Nick Creegan on his role in ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ and leaving a journalism career to pursue acting

nick creegan 2
Nick Creegan
Photo: Nathan Johnson

A New York City man is joining the cast of the latest installment in the “Law & Order” universe, “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

Nick Creegan didn’t always have his sights set on an acting career. Born and raised in White Plains, New York, the actor went to school for journalism, but did some acting on the side.

“In college, my extracurricular activities were half about journalism, I was interviewing people at school and doing extracurricular TV shows for the school network but also doing acting in the theater department,” said Creegan. “I really loved acting, I just didn’t see it as a viable career path.”

After college, Creegan built a full-fledged career in sports journalism. He worked for Fox News before he became the host of AOL’s “ 2 Point Lead,” an original sports-comedy series. He has interviewed sports greats such as Derek Jeter and Alonzo Mourning, and gained notoriety for his viral sketch where he played Stephen Curry. 

“Once I got that bug again with the acting from work, I decided to just create my own videos and create sketches and skits on Instagram,” said Creegan. “One of them happened to go extremely viral. It was me, using a Jamaican accent explaining the amount of gravy a woman at a restaurant gave me.”

That particular clip managed to catch the attention of Oprah Winfrey’s team on the show “David Makes Man.” The casting team reached out to Creegan to offer him a recurring role on the show.

“After that, I pretty much was like, you know what, I’m not going to get lucky again with just having a role basically handed to me because of a video I made. Let me really take this seriously, quit my full-time job and just go ahead and do this thing,” said Creegan.

Though Creegan was initially wary of taking the leap and leaving his career behind, there were certain forces in the universe that allowed him to do so.

“What really got me out of the full-time work workforce is my team did a downsizing at the creative agency that I was at, and right before my boss at the time left, she said ‘Nick, you’re not going to be able to juggle a full-time job and then act, I think you should really decide to take the leap,'” said Creegan. “I was afraid to take the leap, and then I got laid off. Once I got laid off I decided to use that as a sign to never apply for a corporate job ever again.”

Creegan’s latest venture has him stepping into the expansive “Law & Order” universe in “Law & Order: Organized Crime.” The show stars Christopher Meloni, who is reprising his role as “Law & Order: SVU” favorite Elliot Stabler, and Dylan McDermott as new character Richard Wheatley. In this “SVU” spin-off, Stabler returns to the NYPD on the Organized Crime task force after 10 years off of the force following a personal tragedy and finds that a lot has changed since he left. 

Creegan plays Richie in the new show. Creegan was called to audition for the role in December 2020.

“I was actually headed to Peru for New Year’s when I got the call. My girlfriend and I were in Peru and we had filmed this in the hotel room, we didn’t even have a tripod with us,” said Creegan. “This was one of the most struggling auditions I’ve ever done because we had to use a cellphone charging cord and wrap it around the phone and attach it to a lamp in the hotel room, and film me like that. It was completely unorthodox.”

Creegan learned that he landed the role after he returned to New York and hit the ground running for filming in January 2021. This is the first network job that Creegan has worked in a post-pandemic New York — in September 2020 Creegan co-created an independent film called “A Balcony in Brooklyn,” which takes a dystopian look at New York City’s underground culture in the height of quarantine through the eyes of two roommates. The film is available to watch on Vimeo. 

“It’s been interesting. I’m so used to being able to freely communicate with everybody, walk around and meet people, go back and forth to food services. Everything now is very structured. You get used to it after a while,” said Creegan. “But I’m hoping that after a while we can go back to the comradery and regular life of being on set. The best part about being on set sometimes is the fact that you get to build relationships with cast and crew and it’s kind of hard to do that when everyone has a mask and social distancing. But I’m happy that we can create a project and be working right now.”

Creegan says that what sets “Organized Crime” apart from other “Law & Order” shows is that viewers will see more storylines compared to past shows where each episode can stand alone as a story, and he’s excited for everyone to get to see the show.

“Usually with the ‘SVU’ you see the focus is all on the police force and detectives and every other character is pretty much a one-off character, each episode is completely separate,” said Creegan. “They’re introducing this show very differently because they are introducing a wide range of characters. You’ll be able to follow a storyline more closely with organized crime as opposed to just following the storylines of the usual cast from ‘SVU.'”

“Law & Order: Organized Crime” premieres on NBC at 10 p.m. on April 1. Stay up to date on Creegan’s latest projects by following him @nickcreegan on Twitter and Instagram.