‘Law & Order: SVU’: Why Mariska Hargitay Calls Christopher Meloni a ‘Unicorn’ in Television

by Madison Miller

There’s no replacing or imitating the kind of chemistry that comes from starring in a popular series for 12 years together. For Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni, “Law & Order: SVU” brought them together for a truly beautiful friendship and partnership that exists off the screen.

Then, Meloni decided to leave the show after the 12th season to do his own thing.

As a result, Detective Elliot Stabler and Captain Olivia Benson were separated. It tore fans apart from the inside out. Years after, “Law & Order: SVU” fans still yearned to see that partnership back on the screen.

Christopher Meloni the TV Unicorn

That all came true when it was announced that Meloni was starring in his own spin-off series, “Law & Order: Organized Crime.” Meloni and Hargitay appeared on the screen together in both of the shows.

In an interview with People from February 2021, both Meloni and Hargitay talk about what it is about their partnership that fans have always adored, as well as what it meant to get to see it return to the screen.

“I am just in awe on this day … that here we are on the cover of People magazine because of this reunion. 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 …” Mariska Hargitay said.

As she speaks, she appears to get a little choked up in the process. Next to her, the often stoic and stone-cold Meloni also looks a little teary-eyed. It’s safe to say it’s one of the most powerful and important reunions in television history.

Even on the show, after a troubled reunion, the two picked up where they left off. In the “Law & Order: Organized Crime” episode “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,” Stabler says “I love you” to Benson.

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Duo Off-Screen Relationship

Although they weren’t starring in the hit drama together, Meloni and Hargitay still stayed friends. Over the years the two even posted cute photos together on Instagram. They seemingly were teasing fans that still just couldn’t let the on-screen pair go.

He even crashed a “Law & Order: SVU” party and marked the occasion with an epic selfie.

The two stayed connected after his initial departure. Hargitay told People she felt like he was someone she could always count on.

“There was so much shorthand between us, which all goes back to the trust we have. He’s always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge, and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship,” Hargitay said.

She also felt close to him due to his family life. Meloni is a husband and a father. He even asked Hargitay to be the godmother for his daughter, Sophia.