Scripps News Life

‘SVU’ star Mariska Hargitay helps lost child who thought she was real cop

Mariska Hargitay, in costume, halts ‘SVU’ filming to help lost child
Posted at 1:27 PM, Apr 18, 2024

Fans of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” may know that Captain Olivia Benson has always had a soft spot for children. Across the long-running procedural’s 25 seasons, Captain Benson has treated the children who cross her path with warmth and empathy that even resulted in her becoming the court-appointed custodial guardian of orphaned baby Noah Porter, whom she later formally adopted.

Turns out, art imitates life for Benson portrayer Mariska Hargitay, who’s played the beloved role for all 25 years of the show’s (ongoing!) run. While filming an upcoming episode in a New York City park on April 10, Hargitay — in character as Benson and wearing her police badge — was approached by a little girl who’d gotten separated from her mom and needed help.

The girl, missing the film crew and even Hargitay’s scene partner, Ice-T, mistook Hargitay for a real, on-duty police officer. But you don’t need to be a police officer — or even play one on TV — to help someone, and Hargitay did just that: helped. She halted production for 20 minutes to help the little girl find her mom, reuniting the pair and consoling them both.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 10: Mariska Hargitay is seen taking a break from filming 'Law and Order: SVU' help a child at the Fort Tryon Playground on April 10, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Back in January of this year when “SVU’s” 25th season premiered and the show became the longest-running drama series in TV history, Hargitay made history, herself, becoming the longest-running character on a prime-time drama series.

“We’ve been on a parallel journey,” she told People at the time of her relationship to her iconic character. “There’s a thing: WWOBD, ‘What would Olivia Benson do?’ The fans would always talk about it, and one day it hit me. I also have those moments where I’ve sort of slipped into her. If there’s a crisis, I just take over and lead like that.”

“Law & Order: SVU,” currently wrapping up season 25 and recently renewed for a record-smashing 26th, airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and is also available to stream on Hulu and Peacock.

‘SVU’ star Mariska Hargitay helps lost child who thought she was real cop originally appeared on