‘Law & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay To Be Honored With Major Humanitarian Award

by Chris Piner

Going beyond the screen, most actors and actresses use their star status to help create change in their communities. One celebrity who continues to use her career for good is Mariska Hargitay, best known for her role as Captain Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Back in 2004, the actress founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit that supports survivors of sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence. Just this year, the foundation launched EndtheBacklog.org, a web resource to help keep track of rape kit numbers and backlogs. With such a great deal of dedication, Hargitay will be honored with the 2022 Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award. 

First created back in 2017 by Alec Baldwin, the award, as mentioned above, goes far beyond what a star can do on the silver screen. The award is for those within the creative arts who support other forms of artistic expression including education. The celebration for Mariska Hargitay will take place at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October. 

Excited about honoring Mariska Hargitay for everything she accomplished on and off screen, HamptonsFilm Executive Director Anne Chaisson released a statement. “We are so thrilled to be able to honor Mariska Hargitay at this year’s anniversary. A role model for many across the globe for her acting career and her championing of causes around domestic violence, Mariska embodies everything the Dick Cavett Artistic Champion Award represents. She is also a huge supporter of local Hamptons causes and we are lucky to have her as part of our community.” 

Mariska Hargitay Shares Post About New Season Of Law & Order: SVU

With another season of Law & Order right around the corner, Mariska Hargitay posted numerous photos on her Instagram about the upcoming premiere. Of course, she shared a selfie with two of her costars, Peter Scanavino, who plays Ada Sonny Carisi, and Kelli Giddish, the actress behind Detective Amanda Rollins. She tagged the picture with “Three Musketeers.”

While fans anticipate the return of Mariska Hargitay and Peter Scanavino, Kelli Giddish recently spoke with Smashing Interviwws about how she first approached Law & Order: SVU. “I had a meeting with someone in the Dick Wolf Productions arena, and then they pulled me out to come screen test.” She continued, “I was living in Los Angeles at the time. I had just finished a show called Chase. It was on for a season, and I was the lead on that. It was such a great time, and I was figuring out what I wanted to do next.”

As a result, Giddish received a chance to test with Mariska Hargitay. “I got a call that Chris Meloni was leaving the show, and they were looking for maybe a male and a female to step in his shoes at Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I said, ‘Oh, that sounds pretty interesting.’ I’d lived in New York, and I loved New York, so I came out here to screen test.” She continued, “I did the screen test with Mariska with Dick Wolf watching. Now, 11 seasons later, I can’t believe I’ve been on the show for 11 years!”