‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Is a Proud TV Mom, Celebrating Co-Star’s Tony Win

by John Jamison

At only 11 years old, the actor who plays Olivia Benson’s adopted son on “Law & Order: SVU” has already won himself Broadway’s highest award. Mariska Hargitay’s young co-star on the long-running procedural also stars in a play called The Inheritance. The production won the Tony for Best Play at the award ceremony last night. The Olivia Benson actor posted a video on Instagram in which she bragged about being a “mom” to such a talented TV son.

Fans will know Ryan Buggle as Noah Porter Benson. Buggle first appeared on the show in 2017, and his character had a challenging journey getting to where he is now. No one came to Noah’s aid following a case that Olivia Benson busted wide open. He had no parents to speak of and was placed in the foster care system as a result. He bounced around from home to home, none working out in his favor. Finally, Benson chose to raise him as her own.

But clearly, Olivia Benson actor Mariska Hargitay is fond of her TV son in real life too. The “Law & Order: SVU” star took Ryan Buggle’s Tony win as an opportunity to show him off to her fans.

“This is just nothing more than a proud mom (TV mom) and brag. I’m so proud of this kid, Ryan Buggle. His play won Best Play last night, for The Inheritance. How old are you?” Hargitay said in the video, arm around her young co-star. He’s 11 years old, Tony winner. No big deal, no big deal.”

Hargitay went on to say how fortunate she is to work alongside such a great kid. It certainly seems like he has a bright future ahead of him.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay Immediately Fell in Love With the Olivia Benson Role

Think back to 1999. That’s the year Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni first appeared on-screen for “Law & Order: SVU.” Not long before that, Hargitay first laid her eyes on the script for Dick Wolf’s follow-up procedural to the original “Law & Order.”

She knew instantly that the Olivia Benson character was hers. More than twenty years removed from that moment, here we are today, and Hargitay is still portraying the character on the same show.

“So, I read the script, and I was absolutely done. I didn’t know a lot about sexual assault or domestic violence back then, but I knew I’d never connected to a script more. I felt the part in my soul. When I went in to read for [creator Dick Wolf], I saw other actresses in the waiting room, and I told him, ‘I need you to understand, this is my role,'” Hargitay told Marie Claire in 2018.

Good instincts, Mariska.