Known for his role as Noah Benson, the young actor told Parade what it's like working with Mariska Hargitay, Chris Meloni, and Ice-T.
Ryan Buggle, the actor who portrays Law & Order: SVU's Noah Porter Benson, is only getting started when it comes to his big career on screen, but so far, it's been so good.
Paradespoke with the actor shortly after the Season 24 midseason premiere, and he gave us the low-down on his relationships with his co-stars, including his TV mom Mariska Hargitay, whom he referred to as his "second mother," and how it feels to work alongside such revered talent at such a young age.
Buggle, who joined the show in 2017 and only recently turned 13, described rather idyllic conditions on set, where he's been able to form a close bond with his cast mates in an inspiring environment as he learns from some of the best in the showbiz.
"[The] Law and Order [cast] is basically my family because I've been on there for half of my life," Buggle said fondly, later recalling the bittersweet sadness he felt after Kelli Giddish announced her departure and gushing about an iconic scene he filmed with Ice-T that had the two driving around in a cop car: "He's the chillest dude ever."
Chris Meloni earned an honorable shoutout as well for "being the funniest and sweetest," making Buggle laugh through some of the series' most difficult scenes, "We'll be filming, and Chris will just be doing splits out of nowhere," he giggled.
Buggle, who happens to be close in age with Hargitay and Peter Hermann's children, also revealed he regularly has sleepovers at his co-star's house, "We [Buggle and Hargitay's children] hangout all the time, she's basically like my second mom."
But the fame hasn't gone to his head, not yet, anyway, "I still pinch myself knowing that I work with all those people."
That work, he explains, despite being a lot of fun, still requires an immense amount of effort on his part, "It takes a lot, a lot, of practice," Buggle explained.
Part of that practice came from Buggle's previous experience dancing on stage in the 2017 edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular alongside the Radio City Rockettes.
Expressing excitement at the idea of being able to "bring something new to the stage" during a live show and performing "like your first night [every night]," he also shared an immeasurable amount of gratitude for his experience with scripted entertainment, like his role on the beloved crime procedural, explaining it taught him how to hone his skills and adding that acting alongside award-winning talent has gotten easier over time.
But it wouldn't be possible without the direction from his famed co-stars, who make themselves available to guide the actor through challenges and help steer him towards further growth.
"Mariska has given me some really good advice; she always says, 'always act because you love it and don't be fake with it–just pretend like it's your real life, that [whoever you're portraying] is yourself.'"
The 'real life' role he plays is also an important one. Reflecting on the history he's made portraying the youngest LGBTQIA+ character inLaw & Order history, he was adamant that no one should be afraid to be themselves, and that's why he believes Noah wasn't scared to tell his mom he's bi, "but he was nervous [to admit to] the bullying."