‘Law & Order: SVU’: How Mariska Hargitay Went Through ‘Mental Gymnastics’ When Christopher Meloni Left Show

by Jacklyn Krol

Law & Order: SVU changed after Christopher Meloni left the show. Nobody knew this better than Mariska Hargitay.

Hargitay admitted that she was “devastated” to lose him after starting this journey together. They spent so much time working together and becoming a part of one another’s families. In an interview with People, Hargitay explained how his departure affected her.

“It felt like we built this thing together and we went through so many milestones together. and spent so much time together and understood so many things that nobody else could understand,” she said.

“I had so much mental gymnastics and sort of are invention to do in my own mind which of course turned out to be a gift as any sort of growth is. But I was scared.”

She said that the constant reminders of her former co-star were hard to deal with. She soon realized that she was off on new adventures and wanted to tell these stories.

Meloni added that he understood the pain and abandonment feelings but they kept in touch out of work. He said that she found her own way to make the show her own and carried on.

The pair were on the cover of the magazine because of their reunion after Meloni decided to return to the Law & Order franchise.

“I think that it is such a testament to the power and uniqueness of the unicorn that is Chris because in television, when somebody leaves, obviously there’s a grieving period. But, the fans never moved on and I think that is just so incredibly beautiful and so incredibly powerful and it was so meaningful to me …” Hargitay said.

Mariska’s Odd Jobs Before ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Prior to her role on Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay had a series of unusual jobs.

From a 2013 Law & Order: SVU  YouTube Q&A, Hargitay shared some of the more unique jobs she held before making it into television as an actor.

“They were all odd jobs. I worked so many places,” she revealed. “I worked at Book Soup for a long time, which is a book store in my hometown.”

After her stint working at a book store, she went into the restaurant business. She worked at two places in Westwood called Chart House and Bon Appetit as a hostess and waitress.

Hargitay also worked for elderly people. She would check in on them and administer their medication. She said that it was extremely fulfilling and that she even formed relationships with her patients.

Her final two jobs? Wrapping presents, though she didn’t specify what her job title was and a cashier.