Ali Wentworth Tells Story of Bear Encounter with ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Star Mariska Hargitay: ‘You’re Olivia Benson, Do Something’

by Amy Myers
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In this episode of “Hollywood Versus Nature,” Nightcap star Ali Wentworth and Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay brave wild Tennessee hiking trails. Suddenly, the friends lose their WiFi connection and find themselves in a close encounter with a black bear.

It actually wasn’t that dramatic, but to Wentworth and Hargitay, it was a pretty intense adventure. When Wentworth joined Ryan Seacrest on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, she dished on all the details about the time she went “out of her comfort zone” and decided to go on a hike with her good friend and fellow famed actress. While Wentworth admitted she would rather have been on a beach with a hot dog in hand, she decided the two should go for a brief “45-minute” hike.

However, Wentworth and Hargitay don’t have very much experience reading trail signs. And as Outsiders know, if you don’t know the difference between key colors and markings, you can find yourself on the wrong path–fast. That’s how the 45-minute hike for Mariska Hargitay and Ali Wentworth turned into a full-day endeavor.

“We started not having Wi-Fi — we couldn’t Insta Story for like, two hours,” Wentworth joked with Seacrest.

However, as the In Living Color comedian would soon discover, this was the least of their worries. Four hours into their hike, they found a black bear staring back at them through the trees. She held up a photo that she snapped of the animal at the time.

“Let me tell you something, you can throw me a copperhead or a rattlesnake any day, but when you see a black bear, your heart jumps,” Wentworth shared.

Ali Wentworth and Mariska Hargitay Escape Bear with Unconventional Tactic

Pop quiz, Outsiders. What do you do when you see a black bear in the distance?

A. Make yourself look bigger and make loud noises.
B. Play dead and avoid eye contact.

According to Ali Wentworth, the answer is… both. Actually, Wentworth couldn’t remember which one you do for a black bear (it’s A, by the way) and which one you do for a grizzly bear. So, she decided to do both.

“I had a complete personality disorder with the bear,” Wentworth admitted. “He was pretty close and I was doing, screaming and then rolling, screaming and then rolling.”

At the same time, she looked to Mariska Hargitay for help in scaring off the bear.

“I kept saying, ‘You’re Olivia Benson, do something, go fight the bear!'”

Thankfully, though, Hargitay didn’t have to put her Law & Order: SVU skills to the test. Wentworth’s confused methods of bear safety seemed to be effective.

“He literally looked at me and was like, ‘You’re a crazy person’ and kept going and left,” Wentworth reported.

Outsider.com