‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Reflects on a Stunt That Went Wrong

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Back in 2008, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay’s career almost came to an end when a stunt went horribly wrong.

As Olivia Benson, Hargitay has had to portray a fearless detective that often finds herself in dangerous situations. But most of the time, the Law & Order: SVU isn’t in any real trouble herself. Like most sets, the SVU set takes careful precautions to ensure its actors are safe while performing stunts. Unfortunately, for Hargitay, though, one stunt landed her in the hospital.

“I jumped and landed on pads, but on the second take something happened. I just landed wrong,” Mariska explained to Redbook, per Express.

She continued, “I got up and felt that something inside was not quite right. At first, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry with myself.”

Ever dedicated to her job, the Law & Order: SVU star didn’t want to miss any days of shooting, so she ignored the injury for three months before the pain got worse. It wasn’t until Hargitay started experiencing chest pains while taking a walk on the beach that she finally took action. Following an X-ray, she found out that her lung was 50 percent collapsed. She would need surgery to repair the injury.

“I began to panic. I was so scared,” Hargitay recalled.

At first, though, Hargitay hoped to avoid going under the knife.

“I had a procedure hoping to stave off more serious surgery, but it didn’t work, and I ended up in surgery about two weeks later.”

Thankfully, the Law & Order: SVU star has since made a full recovery, and she continues to perform some of her own stunts.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Sustains Another Serious Injury

More recently, the Law & Order: SVU star found herself back in the hospital for several leg injuries. This time, though, the incident happened off-set.

Following a celebrity screening of Black Widow, Hargitay rushed out into the rain to get home for an after-party she was hosting. But then one bad slip on the slick ground ended in a broken knee on one leg and a hairline fracture and torn ligament in her ankle on the other. According to the Law & Order: SVU star’s husband, Hargitay spent several hours receiving medical treatment that night.

And for several weeks afterward, she had to keep her right leg in a cast, then a boot, to help her recover. The injury even made an appearance in the Season 23 premiere. Thankfully, throughout her recovery, Hargitay remained in high spirits with a healthy sense of humor.