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Black s gritty new role
Pippa Black. Picture: Supplied.

Pippa Black had reservations about portraying a high-class call girl on the gritty US crime series, Law & Order: SVU.

The 29-year-old actress – who played Ramsay Street bad girl Elle Robinson on Ten's soapie series Neighbours – told The West Australian that it took a thorough read-through of the script before she accepted the juicy role.

"I thought, 'Oh my god, I'm going to have to be naked and on a stripper pole,' but my manager said it was a really great role and that I should have a look," she explained.

"So I was sitting there trying to scroll through the episode (script), and my god it was such a page turner. I loved the character, it was such a strong story of who-done-it."

Just two days after agreeing to take on the part, Black – who has resided in LA since 2010 – flew to New York to begin filming.

"I love New York," she said. "Spending two weeks there was great. We were filming New York stories on New York streets, so it felt very real."

In the episode – to air Thursday – Black taps into her saucy side as call girl Carissa Gisbon, who attempts to seduce detective Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) during his investigation of a 16-year-old girl's grisly murder.

"I guess the thing that sticks out to me is that last scene where I'm with (detective) Nick, it was the first time he sees her scared," Black said. "When she's around him she's always seductive or very in control of herself but at this point she's almost helpless."

But what initially lured Black to the US was the offer to play the leading role of Tonya in the NBC series Outsourced, which followed a lone American manager in charge of a telemarketing team based in an Indian call centre.

The show ran for a full season, but unfortunately for Black it was not renewed for a second.

"We just didn't get picked up for a second series which was unfortunate, but it was the most fun I've ever had," she said. "We had a great cast. It was a really really great experience. It was so much fun and it was my first time living here permanently."

But success looks set to continue for the Melbourne-born actress, who earlier this year landed her first lead film role in a US romcom called My Funny Valentine, starring alongside English actor Tom Payne.

"Basically its boy meets girl, they become friends, he falls in love, and at the end of the day she doesn't feel love for him, she only wants friendship with him," Black explained. "It's a really cute little rom-com, I'm looking forward to it coming out."

Filming for the Indie flick unfolded on the streets of LA and wrapped in January.

A release date will be announced later this year.

Law & Order: SVU airs 9.30pm on Thursday on Ten.