Can you believe that Law & Order: SVU premiered 20 years ago today?! And Detective Olivia Benson is a new mom who still looks like she kicks some serious a**.
Mariska Hargitay has spent two decades of her life playing Detective Benson. In fact, she’s made the role so famous, most people can barely differentiate her from the character. On playing Olivia for 16 years now, the gorgeous 50-year-old told James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio:
“I love her more now than ever…I love her because I am challenged by her,” Hargitay said. “I never know what’s going to happen. She surprises me. This character has evolved, which is the most exciting part of it. I feel in many ways she’s a new character because she’s gone through so much that has truly transformed her.”
Mariska has made Benson so ubiquitous, that even the hood loves her.
It’s very rare that we get to see Mariska as herself aside from her Benson persona, but she’s a mom, wife, and philanthropist – as well as a badass on-screen cop. Check out our gallery of Mariska Hargitay being all of the above, below.