Hamptonite Mariska Hargitay joined Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) cast mates Ice-T, Peter Gallagher and Kelli Giddish on location in Manhattan this weekend as shooting commenced for the historic 21st season of the scripted crime drama.
Eclipsing the original Law & Order franchise, which ran for 20 seasons, SVU will become the longest running live-action primetime television series of all time. Hargitay is the sole remaining original cast member and has starred in all 458 episodes since the spinoff premiered in 1999.
In addition to her acting work as leader of the elite squad of dedicated detectives who investigate vicious sex crimes, Hargitay has also worked as a director on six occasions, and executive producer of the show since 2016.
Hargitay, whose character Olivia Benson will become the longest running character in primetime television history, has recently told People magazine that despite playing the role for over two decades she still feels “inspired and excited” about making the show.
“It is so challenging to me. People think, okay, you’ve done it. And yes, there are scenes where I’m like, ‘I’ve done this scene. I’ve done this scene 5,000 times and I can do it in my sleep and in Chinese.’ And then there’s something else, or another moment where I go, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ And I get so happy of how nervous I am,” Hargitay told People. She also remarked that learning new skills on set also keeps her interested and energized. “I’m learning how to direct, I’m learning how to executive produce, I’m learning how to produce-produce,” the Emmy winning actress added.
Season 21 of Law and Order: SVU will premiere on NBC this fall, at 10 p.m. on Thursday, September 26.