East Ender Mariska Hargitay has been doing press for her latest project, Emanuel. The star, known for her record-breaking role as Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, produced the documentary, which tells the story of the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC that took the lives of nine people.
In an interview with Today, Hargitay spoke to Jenna Bush Hager and Savannah Guthrie about the project. “My heart was pierced into a million tiny pieces,” she said about the project. “I was left with so much hope. This is a movie, to me, about grace and a community that suffered some of the worst that people can do to each other. And the hate was met with some of the best that humanity can do for each other. I was utterly blown away…it’s an extremely healing movie.”
An emotional Hargitay emphasized the importance of the film’s message of hope and not giving up on a more peaceful world. “What I don’t want is for us is to get anesthetized,” she said emotionally. “How do we show people we love them and show them we care? We sit in it with them.”
Emanuel is directed by Brian Ivie and will have a limited theatrical release on June 17 and 19. Producers’ proceeds from the film will go to the victims’ families and the survivors. For more on Emanuel, visit emanuelmovie.com.