‘FBI’: Missy Peregrym Partially Credits Mariska Hargitay for Reason Why She Took Role of Bell

by Leanne Stahulak

“FBI” star Missy Peregrym took on the role of Special Agent Maggie Bell because she hoped to inspire people like Mariska Hargitay.

Peregrym recognized the impact that a show like “Law & Order: SVU” had on audiences, Peregrym told Variety back in 2018. Hargitay’s character on “SVU,” Olivia Benson, is both badass and compassionate with the victims in the cases she deals with. Peregrym saw a similar opportunity to impact audiences by taking on the lead role in “FBI.”

“I had put myself out there for other things, but there wasn’t anything I was as excited about. The reason why I was excited about this was it’s no different than “Law & Order: SVU” in that the impact that show has had outside of the show is remarkable,” Peregrym told Variety.

“And I’m really impressed with what Mariska [Hargitay] has made of that. If we can do something that really impacts people for the greater good with the show and outside of that, there’s nothing else I would rather be a part of,” the “FBI” star said.

Originally, Peregrym was reluctant to take on another role in a police procedural. She’d just spent five years portraying an officer on “Rookie Blue” and felt exhausted from it, emotionally and mentally.

“I had to have a break after that show and just literally purge and heal my body from going through all of those intense emotions. I said I’d never do a procedural again, but I’m doing the most intense procedural — a Dick Wolf procedural,” Peregrym said.

She even stopped watching the news for two whole years in between “Rookie Blue” and “FBI.” Coincidentally, during that time Peregrym also guest-starred on “Law & Order: SVU” with Hargitay.

“I just kind of cut everything off. I was taking care of myself. But at the same time, it doesn’t feel good to put your head in the sand,” Peregrym said.

How Missy Peregrym Handled Being a Leader on the Set of ‘FBI’

During her talk with Variety a few years ago, “FBI” star Missy Peregrym talked about the precedent she wanted to set as the show’s lead.

“It’s always very important to me that people feel safe to be vulnerable — that actors who are coming in, guest stars and everybody, that they’re in a place that they can really try new things and they don’t have to nail it right away,” Peregrym shared.

“The hardest part I think about being a guest star is you feel this pressure. Because you come in for two seconds. And it’s so fast the way you film,” the “FBI” star continued. “But there has to be room to be a human being. I know that it’s work, but there needs to be room to have a difficult time, to be tired. And we all come around each other and support each other in that time. What really matters to me is the heart of the person and how the person is doing.”

Peregrym’s strategy seems to have worked so far. The show’s in the middle of its fourth season and is doing well by all accounts.