a lot of... as the character of Goren there's a lot of substance because of the last 6 years.

This show has the least interactions with the District Attorneys, I was just wondering what you guys thought about that?

Vincent D'Onofrio: Sometimes I miss going into Courtney's (Courtney B. Vance; District Attorney Ron Carver) office. It was fun. We actually had some of those last scenes in that office. I miss that a bit but with Eric Bogosian and the other characters playing to more character driven stuff, we don't really need the district attorney's office anymore. Eric is procedural with his captain stuff he's also kind of a referee sometimes. When he's dealing with the two of us. It's working without that.

Kathryn Erbe: We miss Courtney a lot.

Has the second team with Chris made a difference with your energy level?

Vincent D'Onofrio: Oh yes, yes.

Kathryn Erbe: That was killing us. We couldn't have gone on the way we were. This makes it possible to go out and then have somebody to bring back, instead of just being used up. We have a lot more enthusiasm. We're a lot happier to be there when we are there because we know that our lives are not suffering when we're not able to be at home.

Do you guys talk and compare notes?

Kathryn Erbe: We try and talk a lot.

How does it work when you work with the writers because you've been playing the characters so long? Have fans ever sent you notes in that way?

Vincent D'Onofrio: Actually, we haven't had any of that but there are certain people that read the blogs. They have so much to say on those blogs that we could never ever keep up with them or what they want, or the mistakes that we've made, or anything like that. I don't think we make a conscious effort to correct things that people have said that we've done wrong. I'm surprised that the writers know as much as they do about my character. On occasion it happens but it's very, very rare.

You say you guys work independently but what do you think that your characters think of Mike Logan (Christopher Noth)?

Vincent D'Onofrio: I don't know what to say about that.

Kathryn Erbe: I don't either.

Vincent D'Onofrio: If you want to talk about particular episodes. I think in the stories that we have done with him, I think our characters think he's a little fast to bite. He's a little bit of a rabid dog and that's not the way that we usually do things.

Kathryn Erbe: He has a different technique.

Does the introduction of a new character, like the one Eric Bogosian plays, effect the dynamic of the show?

Vincent D'Onofrio: Yeah.

Kathryn Erbe: Yeah.

Vincent D'Onofrio: First of all we lost a main character, Courtney. Just the amount of characters that are serviced in the writing. It makes the show different. It's a minimal amount of characters now that just makes the writing different. What Eric brings to being the Captain is a completely different vibe than Jamey (Sheridan; Captain James Deakins). It's a completely different style of acting. Now with all this character driven stuff that Warren Leight's writing for it, Eric's character is very relevant in the refereeing of the two characters.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent airs October 4 at 10:00 p.m. on USA.

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