‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Named Her Most Difficult Scenes Both Emotionally and Physically

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Since the hit NBC detective drama Law & Order: SVU premiered in 1999, Mariska Hargitay’s character Olivia Benson has been facing some intensely scary and heartbreaking moments.

From the jump, those involved in the hit series knew they were facing some challenges.

During a 2018 interview with TV Insider, SVU’s Mariska Hargitay shares some of the most difficult scenes she has encountered playing Olivia Benson during Law & Order: SVU’s successful run on NBC.

“The show is about the worst things people do to each other in the darkest part of humanity,” Mariska Hargitay says of the series. “Which means many stories are difficult.”

The Law & Order: SVU actress notes that one of the most difficult storylines she has encountered during her time portraying Olvia Benson on the series came during the show’s fifteenth season. This is when Hargitay’s Benson was kidnapped by a violent rapist and killer named William Lewis.

“The William Lewis arc [in Season 15] was the most taxing,” Mariska Hargitay says of the storyline she remembers to be the most physically challenging during her time on SVU.

“It was gut-wrenching to shoot,” the star continues.

“But it was a treat to work with Pablo Schreiber,” the Law & Order: SVU actress adds of the actor who portrayed William Lewis in the frightening story arc.

“I trusted him,” Hargitay says. “So I was able to go there.”

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Takes On Some Majorly Emotional Topics

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) centers around topics related to “sexually-based offenses.”

The topics are often dark, with the SVU detectives delving into some unforgettably dark cases every week.

However, there was something about the series that drew fans in almost immediately. Eventually leading the series to become one of the most successful and long-running dramas on television.

This is good news, for the series, no doubt.

However, the dark nature behind Law & Order: SVU has created some difficult moments for the cast members. And, notes Mariska Hargitay, some of these moments can become incredibley challenging to film.

Working For The Most Vulnerable Victims

Of course, the members of the SVU investigate offenses that center around sex crimes, as well as related abuse cases. This means that most weeks’s the cast faces cases that are entirely emotionally draining for the SVU players.

And, Hargitay notes, the emotional difficulty becomes even more prevalent when they face a storyline on Law & Order: SVU that involves the youngest victims.

“When a child suffers — those hit us hardest,” says Hargitay.