Ice-T and Coco on baby Chanel: What they're going to 'steer her away from' as she gets older
Ice-T has been a staple on "Law & Order: SVU" for 18 years.
The rapper started playing Odafin "Fin" Tutuola back in 2000, and he says that he plans on continuing his run at least until the show breaks the record for longest-running "Law & Order" off-shoot. That would mean at least three more seasons on the beloved show, which has 18 seasons under its belt -- two less than the original series.
Since the celebrated actor, 59, joined "SVU," he's had a handful of milestone moments. In Jan. 2002, he married Coco Austin, whom he starred on a highly-rated reality show with before welcoming daughter Chanel in Nov. 2015. Since then, the charismatic -- and fashionable! -- baby girl has stolen the hearts of Ice-T and Coco's fans, routinely rocking matching ensembles with her similarly stylish mother.
When I caught up with the couple at TGI Fridays recently, Ice-T was reflective about his time on "SVU," and both he and Coco lit up when the conversation turned to their adorable one year old. Check out my full conversation with the couple below, where we talk about Chanel's New York Fashion Week debut, Ice-T's partnership with TGI Fridays and the evolution of "Law & Order: SVU."
See photos of Ice-T and Coco:
How did you get partnered with TGI Fridays?
Ice-T: I got a phone call and they said "TGI Fridays wants you to come through and help to promote something." I was like, "I've been eating at TGI Fridays my whole life!" It's funny for me because nowadays if I tell somebody I'm at, like, IHOP, and they go, "You eat at IHOP?" And I'm like, "Come on, man! Everybody eats everywhere!" And TGI Fridays is a mainstay in that same way. There's this new thing everywhere called tapas, but they've been doing those here for forever.
They have all the appetizers you want, you can get a drink and they have nice environment. Something about Fridays is that you know what it is and how they're going to treat you. All TGI Fridays are very similar. If you just walk into any bar, you don't know what you might be walking into. But this is always cool, and they've got a nice vibe, so it was a no-brainer for me. It's hard to get me to promote stuff if I don't f-ck with it.
Tell to me about the permanent return of Endless Apps.
Ice-T: Well, you used to have to come on a certain day to get Endless Apps, but now they're making [them available every day]. With somebody like me, that's like the smorgasbord -- all you can eat! This is a good look, and I think it's going to draw a lot of people here. Nowadays people really want a bang for their buck. As much as we try to put on a face that everything is going well, money is definitely tight and a bargain is a bargain, you know?
There's a meet and greet at this event, too. What do fans say when they come up to you?
Ice-T: The cool thing about me is that I've been around for so damn long. [Laughs] I've done so many different things.
Exactly! So I'm curious what people point out when they talk to you.
Ice-T: You never know! The most conservative person could be a Body Count fan, and the craziest person could be an "SVU" fan. You just never know. I don't have a problem if you don't like everything I do. I just roll with it, but I'm at a point now in my career where the people that do like me, like me. I've gone past that period where people are like, "Well, I don't know about him." That's pretty cool, and I'm always interested to see what particular kind of fan I'm meeting at the time.
You grew up in New Jersey, moved to California, and now you're back. You also get to film "Law & Order: SVU" in New York. How special is it for you to be able to work essentially in your own backyard?
Ice-T: The East Coast is interesting. It's intimidating to people when they first get here, but you either love it or you hate it. Now, Coco's sister is with us, and she's from Arizona. Her mother is also from Arizona. Now, in Arizona her mother stays in the house, but when she gets to New York she's like, "I love New York!" You would think, "Wait, you're kind of a homebody..." But in New York, you get real energy; it's not fake energy.
Sometimes you go to a small town, and when you go downtown it's like, "Really? This is it?" No, New York is an amazing place. I've been all over the world, and there's nowhere like it. The closest thing I've ever seen to it is Tokyo, but I don't speak the language. New York is special.
And you get to work here!
Ice-T: Especially being an actor, you can get stuck in some weird place. I shot a movie once in Wenatchee, Wash. When I was getting on the plane I said, "Do you guys have a mall?" And they said, "We've got JCPenney!" And I was like, "Oh, sh-t." So, the beautiful thing about being here is that when you're off, you're in New York!
And you were recently involved in a quintessential New York event: New York Fashion Week.
Ice-T: Well, the fashion show was about Chanel!
Coco: They asked her to do it! We were secondary. They were like, "Can she do it?" And I was like, "She can't even walk yet!" How is she getting a fashion show when she can't even walk yet? Nike told us they'd hook her up for the rest of her life, though. [Laughs]
Ice-T: The particular show was the Jordan Kids show. We were her assistants! [Laughs] We were her handlers.
Coco: If you notice in the pictures when she first came out, she was waving to the crowd. She actually waved! She had a unit on the whole time, and she didn't smile. She was like, "I'm over this!"
Ice-T: She was kind of overwhelmed. We were backstage, and she didn't know what she was about to do. But, you know, Chanel is interesting. It will be funny when she can actually walk.
Do you guys notice certain personality traits coming out in her?
Ice-T: She's a funny kid.
Coco: Yeah, she's a total clown, and she already likes to make people laugh.
So, does she take after you two?
Coco: It's weird, because she has a different personality when she tries to act like me and then she totally has a different personality when she acts like Dad.
Ice-T: She wanted to come today! But, you know, there's liquor here. [Laughs] She brings out the best in everybody, as babies do. She has a good energy. Everybody likes her!
Coco: It's really cute. She has my upbeat, happy personality and then her unit face with Dad.
Would you let her continue to do things like New York Fashion Week as she gets older?
Coco: Oh, yeah.
Ice-T: Definitely. I would steer her away from entertainment as a career because it's so high-risk. You gotta pay the bills, but I think she'll be an artist of some form. I mean, come on: Look who she's around!
You're been on "SVU" for almost 18 years. How have you watched the show evolve?
Ice-T: I don't know. They just move us around, and it's a show that's based on real stuff. We have victims that actually live. It's one of the few shows that serves as entertainment and therapy to people at the same time. I'm fortunate to be on a show that's almost 19 seasons in. The record is 20, so we're trying to get to 21.
Coco: You're going to do it!
What's it like watching him do this for so long? It must be pretty special.
Coco: The years went by so fast. When you say it's been 18 years, I'm like, "Wow! I remember us just getting together." And we've been together 16 years, so that's really crazy.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
More from AOL.com:
'Scandal' star George Newbern on filming those torture scenes and his favorite memory from the 'Father of the Bride' set
'Summer House' star Cristina Gibson: 'Lindsay and I are really not on great terms'
Julianne Hough on planning a tour with brother Derek: 'It's the most stressful thing I've ever done'