Mariska Hargitay Reflects On ‘The Gift’ Of Her 25 Years On ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - 2024

Even after 25 years of working on Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay still has to check herself now and then.

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself because the life I live as an actor has surpassed my wildest dreams,” she admitted recently, speaking during a For Your Consideration discussion.

Hargitay, in a room full of ardent SVU fans, was in conversation with Emmy-winning actor Bradley Whitford, an actor who recently appeared on an episode of the series, directed by Hargitay, entitled “King of the Moon.”

About that particular experience Hargitay called the helming the episode, “one of the greatest experiences of my career.” She said Whitford’s performance was genius, and “he made me look so good.”

The two clearly enjoy each other’s company as they laughed, along with the audience, quite a bit during the event.

Whitford remarked that this level of levity wasn’t unlike being on the SVU set, which he said was a fun place, despite the dark subject matter.

Hargitay agreed, adding that, “because the subject matter is so dark and relentless and we are so immersed it, year after year telling story after story with material that so important, all of the cast members have this incredible and beautiful sense of humor. We have to laugh and get it out. [Then we] reset and jump back into the work.”

As she’s spoken about on several occasions, upon getting the role of Olivia Benson, Hargitay was shocked to learn about the statistics that show the prevalence of sexual assault, and about getting fan letters that, rather than simply asking for a photo, contained individual’s disclosures about their own personal, often violent, experiences.

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