‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Is ‘Feeling 500’ Ahead of Milestone Episode

by Jacklyn Krol
Jose Perez, Getty Images

Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay is ready to celebrate the 500th episode of the history-making series.

On Thursday, October 21, just hours before the episode premieres, Hargitay updated fans via Twitter. She shared an aerial video clip of her as Olivia Benson on the set of the show. “#Feeling500,” she captioned the post.

In an interview with Live With Kelly and Ryan to promote the upcoming episode. Believe it or not, she hasn’t watched it yet!

“They sent me the link so many times,” Hargitay admitted. “I was too nervous to watch it. I’ve been doing this show for so long and Olivia Benson is in me. But I think the idea of the 500th episode was so much pressure on me. I was so nervous every day coming to work. You know how it is, when you’re doing a show for so long, you’re in the grind. All I’m doing … it’s a marathon. I’m on a hamster wheel of lines, lines, lines, lines, lines. Cut, cut, cut, edit, cut. … It’s like making a film every week.”

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Blast From The Past

The 500th episode will see the return of a fan-favorite character. The episode will center around none other than Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino. Pino originally joined the show in Season 13 before preparing in Season 16 to be closer to his kids. The storyline will reveal to fans what Amaro has been doing. Amaro will also be bringing a cold case to Benson for her to solve.

Pino told TV Line how the opportunity came about. Law & Order: SVU director Noberto Barba reunited with I’m to work on Mayans M.C. He then brought up the opportunity to return one last time. The showrunner Warren Leight got to work to discuss where Pino believes his character is today. This marks six years after he left the squad. They wanted to make sure that they can tell a meaningful story for this historic episode.

“After having those conversations and getting a lot of backstory in terms of Amaro’s post-graduate discipline in genetics and forensic science and genealogy,” he said. “And studying a little bit about that, it was hammered out and we were able to figure out a way into showing the evolution of Nick Amaro.”

Pino believes that his character is in a “pretty positive place.” He revealed that he is married in a blended family living in California. Amaro has earned two degrees while away from SVU and is going for a doctorate. His mission in life is to “bring closure to families who have suffered horrific crimes.”

“In a lot of ways, I feel that he is in a place of strength and has something incredibly valuable to offer not only Benson but to law enforcement in general,” he concluded.