Meet Ryan Buggle, the 13-year-old Law and Order SVU star paving the way for young LGBTQ+ characters

We sat down with Law and Order: SVU star Ryan Buggle to talk about all things acting, LBGTQ+ characters and dream roles.

Photo of actor Ryan Buggle, wearing a pink checkered sweatshirt and looking at the camera while walking.
Image: Elizabeth Percy Photography

Ryan Buggle has been in front of a camera ever since he was three years old. He made his start in the industry starring in a Toys R Us commercial and was immediately bitten by the acting bug.

All he remembers from that time is wanting to go out for more and more auditions. Those auditions eventually became roles starring in some of television’s most beloved shows. These include Master of None, Person of Interest, Sneaky Pete and Saturday Night Live.

His latest role, one which he has played since he was seven years old, has attracted critical acclaim across the globe. He stars as Noah Benson, son of the legendary Olivia Benson in NBC’s Law and Order: SVU.

The midseason premiere of the show’s 24th season saw Ryan’s biggest scene yet. In an emotional interaction with his mom, Noah revealed that his bully, Hudson, was targeting kids that are members of the LGBTQ+ community. In an act of solidarity and bravery, Noah revealed that he is bisexual.

Noah’s coming out scene has been praised for its representation of LGBTQ+ youth on screen and its heartwarming depiction of a parent’s support of their child.

It was such a joy getting to chat with Ryan. He is extraordinarily talented and his passion for all things acting, dancing and movies is truly infectious. So without further ado, let’s jump into our interview with Ryan Buggle!

How did you get into acting and what’s your favourite part about it?

When I was a baby, I was really outgoing. I started out in a Toys R Us commercial. I love the lights, taking pictures, the camera… and the unlimited amount of snacks!

Do you have any favourite movies or television shows that have helped you with your acting?

The other day I watched a movie called The Maze Runner. It’s such a good movie. You should definitely watch it!

So you’re on Law and Order: SVU, which is one of the longest-running shows if I’m correct?

It’s the longest-running drama show. I could be wrong, but I think Family Guy is 35 seasons long.

What’s it like being on such a beloved show?

It’s just so amazing because since I’ve been a part of Law and Order: SVU for so long, they’re all my family and I have created so many friends there.

An image of Law and Order: SVU star, Ryan Buggle

I read that you asked the writers to incorporate your love of dance into the show. When did you start dancing?

When I was five, I did an all-boys hip-hop class and when I was done with that class, I saw a ballet class and said “Woah that’s so cool!”. I tried out for it and loved it so I’ve been doing it ever since.

How did the writers approach you about Noah’s coming out storyline?

Mariska Hargitay (the iconic Olivia Benson) and I talked about it a lot before making sure I was okay with doing this role and I was just so honoured to get to tell Noah’s story. I’m so proud of him for being so brave. I really loved how comfortable he was telling his mom. I think everybody should be that comfortable.

Was there any specific kind of preparation that you did before exploring this storyline?

My parents and my family are really accepting and I bring a lot of my life into Noah so I just thought about my family and that’s how I prepared.

What do you hope to see more of in Noah going forward?

Well, I would like for him to be a leader like his mom. I don’t think he wants to be in the cop industry, I think he wants to dance and help out with charities etc.

Your best friend got to come on the show and play your brother, what was that like?

His name is Tre Rider and he’s definitely my best friend. He was in Radio City and The Inheritance with me where we both played the same character. We always dreamed to be brothers on a show and it was just so amazing to get to work with him.

You made your Broadway debut in The Inheritance, tell me about that. That was pre-pandemic, right?

Yes! It shut down right before the final two performances which is pretty sad but, I’m so happy that theatres are open again!

Have you any plans to go back to Broadway?

I love Broadway. I love the lights, the live audience etc. It’s such a magical experience. I would definitely want to go back!

Do you prefer being on stage or on screen? How different are they both from one another?

Well, they’re both pretty different but also the same because you get to tell a big story. The main difference would probably be the live audience.

Apart from Spider-Man, have you any other dream roles you’d love to do in your career as you grow up?

I’d love to be in a horror/drama. I really love those kinds of movies! I think I’m a pretty fun person. 

So if you were to be in a horror movie, would you like to be the person scaring people?

Have you seen IT before? I’d like to be one of the kids that are trying to solve the mystery!

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Ryan Buggle! Be sure to follow along with all of his adventures here.

© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.