Mariska Hargitay on 25 Years on ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Mariska Hargitay talks about being “on a show that makes people feel less alone”

Mariska Hargitay on playing Olivia Benson for 25 years

Mariska Hargitay seemed pretty proud while being honoured for playing the role of detective on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for twenty five years at her Anniversary Tribute honour at Tuesday’s inaugural Gotham TV Awards.

The actress has appeared in 550 episodes over 25 seasons of the series, more than any other TV star.

“The biggest thing for me to take in right now is that I get to work every day on a show that makes people feel less alone,” she said in an emotional speech at the gala held at New York’s Cipriani 25 Broadway.

“That’s one of the most devastating effects on sexual assault and domestic violence is the isolation. Perpetrators depend on actual, literal isolation to commit their crimes and to leave victims with the trauma of deep, psychological isolation.”

Hargitay also bragged about setting a record appearing for 25 years as Olivia Benson on the show, for 550 episodes.

“That is a high bar, people!” she quipped. “After 20, you’re like, ‘Twenty years?! Who gives a s–t? Law & Order did that. Gunsmoke did that. Call us when you get to 25.’ Well, here I am, baby!”

“I cannot tell you how gratifying it is, how important it is, that Law & Order: SVU, the longest-running scripted drama in television history, is a show that tells women’s stories,” she said.

“It’s a show that tells survivors stories. It tells the stories of survivors all along the spectrum of gender identity.”

She also shared her feelings about her character, saying, “I love that she’s equal parts outrage and compassion and strength and vulnerability.”

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